Teaching crawling at 7 weeks? OK or too early? – Crawling and Intelligence

Teaching crawling at 7 weeks? OK or too early? – Crawling and Intelligence

The method presented in the video is taken from a book How Smart Is Your Baby?: Develop and Nurture Your Newborn’s Full Potential (Gentle Revolution) which I recently purchased. I am still waiting for it to arrive, so I can’t comment on the book just yet, but the below video got me thinking…

Some of the comments under the video are quite good actually. Here is a selection:

Being able to crawl at 6 months or 10 months isn’t a great accomplishment it happens naturally to everyone. Crawling has nothing to do with intelligence so what’s the point of all this nonsense.

much of the claims voiced by Doman are highly scrutinized and have no effect on a child’s intelligence

I will need to find some evidence to support this,but it seems reasonable to think that how early a baby starts to crawl shouldn’t really matter to his intelligence, but … you never know…

How to make the crawling track:

I used the instructions from Glenn Doman’s “How Smart is Your Baby”. Essentially it is just three boards screwed together, then to pad it I glued on carpet padding then covered the padding with a type of vinyl. He used it from birth up until about 2-3 months old, because at that age he wanted to crawl on the floor and roll over. Some people get use out of it for longer, but the main idea is to give newborns an ideal crawling environment, once they learn to do that they can graduate to the floor.

And a comment to that:

Glue and Vinyl? Did you check to see if the glue was formaldehyde free? And vinyl has gasses. The stuff shows up in blood samples. Kids often try to perform to parents expectations, even if it means at a cost to them. Their adrenalin and cortisol elevate to help cope with the situation. Not sure of the purpose of this, but research has shown that there is no correlation between Olympic runners and early walking.

 

Did you know?

Babies,who crawl will learn to walk faster than babies who shuffle or creep on the abdomen, but the earliest walkers, just stand up and walk

crawling and walking photo ScreenHunter_1411Jan121146_zps32844074.jpg

You can read the full pdf here: Prewalking locomotor movements and their use in predicting standing and walking PETER ROBSON

So now, at least we know that in order for our babies to learn to walk the fastest, they don’t really need to crawl first, but what about crawling and intelligence? Does early crawling makes your baby more intelligent?

According to Swiss scientists, it doesn’t really matter when your baby reaches motor milestones:

They claim the age at which a child takes their first steps has little impact in the long run.

The study found that an infant who begins to walk at the age of nine months is unlikely to be any more advanced later in life than one who is a late walker.

And a baby who sits up unaided exceptionally early is not necessarily a brighter spark, according to the research published in the journal Acta Paediatrica.

After tracking the intelligence and  co-ordination of more than 200 babies until they reached 18, Swiss scientists concluded there is little or no link between such early ‘motor milestones’ and later development.

A spokesman for the team said: ‘The timing is really of no consequence. Children who start walking early turn out to be neither more intelligent nor well co-ordinated

You can read full article here

So that’s the good news for some at least, and maybe a bit of disappointment for parents, who thought their baby might be a genius because he/she learnt to crawl at 5 months and took first steps at 8 months, but let’s check what scientists say about the crawling itself. Does it really help to make your child more intelligent?

From www.earlyinterventionsupport.com:

Research varies, but most therapists will agree that crawling is an important developmental milestone which should not be skipped, as it relates to other areas of development like eye-hand coordination and even later reading & writing. Children use binocular vision when crawling, which means they look forward to where they are going and then back down at their hands again. Much later children will use this skill in school, by looking up at the blackboard and then back down at their papers to write something. […] Not all babies will crawl, and not all babies who do not crawl will have later developmental problems, but crawling IS important so DO encourage it with your baby!

You can read a whole article here

From www.medcentral.org, article written by Heather Haring

the mechanics of crawling stimulate different areas of the brain that are important for future learning. When a child begins crawling, this repetitious movement helps stimulate and organize neurons, allowing her brain to control cognitive processes such as comprehension, concentration and memory. When an infant crawls, she visually determines where she wants to go and physically moves in that direction. Her hands become the guides and the child’s first test of hand/eye coordination becomes established. This skill set is used later in life for reading, writing and sports activities […] Crawling is also a cross lateral movement that strengthens both the left and right side of the brain, allowing increased communication between the two sides of the brain and enhancing learning.

You can read a whole article here

From www.getyourbreakthrough.com, article written by Matthew Turton

In early development, brain hemispheres are learning to coordinate.  One way this happens is through bilateral coordination or the skill of working both sides of the body at the same time (tandem).

Crawling involves moving the right arm at the same time as the left leg to be followed by the left arm and right leg movement.  This part of brain development allows each side to be exercises equally and also coordinate.  Human development is very dependent on both sides of the brain being connected and crawling encourages that. […] It is not uncommon for children who did not crawl to exhibit messy handwriting or experience difficulty with upper body strength, such as climbing monkey bars at recess.

You can read a whole article here

From www.parenting.com, article written by By Dina Roth Port

When babies skip crawling  — and by this we mean the classic hands-and-knees crawl  — then they miss out on more opportunities to develop that strength and wind up with weaker upper body muscles.

“Crawling helps strengthen the hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders because babies have to constantly activate them to support their body weight,” says Felice Sklamberg, a pediatric occupational therapist at New York University’s School of Medicine. “We’re seeing that because non-crawlers aren’t as strong, they have a harder time as older children pulling themselves out of a pool, climbing a jungle gym, or even picking themselves up from the floor.”

Skipping this milestone can also affect a child’s ability to hold silverware or a pencil down the road, since the weight-bearing experience of crawling helps develop arches and stretch out ligaments in the wrist and hand that are needed for fine motor skills. “During the crawling period, the large joint at the base of the thumb is expanded into its full range of motion, so noncrawlers may have messier handwriting, for example,” explains Mary Benbow, an occupational therapist and a leading expert on pediatric hand development.

You can read a whole article here

So as you can see, I am still to find a scientific proof ( if there is one ) to support a notion that babies who crawl are smarter than non-crawlers. The good news is that you don’t have to go to DIY store trying to find wood planks and formaldehyde free glue to build a crawling track like the lady in the video above did. Experts do seem to agree that crawling is very beneficial in many ways, but there are no studies to proof for sure, that crawling will make a baby smarter, or that no-crawlers are less smart. One for sure, if something is beneficial, why not encourage your child to do it? It can only help him/her. And there are simpler and cheaper ways to encourage crawling than building a crawling track. If he/she still doesn’t want to crawl no matter what you do, oh well,do not fret. Chances are, he/she will turn out just fine :-)

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