confessions of a modern mom

Crawling and Brain Development

Crawling and Brain Development

Our nanny Shamilla told me something very interesting – that crawling is good for brain development. Bella was a late walker – I mean she was cruising from age 10 months, but didn’t take off for full-on independent walking until she was 16 months old. Zack and I were a bit freaked out. Would she walk? Were her legs damaged? Everyone laughed at us and said, don’t worry, she’ll be fine. Deep down, we knew that she’d be alright, but it was crazy to see kids younger than her running around. I really wanted her to walk because winter is not the best season to be on the ground crawling. Particularly in public spaces. Of course, that’s all Bella wanted to do…

Anyway, Shamilla said that her son had some speech and reading development issues and was sent for some help. Their therapist explained that part of his problem was that he had been an early walker. He had pretty much skipped the crawling stage, and thus hadn’t developed that part of his brain fully. They trained him in crawling and forced him to do so each day while they also worked on his speech and reading skills. I had never heard of such a thing, so I looked it up.

Turns out, there’s a whole book on physical activity helping brain development by Glenn Doman called How To Teach Your Baby To Be Physically Superb. The author says that you shouldn’t push your kid to walk too soon because the more they crawl, the more brain development occurs. How cool is that? That’s why she’s such a brainiac!!! Late walking is GOOD!!!

Anyway, I continued my research and found some more articles backing this up. The parts of the brain (medulla, pons and midbrain) used for crawling and creeping are also used for reading and writing, coordination, speech and a lot of other things. Hence, the more crawling a baby does the more their lower brain is developed and the neurological pathways in that part of the brain are accessed.

Now, I don’t think this means that if your kid is an early walker that he or she will be behind in some (or any) way. Your early walker may turn out to be the next Einstein. However, I DO think that it’s a comfort to those parents whose kids are late at walking. So long as your kid can crawl at some point in his life, he’ll be JUST FINE…



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