These days, it seems kids are advancing at lightning speed compared to a few decades ago. Some three year olds can operate a tablet or an iPhone® with more ease than their parents or older siblings.
Babies are sitting earlier thanks to Bumbo® infant chairs (not a good idea, if you’re wondering…we will cover that in a different post). With all these advances, it is normal for parents to be proud of their advanced little geniuses and to encourage their development. Caution should be exercised, however, with anything that causes or allows a baby to skip developmental milestones.
The milestones of rolling, rocking, crawling, sitting, standing, walking, and running are indicators of neurological development. More basic milestones lay the neurological framework necessary for successful completion of the next milestone.
Think about it like this: if you can add and subtract but you don’t know how to multiply or divide, would you be able to learn algebra? The answer is yes, but your abilities would be limited to very simplistic equations.
Crawling, specifically, is an important milestone because it lays the foundation of a neurological mechanism called “cross crawl,” which is essentially the ability to utilize opposite sides of your body in a coordinated manner at the same time (think running, climbing, etc). During infancy, the brain is forming new connections and learning how to coordinate movements on opposite sides of the body that will be essential to learning to walk, run, and do other coordinated movements with ease later in life. Rushing or skipping this developmental step can adversely affect the development of your child’s sensory and motor systems and interfere with motor skills later in life.
Encourage your baby to crawl for as long as they like. Just like some children pick up reading faster and others are quicker to learn math, the same is true for crawling. Some children crawl for a longer amount of time than others but it is important to let them do so because their brain is doing important work that will affect them the rest of their lives.
Concerns about your child's milestone acquisition? Book a consultation with us today.