The Importance of Crawling in Child Development

Pediatrics, The Perfect Storm

As parents, we are often obsessed with our children’s developmental milestones. The joy of witnessing our babies achieve those significant milestones, from their first words to crawling to their first steps, is a source of immense pride. These milestones can be almost a roadmap for your child’s growth and development. 

However, what happens when the milestones change or are redefined? In early 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics made a surprising announcement – crawling was no longer considered a developmental milestone. This shift in perspective might have left you confused and concerned…. And we don’t blame you because we couldn’t disagree more. 

Crawling is, in fact, a crucial building block in a child’s neurodevelopment.

Crawling, for generations, has been celebrated as one of the early milestones that parents eagerly anticipate. It’s a moment when your infant transitions from lying passively to actively exploring the world around them. As they move their tiny hands and knees in a coordinated effort to explore, they are achieving a lot more than you might realize. This cross-pattern movement of crawling is not merely a cute phase; it is essential for developing both sides of the brain.

Neurodevelopment and Crawling

Crawling is not just a random movement; it’s a neurological action. Crawling stimulates both sides of the brain, forcing them to communicate and coordinate their activities. This synchronization is a fundamental part of early brain development. When your child crawls, they are not just learning to move physically but laying the foundation for cognitive and sensory development.

In the initial weeks of life, babies have a set of reflexes that help them survive and navigate the world. However, as they grow and develop, many of these reflexes need to be turned off. Crawling plays a significant role in this process. When your baby crawls, it helps shut off these primitive reflexes, signaling that they are no longer required. If these reflexes are not properly turned off, it can lead to various developmental issues down the road.

The Autonomic Nervous System and Crawling

To understand the significance of crawling, looking at the autonomic nervous system is essential. Think of it as building a house – you need a strong foundation. Similarly, the nervous system, which controls every aspect of our body, requires a foundation right after birth. 

Movement is the cornerstone of this foundation. It’s not just exercise for the body; it’s exercise for the brain. The implications of crawling extend beyond the physical act itself. It profoundly affects a child’s overall development, including speech, sensory perception, and social skills. Crawling helps create neural pathways in the brain that support these critical functions. When we take away crawling as a developmental milestone, we might inadvertently hinder these essential pathways.

The Role of Neurologically-Focused Pediatric Chiropractic

Understanding the importance of crawling in early development is not only a matter of knowledge but also about having the right healthcare providers. Parents, you need a doctor who comprehends neurology and the role of movement in brain development. 

Neurologically-Focused Pediatric Chiropractors at PWC Chiropractic restore optimal function and balance to your child’s nervous system, improving communication between all branches of the nervous system, especially the central and autonomic nervous system. By acknowledging the importance of crawling, we can lay the groundwork for your child to hit those developmental milestones in the correct order.  

As parents, it’s important to understand the significance of crawling and seek healthcare professionals who understand the role of movement in a child’s neurodevelopment. Your kiddo is meant to be healthy, meet their milestones in the correct order, according to their unique timeline, and grow up to be strong, resilient, healthy, and happy! 

If you agree that crawling should not be a skipped milestone, now is the time to reach out to the docs at PWC Chiropractic! If you are not local to us, simply visit the PX Docs directory to find a PX Doc office near you.

Here are 3 ways we can help!

  1. Head over to PX Docs to explore more topics like this.
  2. Attend one of our upcoming workshops to learn from our team.
  3. Call our team today at (815) 455-8213

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