Updated: Jul 27
Why is crawling good for early brain development. Crawling is not only good for your baby's physical development, but it is good for their brain development too.
It is good for babies' physical development because crawling is the first and longest period of time that your baby will be putting weight through their hands to develop strength and stability at their shoulders. This will help them to develop control of their hands and help with other skills such as:
Playing with toys
Handwriting in the future
Being able to get themselves dressed
Crawling is considered the first form of independent movement. It helps develop and enhance their:
When crawling, they also learn to:
Establishes spatial awareness, so they know where they are and how to maneuver around their environment.
Teaches them an understanding of movement
Builds responsibility for movement and mobility
Provides a foundation for early problem-solving skills
Helps the left and right sides of their body to work together for improved coordination
Helps enhance depth perception
Guides left right linear movement of their eyes which can assist with school related activities
Enhances sensory input by allowing them to move over different textures independently from carpet to hardwood, grass to dirt.
When your baby is crawling on their hands & knees, they are moving in a criss-cross motion. This motion is important because it develops and connects the pathway between the brain's hemispheres. (A band of nerve fibers called the corpus callosum.)
According to Dr. Carla Hannaford explains in her book, Smart Moves: Why Leaning Is Not All in Your Head,
"Cross lateral movements, like a baby's crawling, activate both hemispheres in a balanced way. These activities work both sides of the body evenly and involve coordinated movements of both eyes, both ears, both hands and both feet as well as balanced core muscles."
"When both eyes, both ears, both hands and feet are being used equally, the corpus callosum orchestrating these processes between the two hemispheres becomes more fully developed. Because both hemispheres and all four lobes are activated, cognitive function is heightened and ease of learning increases."
How to Encourage Your Child to Crawl More
If your baby is an early walker and didn't crawl much (like my eldest), you can always encourage them to crawl more now. The best way to encourage your child to crawl more is the make game out of it. Here is a list of games you can try:
Pretend play. Pretend you are lions (or their favorite animal) and chase them while crawling.
Have a crawling race with your child. (If they have siblings, get them to race each other.)
Create an obstacle course with a crawling element.
Get a foldable tunnel.
Create a low make shift tent where they have crawl in.
The trick to get your child to do something is to make it fun. If it is fun, they would want to do it.
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