Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Creeping & Crawling

Most parents look forward to the day that their infant will start scootin' along on their tummy, trying to grab and touch everything in sight. It is an exciting time for the parents and their child because it's a visible sign that their baby is developing. Some babies never master the act of crawling, and this can cause some anxiety for their parents. I am here to put those worries to rest. 

Not all babies learn how to crawl.

Surprised? When I first learned that crawling is not a milestone I was surprised too!
A lot of babies go straight from laying to standing to walking, completely skipping the crawling step. Remember, this is completely normal. For these babies, the thrill of standing and walking overshadows the logical sequence of crawling

Most babies start to creep and crawl around 7-8 months; others may start early while may start late. Babies will also create their own style of crawling, and some will scuttle backwards like a crab until they learn to control the muscles that will propel them forward. No matter how, or when, your baby starts to crawl, the most important thing to do as a parent is to not worry; your baby will learn when they are ready. But, if you feel like your baby needs a boost, here is what you can do:
  • Place your hand against the bottom of your baby’s feet. Hold steady and they will start to push against your hand. Eventually they will realize they can use their knees and/or their feet to push forward on their own.
  • A lot of parents do not give their baby enough “tummy time.” What is tummy time? Just laying your baby on their tummy to play and explore. This strengthens their neck, back, and shoulder muscles, which are essential in crawling.
  • Place items on the floor just out of their reach, this gives them incentive and determination to find a way to get to the toy. Make sure you don’t let them get too discouraged; listen to their cues to know when you need to ease their frustration by helping them get to the toy.
Safety Considerations
·         When you notice your baby starting to creep around, get out the baby safety products and place toxic chemicals in a high place. Make sure all open outlets are covered, sharp and small objects are placed out of their reach, and cupboards you don’t want opened are locked. This will make it much easier to let your baby crawl around and explore the world without being worried that they will get hurt.

Crawling is a fun stage to look forward to, but remember not to compare your baby to other babies. Each infant is unique and will start when they are ready, and don’t worry if your baby doesn’t start at all! They may just jump right into walking, and that is just fine.

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