Some babies creep and crawl earlier than others, that's just the way it is.
Your friend down the street who had a baby 2 days before you had your baby, keeps telling you about all of the things that her baby is doing.
Then she asks an innocent question: how is your little man doing? Is he creeping yet?
You feel a sharp stab of pain deep in your stomach.
That stab of pain you feel may be anger towards your friend, or at life in general.
How come your baby is the one that's delayed?
How come your baby has not hit any new milestones in a while?
If you are feeling like it's time to DO something then I am glad you found this post.
In this post I will describe 4 simple techniques you can use to help your baby start moving around on the floor.
Before we get into the methods you can use to help your baby start moving, we need to define two words that are often used interchangeably.
These words are Creeping and Crawling.
Creeping: baby moving around with her tummy on the ground. This is the type of movement where baby's arms and legs seem to be moving rapidly, but with a corresponding slow, uncoordinated movement of trunk. The baby is essentially dragging herself around on the floor.
Crawling: defined as moving around on hands and knees with the stomach up off of the ground, and using 4 points of contact with the ground, namely the hands and knees.
In my last post I talked about the importance of tummy time and provided a few techniques you can use to help your baby tolerate lying on her little tummy for extended periods of time. If your baby is struggling with tummy time then go back and review that post before moving forward. For now I am going to assume that your baby is able to tolerate lying on her tummy and holding her head upright.
- If your baby is one of those who seems like she is not motivated to move and would rather lie and wait for you to come and pick her up, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Some babies are motivated to move while some are not. But all babies want and feel the need to play with the cool toys. So put your baby to lie on her tummy and put a toy that lights up in front of her. Move the toy from side to side and look to see if she turns her head to follow the toy as it moves. This type of movement is called side to side tracking. Allow her to grasp and play with the toys for a bit to peak her interest in it. Then move the toy off to one side and cue your baby to reach for the toy with one hand while pushing with the other. If needed help her maintain her balance on her tummy as she pivots around in a circle. Keep moving the toy in the same direction until she has crept in an entire circle. Repeat this process towards the opposite side.
Put your baby to lie on his stomach with his favorite toy in front of him just out of reach. Next, bend both of his knees and put your hands under the bottom of the soles of his feet. Make your hands firm so that they don't move when he pushes with his feet to move forward. Encourage him to push off of your hands with his feet as he reaches forward to get the toy. Repeat this process until he get the idea of how to slide himself forward on the ground.
Put your baby to lie on her stomach with her favorite toy in front of him just out of her reach. Then, bend one of her knees and put your hand under the bottom of the sole of the leg with the bend knee. Make your hand firm and encourage her to push herself forward using your hand for leverage. If this sounds silly to you at this point, stop snickering and try it. Trust me it works!
Stay tuned for my next post that will provide tips you can use to help your baby creep forward towards the next gross motor milestone - Crawling.
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