Parents are often proud to proclaim that their child walked without ever crawling, but did you know that crawling is a very important part of your baby's development? If your baby isn't showing signs of crawling by the time their peers are or he's moving in a different way, it's a good idea to take him to see a chiropractor. Here are just 3 reasons why it's important to ensure your baby crawls.
Crawling Develops the Brain
One reason proponents of non-pharmaceutical health techniques advocate for crawling is because it utilises both sides of the brain. When babies crawl, they move their right leg and left arm at the same time, then their left leg and right arm. This technique is called cross-crawl patterning and requires both brain hemispheres to work in conjunction. When babies use other methods of movement or move straight to walking, only one side of their brain needs to coordinate movement at any one time. It is believed that encouraging this nervous communication between sides of the brain develops a child's neurological function, leading to improved 'multitasking' skills in other areas like future athletics or listening while working in the classroom.
Crawling Develops Vision
Another area that's believed to be affected by lack of crawling is vision. Glenn Dorman, an early childhood educator and pioneer of right-brain training, reports that his studies show that children who don't crawl before walking can have underdeveloped visual abilities. In turn, Dorman said this would lead to problems with ready and writing. Dorman's claims are supported by research which showed that early walkers scored lower on preschool assessment tests than those who crawled. Dorman also said that children who didn't crawl would have less midbrain development, leading to problems with speech. A deficit in reading, writing, and speech makes it near impossible for a child to learn as effectively as their peers, so allowing a baby to walk without crawling could lead to poor school performance in the future.
Crawling Develops Healthy Skeletal System
The most obvious benefit of crawling is that it helps a child's skeletal system develop. As your child's arms and legs rotate around their spinal axis, they create torsion in the joints. This prepares their body to later stand upright and walk correctly. In addition, the pressure crawling puts on the arm and leg joints strengthens them in the same way exercise strengthens adult bones. Stronger joints are more prepared to handle childhood weight-bearing without pain or weakness and help your child develop their gross and fine motor skills accordingly.
Chiropractors aim to help your baby develop these essential functions by addressing problems which could lead to an inability to crawl. Chiropractic is based on the idea that the spine is responsible for whole body health; a paediatric chiropractor will use safe spinal adjustment and massage techniques to correct 'subluxations' (misalignments), helping your baby to get moving on all fours.