Crawling is an important part of the child’s development process. Aside from taking the motor abilities of the child to a new level it also spurs his or her growth and refines other skills too. This stage is also called the psychological birth of the child by many development experts. Crawling plays an important role in developing the baby’s balance, strength, visual-spatial skills, spinal alignment, and socio-emotional development. There are a number of other benefits that a child gets when he or she crawls. We are listing and explaining some of them here.
1. Physical Development:
As a baby learns to crawl, they are developing gross motor skills which are the large movements that the baby makes with arms and legs or from the entire body. These skills are needed for the physicality required to walk, run, and jump when they grow older. Crawling also develops fine motor skills which involve the strengthening of smaller muscles like hands and fingers. When a baby crawls, he or she also learns to achieve a balance which gives them the ability and confidence to learn how to walk. Crawling develops a hand-eye coordination in the child.
2. Spatial Understanding:
Crawling provides the baby with an opportunity to grasp the understanding of spatial concepts. It gives a child a physical understanding and orientation of their surroundings, their position in it and, their relationship with it. With practice, babies learn to go around things rather than through them and can navigate an efficient path to their destination. This understanding will remain with them throughout their lives and will help them in navigation and problem-solving.
3. Binocular vision:
When the baby learns to crawl, he or she can reach out for things. They discover the concept of nearness and fairness. Upon this discovery, their visual skills develop in leaps and bounds. This is called binocular vision. The baby trains his eyes to look off into the distance and then back at his hands to calculate the distance while crawling towards their favourite toy. Binocular vision is what we use to make sense of things that we see and calculate distance thus later on enabling us to drive, catch a ball, and copy from the blackboard.
4. Brain Coordination:
We know that the different activities that we perform daily are controlled by the two halves of the brain that have divided their responsibilities of coordinating certain movements. To function properly, the right-brain and the left-brain coordination is required. This coordination is boosted when the baby crawls as the brain needs to process movement, sight, and hearing, all at the same time. The more baby crawls, the more synchronized his or her movements become giving them an even greater mobility.
The crawling babies learn to make their first decisions. This builds self-confidence in them. They take risks, some successful and some failed, which help them in discovering their abilities and potential and also limitations. When they gain experience in crawling, they will also learn when to slow down, navigate a step and investigate a hurdle in their path, in order to avoid getting hurt.
6. Physical strength:
The more a baby crawls, the more prepared he or she becomes to walk on their legs. A crawling baby is also gaining physical strength that will help them to walk. When they start pulling themselves up taking support from walls and furniture, the muscles in their legs and lower back start to strengthen and the normal curve begins to develop in their spine. This is what is required to be able to walk.