Be sure to click play on the video at the top of this post, because you want want to it! Noah’s finally able to keep his belly off the ground! That’s right, Noah’s creeping for the first time! Why do I say creeping and not crawling…keep reading to find out. There is some serious celebrating going on at our house once again.
Isn’t it amazing how many things you can find to celebrate?
Noah has mastered the inchworm, which is actually a form a crawling. Keeping your abdomen off the ground is known as creeping in the world of development. We talked about the types of crawling in our previous article and those versions are just as important as creeping. I initially thought that Noah’s version of the inchworm was more work than creeping, however I was quickly taught by our physical therapist that the art of creeping requires a heck of a core and a lot of coordination. I don’t know if you have noticed the theme that flows through all of these milestones, but having a strong core is the foundation of most of them.
Don’t Rush Walking
We have had several occupational therapists who follow our story ask us why we are rushing Noah to walk since we seem to post a lot about the treadmill. They are encouraging us to keep Noah crawling for a little while longer. Even with the treadmill, I promise we have spent ample time working on crawling and creeping. Almost every therapy sessions we work on quadruped, supported kneeling, and endless core exercises which helped us to get to this celebrated moment. I am surprised that Noah still thinks that large balls are meant for anything fun.
And as we may work hard on walking at such a young age we also realize he is probably several months from being able to take his first steps and he’ll rely on creeping during this time and gain all of the benefits that it provides. The treadmill portion of our therapy sessions is usually 10 minutes or less, so we have to fill up our time some how
Creeping Helps Develop Fine Motor Skills
So why does your occupational therapist want your child to crawl and creep? Well…these methods of transportation put weight on the hands, arms and shoulders to help develop strength and proprioception into these areas. This pressure helps with grasp, coordination, stability and eventually even things like hand-writing. I think that an occupational therapist may enjoy an open hand with extended wrist pushing on the ground the most.
This can help with controlling the hand, develops the small muscles, as well as builds the arch of the hand which are all important for later fine motor skills we will want for our kids that we may not even be thinking about yet. So we will continue to encourage Noah to creep around our house while we wait for him to walk as we know that he is just mastering his penmanship.
Creeping Helps With Walking
Creeping continues to have its gross motor benefits as well, as it is part of the journey to walking. In Patricia Waters book, Gross Motor Skills in Children With Down Syndrome, she states that creeping helps a child with bending their legs while walking. Without this step a child may tend to keep their legs straight and have problems with balance. It also continues to work on the core and coordinating alternating movements which are essential for walking.
In several countries children tend to walk at an earlier age than American babies. This is because standing and walking are encouraged behavior rather than expecting their children to creep like most Americans. These children in other countries (like Africa and India) tend to skip creeping all together. That being said, I think it is also very common for children with developmental delays to skip creeping and go from a form of crawling straight to walking and this is ok.
Enjoy your child’s journey as it is specific to them and may be faster, slower, or just different than their peers including those with Down syndrome. If they skip a step or do them out of order it will likely turn out ok, so keep celebrating all those milestones your little one continues to achieve.
Did you realize that gross motor and fine motor skills were intertwined? Did you child creep or do they go straight to walking? Leave a comment below and tell us about it.