Rolling, belly crawling, getting into and out of sitting, creeping on hands & knees, kneel-sitting, pulling up to standing, cruising, bear-walking, walking, running, climbing . . . flying?
Each and every developmental milestone is important. Nature is smart that way–we can trust it! The milestones build the foundation for all the movement we do as adults, as well as our emotional and relational patterning. A baby’s comfort level in movement affects all aspects of her daily life.
- Establish a healthy lower back and hip/knee joints
- Develop balance, coordination, and learning habits
- Interweave with brain development
- Influence self-confidence, a feeling of security, and an ability to adjust to new people, locations, and experiences
- Affect the ability to modulate emotions and communicate effectively
And it’s not only about the movements! The quality of a baby’s movement has an effect on her sense of self and her means to get what she needs out in the world. Did you ever know anyone who is “pushy?” Or admire that person who seems to glide easily through life?
I often hear parents report that their doctors and books say creeping on hands and knees is not an important milestone. However, just because many babies do not creep does not mean it’s not important! (“Back to Sleep,” while important for reducing SIDS, has challenged babies in finding their way to each milestone.) Creeping is a key pattern. It entails a criss-crossing of movement through the body, which supports and teaches the criss-crossing of information between both sides of the brain. Research has shown creeping even to help children and adults at any age!
Let’s consider Baby’s future. Contrary to popular belief, movement challenges in infancy are not simply “grown out of.” Left un-addressed, they remain lurking in the body-mind, and can easily become problems in childhood or adulthood, such as back pain, hip or knee instability, behavioral difficulties, and learning challenges. What happens now will affect what happens later! Yet, it’s never too late. So if you yourself missed creeping . . . then what are you waiting for?!
© Elizabeth Parker 2011, All Rights Reserved