CHILD DEVELOPMENT HOW DO I ENCOURAGE IT?
You needn’t be a concerned passive observer; there a ton of fun activities that you can “play” with your baby to encourage proper cross-crawl patterns. • • • • •
Walking and crawling are not the only two crucial movement milestones. Baby needs to roll before he crawls as well! Encourage rolling. Encourage rocking back and forth on all fours, the army crawl and sitting. Tummy time is also very important developmentally. Just because baby isn’t sleeping on his belly doesn’t mean he does not need to spend waking minutes there. Strive for two hours a day split into 15 minute segments. When changing a diaper, play “patty cake” with hands and feet. Touch right hand to left food and vice versa. Do a few sets with right hand to right food and left to left while you’re at it. Basically, you are “going through the motions” to teach the brain. To encourage more time crawling once they’ve started, create obstacle courses or tunnels. Play with your baby on the ground. (The crawling time is good for your brain too!). Linear (head-to-toe) rocking is food for the vestibular system. When baby is small, you can hold him or her lying with belly or back on your forearm (and head in hand) and gently swing back and forth. Once they are too heavy for that, good old fashion swaddle and rock will do, with or without a rocking chair.
This is an exciting time! As baby begins to explore the wonderful world around them, their personality will start to shine through and you will have so much fun crawling around your living room together! Enjoy it, encourage it and participate! Contributed by Dr. Amanda Stevens, Valeo Health Clinic
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