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Babies prepare their bones and muscles for the motor skill of crawling through achieving mini milestones. One of these is the activity of scooting around in circles with the belly on the floor.  How does this prepare the body for crawling on the hands and knees or on the belly?  If baby is pushing with her hands to move in a circle she is developing the use of a flat palm which is necessary to support her weight on her hands and knees.  The action of pushing with her palm teaches the shoulder muscles to work.  She also learns that by pushing part of her body against the floor she moves around on the floor.  This is the beginning of learning skills of locomotion.  When she looks over one shoulder and scoots in that direction she is also developing the movement of the ribcage.


One of the most important developments that occurs when baby is scooting in a circle is the movement between the ribcage and the pelvis.  Observe the baby in the above video from joshandkarale’s youtube channel.  Look at the wrinkles that develop in the baby’s shirt on the sides of his ribcage.  If he looks to the right and scoots to the right you will see the wrinkles that appear on the right side of his T-shirt.  This happens because the right side of the ribcage is moving closer to the right hip joint.  The baby is slightly closing the right side of her body.  When the baby learns to crawl on her belly or on her hands and knees you may see this distance (between the ribs and pelvis) alternating between opening and closing.  A baby that is very articulate in this movement often crawls very fast.  The motor skill of sitting up may also be more graceful in a baby that can articulate this relationship between the ribcage and the pelvis.  Allow baby to spend time scooting in circles on the floor.  Try inviting this movement by placing toys a bit off to the right or left since the movement begins with baby looking over one shoulder.  When does baby learn to crawl?  Maybe after scooting in circles!

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