BABY CRAWLING: BUNNY HOP COORDINATION

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Watch the “bunny hop” coordination of a baby crawling from grao5′s channel on youtube.com.  Notice how as baby “crawls,” she takes both arms forward at almost the same time followed by both legs forward.  This is the same coordination as a bunny rabbit hopping down the lane.  This is one coordination possible for the motor milestone of crawling, and many babies learn it.

To encourage a baby’s gross motor milestone development toward optimal coordination, the contralateral  (alternating) pattern, I offer two tips.  First, I recommend putting baby on her back and moving her legs in an alternating pattern.  Right-left-right-left,  this will help teach her brain the alternating coordination.  Second, as I recommend to all parents, avoid putting baby in a jumper or bouncing her on your lap.  Just show baby the elements of the skilled coordination of crawling, and she will learn!  The baby in this video has a wonderful determination to her movement, and with these tips her parents will be running to keep up with her soon!

3 Responses to BABY CRAWLING: BUNNY HOP COORDINATION

  1. The key to belly crawling, the hardest pattern for babies to get, is weight-shifting from one side to the other. So another way to support this baby would be to provide stimulation of a weight shift by gently rolling the pelvis, so that she can slide one leg up and so that her movement can transition from upper-lower coordination to side-side coordination. Both are needed to prepare for the crossing-sides coordination of hands-and-knees crawling and walking.

    • Hi Eliza: You are correct that the belly crawling can be a difficult pattern for babies to learn. You are also correct that the skill of shifting the pelvis side to side and dragging the leg up is an important development of belly crawling. However, I do not recommend it for this baby at this time. For this baby the motor pattern in her brain to fire the muscles in both legs at the same time is very strong. By putting this baby girl on her back and bending and stretching her legs in an alternating pattern, the brain begins to shift that pattern. Then, later, it is much easier to shift the pelvis and drag the knee up. For a parent who may have had no training in how to work hands on with her baby, the pelvis shift and dragging the leg up is far too complicated a starting point (especially for learning over the internet). But, the alternating the legs while baby is on her back is quite simple and can be learned over the internet. I recently taught this technique to a mother whose baby was bunny hopping and in one week there was a tremendous difference because the mother worked with her daughter every day at home. Thanks for writing in….good point, just not in this situation and at this time.

      • I know I’m in the minority on this one, but I strongly believe babies cry when they need to have you close to them. Even though it may be a huge inconvenience, if your child needs you by HIM I think that you should give in to him. You can try getting a sling so he can nap while you still move around. While it requires sacrifice when they are little (that’s the meaning of “parent”, I think. LOL!), it is very good for your future relationship. It builds a bond rather than communicating to your child who needs you for some reason that you are unavailable. I know there are a lot of people who believe this is teaching a child to be selfish, but, HAVING done it both ways myself, I very strongly disagree. Children will learn to exercise their cry during what we call during the terrible 2′s. Before that, when they cry they need to have you near. Their actions are natural responses to their needs.

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