LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
When I arrived at Rochel’s home today to give her a lesson, her mother proudly showed a mess of toys on the floor. “Look,” she said. “I left this out to show you. Rochel did this all on her own, just now. She has been playing here for the last forty-five minutes. I am so proud of her!” I looked down and saw Rochel looking up at me mid-pull of another toy off the lower bookshelf. She was smiling! Toys surrounded her while she examined how to open and close the top of her latest acquisition. There should be a motor milestone called “pulling all the toys off the shelf.” This “milestone” represents movement that is the preparation for crawling and is motivated by both curiosity and determination.
It is important to remember that Rochel learned the Z-sit position two weeks ago. From one position, baby uses the Z-sit to transition to another position, allowing for more movement. Prior to the Z-sit, Rochel was static in one position. Now she is very comfortable with the Z-sit and uses it to explore the world a bit more. She has figured out how to get something beyond her immediate reach, and she feels quite victorious! At the end of Rochel’s lesson today, I reminded her mother to put the toys very close to her yet out of her reach so she will move to get to them. The location is critical. The toys should not be so far away that she thinks it is impossible for her to get them, because she will not crawl. If they are close enough to her, or she is close enough to them, her curiosity drives her to the place of determined movement and she will crawl that small distance. She knows she can do it. She knows the toys are attainable. She tries and succeeds!