I remember the moment he started to crawl. He was staring at me a few metres away as I gently encouraged him to take those courageous first movements across the floor. Like most parents I became overwhelmed with so much love and admiration for him. It is no simple request for a baby to piece together the movement and coordination of their tiny little bodies. Not only did he need to find stability in his arms and neck to hold his head up, he now needed to become strong in his abdominal muscles and back. He had been showing signs that he was eager to be on the move. All I had to do was kindly encourage him to crawl. Here are the four steps to crawling.
Firstly, a baby starts to push backwards. The natural unfolding progression of gross motor skills sees all babies push from their upper limbs first. This always sends their body backwards.
Secondly, a baby starts to belly crawl. They are essentially lying on their bellies, head up with an arm and leg on one side flexing whilst the arm and leg on the other side is extending. They shuffle along the floor like a snake.
Thirdly, they start to rock. This is when they work out how to be on hands and knees with their chest off the floor. They are playing with the sensation of a shifting centre of gravity and working out its boundaries of stabilization.
Fourthly, they start the action of crawling. This occurs when they start to reach one hand forward and the opposite knee naturally shuffles forward sequentially. They get the confidence to keep on moving forward with alternating hands and knees.
I look back at his videos all the time. How beautiful is the moment when they all starting learning how to crawl.