Crawling: How Important Is It?
Recently, the CDC updated milestone markers for child development. They eliminated 216 of those milestones, including crawling. Though this change may not seem like a big deal, it’s been controversial; with many medical professionals and therapists arguing that the crawling stage is integral to a child’s early development. But is crawling really that important? And what does this change mean for your child’s development?
What Is Developed During The Crawling Stage?
According to the CDC, they removed the crawling milestone because the age range (between six and eleven months) was too wide for concrete evidence for development. But many therapists and doctors argue that crawling is beneficial for children in a variety of ways including:
- Helping children develop fine and gross motor skills – interactions with objects while crawling can have a positive impact on everyday actions, like handwriting or holding a utensil.
- Giving kids necessary muscle strength – crawling helps strengthen all of the muscles, especially the neck muscles and the shoulder muscles.
- Ensuring children have bilateral coordination – the brain learns what it’s like to move the two sides of the body at the same time.
- Helping kids learn spatial and sensory awareness – babies who experience a crawling stage have better depth perception and a stronger understanding of touch.
What If A Child Misses The Crawling Stage?
While some children skip the crawling stage without any trouble, children who do skip the stage may have difficulties or delayed development in the future, especially in the classroom. If a child misses or has delays during the crawling stage, it could be a sign of disability. If that is the case, early intervention is key in making a difference as the child is still developing to make it easier to hit essential milestones in the future. While every child is unique and hits developmental milestones at different times, it’s important to know the specifics of each milestone because even the smallest things are important to a child’s progress.
Pediatric Therapy Center (PTC) offers exceptional, patient-centered occupational, physical and speech/language therapy for children. If you feel your child is struggling developmentally in any way, call PTC at 713.772.1400 for a consultation with one of our experienced therapists today.