THE MOVEMENT OF BABY’S HIPS DURING CRAWLING
When baby learns to crawl, whether it is on her belly or on her hands and knees, she is very happy. She is now able to explore the entire room on her own! Her curiosity motivates her and she travels around the room exploring toys, shoes, books, musical instruments, the family dog, and any other object left at her eye level. What development in her muscles and bones has occurred to launch this new skill? Although a few significant developments must occur in order for the major milestone of crawling to occur, one of the most important is the new movement of the hip joint. While in tummy time, one side of the pelvis lifts a little bit up into the air so the knee on the same side can bend up toward the ribs. The coordination between the pelvis and the ribs allows the knee to bend up quite a bit. Soon, she will learn to push the bent leg down into the floor to propel herself forward in space. This action of bending the leg is very important for baby to learn. It is the key to learning the skill of crawling.
TIPS FOR TEACHING THE SKILL OF BELLY CRAWLING
When baby is about five or six months old, place her in tummy time. Gently squeeze the sides of her pelvis and lift one side up toward the ceiling and then the other side up toward the ceiling. Try doing this movement at a very slow pace. Go from side to side lifting one hip up toward the ceiling followed by the other hip. Next, when you lift the right hip up toward the ceiling try and bend the right knee up toward toward her side ribs. Repeat this by alternating from one side to the other. This teaches the coordination of the movement. If her legs are stiff, spend some time every day with her on her back bending and extending each leg several times. The muscles will soften and make it easier for you to bend her leg when she is on her stomach. And remember to avoid using equipment that puts baby on her feet such as an exersaucer or jumper. Her bones and muscles are not ready for her to be on her feet. Remember that she has the rest of her life to be on her feet, but only now to play on the floow.”