Crawling is your baby’s first method of getting around efficiently on their own.
The natural progression of a baby is moving from sitting to crawling. In the traditional crawl, they’ll start by learning to balance on their hands and knees. Then they’ll figure out how to move forward and backward by pushing off with their knees. At the same time, they’ll be strengthening the muscles that will soon enable him to walk. Lesego Mashishi-Matlala, Huggies® expert in occupational therapy sheds some light on babies and crawling.
Crawling is a tough job
- First, the muscles in their back, neck, shoulders, arms, and core must be strong enough to support their weight and help them maintain balance.
- Their vision also plays an important role. When babies crawl, they use what’s known as binocular vision, using both eyes together to focus on one target. They go back and forth between looking off into the distance and looking at their hands, which helps build depth perception.
- Crawling also requires information processing and integration. Visual auditory, touch and smell sensory information and processing is facilitated through crawling. These senses lead your baby’s movements. This occurs when your baby crawls to their favourite toy that emits sound or light, or when your baby crawls in the direction of your voice. Once your baby has processed the sensory stimulation, they judge the distance, speed or pace in which to crawl to reach the source of the sensory stimulation. Now this is a lot of brain stimulation for your little one.
- Crawling also stimulates the development of spatial awareness. This is when your little one learns to go through, over or under things. Their little brains process and work out where they are in space in relation to objects around them. Babies soon learn how to negotiate a more efficient path to their desired destination.
It is common that babies start crawling with a bum shuffle, gliding in reverse or propelling themselves bilaterally first with their hands, followed by their feet. To make sure that your baby is comfortable while crawling, make sure they wear a suitable nappy, such as Huggies® Pants and Huggies® Gold that also allow for freedom of movement. As your little one makes their way through the house, expect them to go through a range of emotions: excitement when they discovers something; disappointment if you remove it or take it away, and confusion or frustration when an obstacle blocks their path. You can look forward to engaging in a near-constant game of “follow the leader”. Anywhere you go, they’ll be right on your heels!
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Source: Sabio Communications. Image: Pixabay