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Why is crawling so important and why should we encourage our babies to crawl?
Why is Crawling Important for Babies?
Crawling is one of the most “essential developmental phases for optimal future learning.” writes Sharon Promislow, an educational Kinesiologist and Educational Consultant.
It strengthens the neck, arm, leg, and trunk muscles of a young child, plus the mechanics of crawling actually stimulate different areas of the brain which influence the child’s ability to learn.
Not only does it encourage learning, it also encourages fine and gross motor skills by strengthening large and small muscle groups. It stimulates far and near visual and tactile senses. Also understanding language with both ears, instead of laying to one side with only one ear towards a noise.
This helps to increase their visual and auditory learning skills. It also helps with cross-lateral movement (using both sides of the body in coordinated movement), and coordinating arms, legs, hands, feet and eyes together. This enhances how children share and make sense of different sensory inputs from the body.
The most important reason is that the myelin, the substance that coats the nerves in the body, is produced the most when crawling. This helps the messages the brain sends and receives to be clear and completed faster. And more myelin means faster and clearer learning for your baby.
Most importantly, crawling is movement-based learning, which is how all children are designed to learn.
Some great books to read on this subject are:
Smart Moves: Why Learning Is Not All In Your Head, Second EditionThe Dynamic Self: Activities to Enhance Infant DevelopmentYour Active Child: How to Boost Physical, Emotional, and Cognitive Development through Age-Appropriate ActivityThe Flat Head Syndrome Fix: A Parent’s Guide to Simple and Surprising Strategies for Preventing Plagiocephaly and Rounding Out Baby’s Flat Spots Without a HelmetBaby Play: Developmental Fun From Birth to Beyond One (2 Book Set)
- Is Tummy Time Important? A Therapy Blogger Blog Hop
- Typical Fine Motor Skills Development for Ages 0-6
- 50 Fine Motor Activity Ideas for Ages 0-3
- 4 Tips for Including Tummy Time in Your Baby’s Day