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For a baby, crawling is so much more than just a way of getting from A to B, it is the most vital stage in their development.
Babies generally begin to crawl after 6 months but we have found through our own research that today babies are actually beginning to crawl later, nearer to 8-10months due to factors in their environment. These factors include slippery, cold floor surfaces which can be off putting for a young baby trying to gain the confidence to get moving. There are also some baby products that are on the market that can actually cause developmental delays. Eg baby walkers.
Crawling is a vital step and as a company, it was our initial focus. Our Easy Grip Crawl Suit has little gripper bugs on the knees and feet to provide traction for babies trying to learn to crawl on modern slippery floors.
Recent research has shown that the effects of not crawling can be seen later in life eg at school age some children are unable to hold a pencil properly, some have an inability to copy from a board, do maths equations and show signs of general clumsiness. Below we list the top 5 reasons why crawling is important and the benefits in later life.
- Physical Development
Crawling helps to develop muscles in the head, neck, arms, back and legs. As well as helping to support the development of gross and fine motor skills.
- Brain Development
Crawling is vital for cognitive development. It helps encourage crossing of the mid-line. This is the invisible line that runs down our centre and divides the left side from the right side of the body. Crossing of the mid-line is very important for further development and also for the two hemispheres (sides) of the brain. It indicates that the left side of the brain is working with the right side of the brain and vice versa. Repeat crawling and practice will strengthen and continue to develop this.
Crawling can encourage the healthy development of near and far vision. Babies learn to train their eyes to look into the distance to an object that they want or to a destination and look back down to their hands. This helps babies to make sense of their surroundings and what they see. It also helps baby learn to track objects which can help with reading once baby reaches a school going age.
- Co-ordination and Balance
As crawling helps with vision this can also aid the development of balance and co-ordination which in the future can help with tasks such as riding a bike. Crawling is the very beginning of the development of hand eye co-ordination- reaching for objects and moving forward.
- Self Confidence
Crawling can also help baby to develop a sense of confidence, it encourages them to interact socially and with their environment. Baby is able to take calculated risks when crawling and gets to know their boundaries and potential as well as helping them to build on this. Baby is also taught how to deal with failure and learn how to overcome this.
** We also recently learned thanks to a post from the BBC that crawling can also make you a better driver**
It is also important to note that crawling is not only beneficial for babies, recently crawling has been recommended to adults as a way to achieve better communication between brain hemispheres and to repair compromised brain functions.
Crawling today is viewed as a rehabilitative and restorative movement as it helps to develop healthy body and brain connections. Crawling has the ability to improve your health, mobility and strength as well as improving your ability to think and focus.
Remember if your baby is not crawling there is no need to panic as today babies are learning to crawl much later and some even skip this stage completely.
If you are concerned however do contact your GP.