Crawling - Baby Development

Baby Milestones - Let's Celebrate!

Baby milestones are always celebrated events. As much as baby's teething can be a difficult thing, when that first tooth breaks through, we're elated beyond measure. Immediately we stick a finger in the baby's mouth to feel for the next bump, estimating how long it will be until there are four teeth, then six, then the molars. That's just how we are.

Do you remember when your baby sat up by herself for the first time? You stood there and clapped gleefully, baby laughed because you were so happy and then promptly fell over on her side. You propped the baby up in the baby swing with a blanket around her, and when she smiled, you thought she was brilliant. Whether it is our baby sitting up, cutting teeth, or baby rolling over from front to back, we celebrate each milestone and let everyone know that the baby is ahead of schedule in her development - or right on time - or a little slow.

Is It Best for Baby to Crawl?

Perhaps one of the most frustrating milestones for a baby is getting their crawling down pat. There is, surprisingly, a debate about whether babies should crawl - some believe that crawling is only a way to get the baby mobile and not necessary otherwise. There is sufficient evidence and enough studies to affirm that crawling is a very important milestone, and a very essential one, in your baby's developmental progress. Crawling is the period in time when your baby becomes stronger, learns more about her surroundings and improves hand-eye coordination, visual skills and physical abilities. Not only that, but studies show that babies who do not crawl have a harder time in school. They have a harder time distinguishing certain letters and can reverse numbers. Babies who crawl have the natural stimulation for the integration of the left and right sides of their bodies, helping the body to take information and process it correctly.

Aw, Isn't She Just So Cute?

Crawling babies elicit feelings and words of joy, praise and "isn't she just the cutest..." Even when we see babies crawling in animated films, we think it's cute. Yet, some babies don't seem to be able to crawl. Often this is due to poor head control which leads to a dislike of being on the tummy. Once head control is mastered, then crawling often follows. It is essential for a baby to be able to lie on the tummy and to be able to roll over in order to crawl. Once they get going, then it will be impossible to stop them. That's when you'll take many "baby crawling" pictures and baby crawling videos to send to the grandparents. It's such a fun time.

It is possible to teach your baby to crawl by using a few different activities and toys to help her along. Once she gets the hang of crawling, baby will be pulling up on the couch or a table to stand. It's all part of the progression - and it's fun for everyone.

The 5P Baby Crawling System

The professionals have a five point method for teaching babies to crawl, called the 5P Baby Crawling System. The steps are as follows:

Put on the carpet. The first thing the baby must learn is to be on her tummy. There will be no crawling if there's no tummy time. Talk and play with the baby on the carpet, while she's on her tummy.

Put together a roller. You can purchase a rolling toy, there are plenty on the market - soft cylindrical toys - they should be solid in order to take the baby's weight without collapsing. They can be used to help the baby sit and walk as well. You can also make a roller from a towel that you roll into a sausage.

Position the elbows. Tenderly take the baby by her elbows and draw them close to her body. Provide support - even though the baby may seem to be lying on her elbows.

Position the roller. Gently place the roller or sausage under the baby's upper body with her arms hanging in front of the roller. It should be under her upper body and not her belly with her elbows touching the carpet in front of the roller. It is important that her elbows are on the carpet and not in the air - and that her upper body is slightly raised so she can explore the world around her.

Perform in front. Now you become a crawl mirror by getting down directly in front of the baby and facing her. Let the baby look into your face as you talk and encourage her. The point of this is to encourage the baby to be on her tummy while her upper body is lifted enough to take in her surroundings. As she's able to endure longer tummy sessions, and as she stays focused on you, it won't be long before she's up on all fours and off to the races.

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