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Home > Muscle Coordination, Muscle Tone, and Strength > Belly Time, Crawl & Creeping Milestones are VITAL!

Belly Time, Crawl & Creeping Milestones are VITAL!

Creeping & Crawling - The 2 most important developmental milestones that are often overlooked! 

Educators often hear from therapists, "When in doubt, crawl, crawl, crawl!"

It seems from the onset, crawling is an amazing developmental activity that translates into all kinds of academic and motor skill successes.

The importance of a long crawling and creeping period in development is often overlooked by Pediatricians and parents.  They don't know the vital importance of this developmental milestone and impact later on in life.

As Occupational Therapists we spend many years studying development and the research behind belly time, creep and crawling milestones.  We see school aged children in therapy that have poor reading and visual focus skills, difficulties with bilateral skills, poor crossing midline, decreased trunk stability, and poor writing and fine motor skills all due to poor weight bearing on hands,  shortened creeping and/or missed belly time!

Infants should spend as much time as possible on their bellies from the time they can turn their head at a few weeks and clear their air passages. Try not to put little ones in supported sitting, car seats, entertainers, walkers, and/or johnny jumpers when they can have a floor space to do their "baby workouts" on. 

Belly time is their daily work out routine! 

Crawling is their push ups! 

Creeping is setting up right and left brain highways for bilateral skills, reading and writing later on! 

Getting on their bellies sooner and ensuring lots of weight bearing work outs on hands and knees will prevent a myriad of developmental and learning delays later in development!

Crawling is when you are on your belly "like an army man or snake".

Creeping is when you are on your hands and knees like a "cat creeping up on a mouse"

Weight bearing and creeping even through the older ages helps in all areas of development:

  • Calms children and adults by activating heavy work receptors in the muscles and joints

  • Continues to calm by building muscles that help breathing

  • Helps children sit in chairs by building back and stomach muscles

  • Coordinates two body sides so hand specialization is more likely to occur

  • Improves handwriting by developing shoulder, arm, and wrist stability

  • Helps develop fine-motor coordination as it builds the arches of the hand

  • Decreases touch sensitivities by deep input and rubbing the floor

  • Integrates many of the primitive reflexes, integration of these reflexes is vital to gaining higher motor skills

  • Strengthens trunk, shoulder and arm strength which is needed to sit and attend

  • Sets up the communication in the brain across the midline of the brain which is needed for reading and writing skills to occur

  • Increases muscle tone, muscle strength, and coordination throughout the body

We have wonderful brochures on belly time to help you find ways to help your infant or child crawl and creep daily!

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