Always nice in turn – from turning to crawling to running

Many parents can hardly wait for their child to walk. They would love to practice walking with it before it has even crawled. Actually, their hands are tied. Motor development is a maturation process that follows inner laws.

Every baby at their own pace

A feature of early motor development is its wide spread over time. This means that each child has their own individual pace and that this development cannot be influenced by practice. But you can by ensuring that the child has enough freedom of movement to pursue its natural urge to move unhindered.

The  baby  should therefore not lie in baby bouncers or car seats for too much time, as they restrict natural movement too much. They do best when awake and spend a lot of time on the floor and in a prone position. Not only is this safe, but it also gives them complete freedom to spin, roll, crawl, crawl, or however they like to move.

Better not help to move

Movements or postures that are not developmentally appropriate should be avoided at all costs. For example, putting a baby down (in a bicycle seat or high chair) before the crawling phase puts too much strain on the back. Only when the baby is in the so-called long position (straight back, bent legs, weight is evenly distributed on both buttocks) can this posture no longer harm him.

A baby should also not stand upright for too long as long as it is not yet able to do so on its own. In the second quarter of the year, the babies can already pull themselves up to a stand by their mother’s hand. Most of the time, they just stand on tiptoe. In principle, there is nothing wrong with this exercise. However, babies should only spend a few seconds in this position and then be put down again.

87% follow a specific process

The development of basic motor skills usually takes place in a very specific order, does not have to be learned and develops from the child’s own drive. The baby will first raise its head, then between three and seven months it will roll from its back to its stomach and finally from its stomach to its back. At 7 to 10 months it begins to crawl, ie it uses its arms and legs to move forward, but is not yet able to raise its abdomen.

Eventually he gets on his hands and knees and gets on all fours; an important prerequisite for crawling. But first it takes some time with rocking back and forth until the baby has found a safe position. Crawling then requires proper coordination. Because it has to move one leg and one arm at the same time and crosswise forward. 90 percent of children can do this with 10 months of age.

Haben die Kinder den Übergang von der Bauchlage in den Kniestand geschafft, können sie sich auch schon bald aufsetzen; zunächst seitlich mit einer Hand abgestützt, dann im Langsitz. Wenige Zeit später beginnen die Babys sich an niedrigen Möbeln hochzuziehen, machen vielleicht schon ein paar seitliche Schritte. Und schon bald ist nur noch eine Hand zum Festhalten nötig. Ist genügend Gleichgewicht vorhanden führt der Weg recht bald zum freihändigen Stehen und zu den ersten Schritten. Das gelingt 50 % der Kinder bis zu ihrem ersten Lebensjahr.

Keine Regel ohne Ausnahme

Daneben gibt es auch Babys, die sich eher extravaganter Formen der Fortbewegung bedienen oder nicht im Traum daran denken, die typische Reihenfolge einzuhalten. Sie bewegen sich z.B. rollend durch die Wohnung, krabbeln rückwärts oder haben besonderen Spaß am so genannten Kreisrutschen. Dabei dreht sich der Säugling auf der Stelle, mit Drehpunkt Bauch. Schwung bringt das Rudern oder Abstoßen mit Armen und Beinen.

A typical example of skipping entire stages of development are children who do not crawl or seal, but start walking immediately from a prone position. Or babies who start walking from the so-called bear gait (on hands and feet with raised buttocks) instead of on all fours. Without the intermediate stage of crawling, however, the children miss out on an important coordination exercise. Because when crawling, the mutual or diagonal movements of arm and leg have a decisive influence on the coordination of the two halves of the brain and body.

There are scientists who blame the lack of crawling for later deficits in body coordination, including reading and spelling difficulties. In other words, for actions that require particularly good cooperation between the two hemispheres of the brain.

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