Crawling is an important part of child development, but unfortunately it is one that kids commonly skip over. Crawling is important for developing core strength, coordination, fine motor skills, crossing midline, reciprocal movement patterns, social interactions and sensory integration.
Here are some tips, tricks and exercises to help get your child crawling!
1. Side Sitting
A side sitting position can facilitate crawling. To position your child in side sitting, one leg will go inwards like in a criss cross, while the other one goes out. Place toys around them to encourage reaching. If your child needs a little more support, you can place their arm on your leg. This positioning is more challenging than sitting in a criss cross position due to a smaller base of support.
2. 4-Point/Crawling Position
This is a great position to begin in if your child needs a little more support before crawling. Place your child in an all fours position over your knees. Place a toy just out of reach to encourage them to weight shift on one arm in order to reach the toy.
3. Tall Kneel
Place a motivating toy on a cushion or stair and have your child get in a tall kneel position while bearing weight through their hands. Watch that their legs stay underneath their knees and do not frog out in to a “W” position. This is a great precursor crawling position and assists your child in improving core strength and beginning weight bearing through their knees and arms.
4. Supported Torso
Place a blanket or beach towel under your child’s torso while they are in a hands and knees position. You can adjust your support by pulling more on the blanket as they attempt to crawl.
When in a crawling positioning, encourage your baby to rock back and forth on their hands and knees.
-Alexa Bachmann, Physical Therapist