Creating a Crawler. Almost.
My EtiKid(s) began kicking in utero! I actually have videos of my stomach lurching side to side as the older one kicked as hard as he could -from the inside. That being said, I am an Occupational Therapist and Early Childhood Education Teacher. Having studied a lot of child development, I knew enough about the importance of positioning and environment- giving him (them) opportunities and motivation to meet success. I did not use hand-over-hand cuing to teach him, but he was provided with a stimulating-enough environment and appropriate positions to foster his development. Although every child develops at his/her own pace and nothing with children is guaranteed, offering developmentally appropriate tools can help your child thrive.
Here are 3 QUICK tips to foster those gross motor skills:
1) Play- Someone was almost always on the floor playing with him. He was read to, shown cause and effect toys, and smiled at throughout the day. Also, there is an older sibling. I made sure that there was a lot of interaction between the two and clearly the baby now wants to be just like his big brother. (PS- big brother began crawling at 6.5 mos- and he was provided with the same “tools,” minus the older sibling.) *sigh
2) Tummy Time- can’t be stressed enough. Some “experts” recommend 30 minutes per day to parents. I did FAR more. Pretty much every waking moment was spent on his stomach or upright in my arms (his middle name is “hold me!”). With the “Back To Sleep” campaign, many parents are afraid to put their babies in the prone position (on their stomach); hence, developmental delays occur because babies do not have the opportunity to develop the necessary skills and strength.
3) Reaching- While laying on a mat, I put some bright toys that were sure to be his favorite just out of reach. This also helped to improve his grasping skills.
Through our efforts to overcome shoulder dystocia, we created a crawling monster. Almost.
**It is also important to note that in order to master the skill of crawling, babies must first lose some of the reflexes that are present at birth and develop coordination of arms and legs. The average age that babies learn to crawl is 8 months.