Sunday, June 6, 2010

Not rolling yet... should I be worried?

Input from an Early Intervention Specialist:

Actually, we don't really focus on rolling or see it as a milestone in our Early Intervention program. Sometimes when children learn to roll, they use that for their mobility rather than crawling. Crawling is the milestone that is so crucial.

So rather than focusing on the babies not rolling, I would instead focus on giving them lots of opportunities to be on their tummies and to push up on their hands so that they can gain the strength that they will need to crawl. Limit time in exersaucers, johnny jump-up, standers, and walker (as the things limit mobility). If the babies won't tolerate tummy time for long periods, that's okay. Incorporate many short periods throughout the day, and they will really be getting the same workout as if they would be doing tummy time once a day for a long period of time. Floor time and tummy time are really important. Without it, the children will not get the practice they need in order to be able to crawl.

While many people think that it is no big deal if children skip crawling and go straight to walking, we believe 'the longer the children crawl, the better.' Crawling builds arm strength, leg strength, trunk strength, and helps form a deep hip socket which is very important. It also helps to make important connections in the brain. The time period when infant children crawl is really the only opportunity in life that we have to strengthen these muscles (unless we go to the gym everyday). If crawling were easy, we all would be doing it. So don't stress over the fact that they aren't rolling. Instead, just focus on giving them opportunities that will help ready them for crawling.


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