Tips for you to help your baby learn to crawl
Most babies learn to crawl between the ages of 7 months and 10 months and crawling is a key milestone in their development. It is common for babies to adopt a unique style of crawling around this time that isn’t the traditional style of being up on their hands and knees.
Uniques styles could be:
- Commando drag, only using upper body
- One foot pushing off
- Elephant walk
- Bum shuffle
When it comes to the focus on crawling as a developmental milestone, there are a range of benefits that relate to your babies health when the correct technique of crawling is adopted as crawling is about more than relieving the frustration of your baby being stuck in the one place.
What are the health benefits of crawling?
- Learning gross motor development before fine motor development
- Provides a foundation for future coordination and motor learning.
- Encourage the left and right lobes of the brain to work together with cerebellum which is essential in development.
How you can encourage your baby to learn the correct technique of crawling?
We hear about it a lot when we first have our babies to give your baby plenty of tummy time and to start right from the time that they are born.
Tummy time requires your baby to lift their head in order to see what is going on around them, this action activates muscles in their back and neck that send huge input into the brainstem.
The brainstem is the path between brain and body, that is responsible for automatic function and the cerebellum, which is responsible for reflexes, muscle tone, coordination and balance.
This input is what creates growth and development of the nervous system to allow for more complex and mature movements, patterns and behaviours. This also contributes to the integration of the primitive/survival reflexes, allowing for more ‘adult-like’ reflexes to develop.
When you baby is enjoying tummy time, you can place toys just out of reach to give them that extra incentive to start exploring and get on the move. When they start to try and move, place your palms behind your child’s feet when he is on all fours to give him something push off and stimulate that natural reflex.
What can you do if your baby has adopted an alternative crawling technique?
First thing is not to worry as this is common and there are many options to encourage your baby to re-learn crawling using their hands and knees, whether it’s early on as they just start to crawl or later in their young life.
At The Chiropractic Works, we take care of children of all ages and provide developmental checks throughout their early life to assess their development at key stages.
Please remember that milestones are a general guide but if you are concerned, please voice this with your health professional or Chiropractor.
If you are concerned about either technique or that they are not yet crawling at all, one of the first steps you can take is to make an appointment with one of our team for a developmental assessment.
At this assessment, we will:
- Check pelvic/sacral/hip subluxations
- Assess overall tone and movement patters
- Monitor primitive reflexes and their integration
- Provide advice and a plan to correct the technique
Following this initial assessment, we will advise some next steps which can include:
- A gentle adjustment to the spine and cranial bones to stimulate nervous system function and development – this could be done at the initial assessment.
- Exercises for you to carry out at home
To make an appointment, contact us at one of our three clinics located in Henley Beach, Normanville and Norwood.
Henley Beach: 08 8235 1922
Normanville: 08 8558 3834
Norwood: 08 8363 5773