Yea! So, the little one has begun to roll over a few months ago, then was able to remain seated when you placed her upright AND took away the props! Next step? You guessed it—crawling. Oh, they can hardly wait to get to places on their own. As a mom watching all of this, you can see their eyes looking out over the big expansive family room with unbridled enthusiasm.
Crawling isn’t just about transportation, however. There are many, many benefits of crawling. For one, there’s a new connection that begins to happen between mommy and baby. Having always been dependent upon another human to get somewhere, the baby now realizes that he can make a decision about where to go and how far. But, watch what he does. He will turn around to see if you are watching! Yes—because, not only does he want to share the thrill with you, he is looking for your approval and maybe a little direction.
He also begins to experience depth perception. As he looks across the room and spots an enticing object, what once looked small and easy to handle, may in truth be large and too big to pick up. He begins to understand size, scale, and differentiation.
She then learns navigation. That’s right. It doesn’t take long for them to figure out if they turn to the right around the coffee table, that there is usually a stack of books there. Or if they turn to the left, it takes them into the kitchen to explore yet another area. This is key to their directional development.
Did you realize that babies learn decision making this early? Of course! As they navigate, they begin to exercise that crucial part of their brain that trains the brain cells to make decisions. Again, turn to the left for one experience, turn to the right for another……or explore down the hall into “no man’s land” to find out what’s really going on in the house!
Along with all these mental strengths happening in your little one, the body is becoming stronger as well. It has been noted that babies that crawl frequently and for longer periods of time, develop stronger muscles in their arms, shoulders, and legs than babies that just show no interest in crawling. While you can’t FORCE your tiny tot to crawl, you can encourage it. Get down on the floor with them. Have a race. Play a game on all fours. Draw out the crawling experience as long as you can.
While this crawling season may last as little as two months or as long as a year, enjoy every minute of it and remember how important this motor skill is to the development of their mind and body.