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There is no doubt crawling is great for baby’s gross motor skills! It is a motor milestone, and an important and exciting step in baby’s independence. Crawling helps develop muscles and joints around the tummy, back, hips, and shoulders, and strength and balance for walking.

But did you know crawling can help more than baby’s gross motor development? Here are some other areas that benefit from crawling!

Sensory Development: Crawling on carpet, tile, blanket, grass, etc. provides different sensory experiences for baby. It also helps with balance (the vestibular sense) and greater body awareness (proprioception). Finally, crawling helps with visual tracking and depth perception. In other words, crawling helps baby’s senses in so many ways!

Play: Once baby is crawling, they’ll want to crawl during play time. More movement and changing positions during play time leads to more exploring, which helps with independence and confidence.

Executive Function: Baby’s life skills, like problem solving and working memory, can be helped by crawling. Crawling helps baby to improve their problem solving skills. They need to figure out how to get from one place to another, or how to get a toy they want. Moving around more also exercises their working memory, because they are learning how to map out an area while moving independently in it.

Fine Motor Skills: A traditional crawling position helps stretch baby’s fingers. This helps with fine motor functions, like using utensils or drawing and playing with toys.

Feeding: Crawling helps develop baby’s hand strength and shoulder stability. These muscles help baby to feed themselves.

Brain development: Crawling requires both sides of the body to coordinate together. This is a great task for a developing brain and strengthens the corpus callosum, the area of the brain that helps the two sides of the body communicate.

So with all those great benefits, there’s so many reasons to help baby crawl! Here are some tips to help encourage crawling for your little one.