Does it matter if you crawled as a baby? The CDC no longer considers crawling to be a milestone. However, the benefits of crawling are numerous. So why exactly does crawling matter? Our OTs are sharing some of the benefits of crawling.

1. Develop bilateral coordination

Bilateral coordination is when you use both sides of your body in a coordinated fashion to accomplish an activity. As you crawl, you move your opposite hand and leg together. This action helps strengthen communication between the left and right sides of your brain. You’ll continue to use this skill throughout your life, to get dressed, ride a bike, etc.

2. Strengthen your muscles

Crawling is a form of exercise, just like walking or running. Your arm and core muscles get a great workout from crawling. That strength will help you have better posture and do more fun activities.

3. Improve visual motor skills

If you’ve ever looked up at the board in class and then copied it down into your notebook, then you’re using the same skills that you develop while crawling. You need to look up to see where you’re going and use that information to guide your body’s movement.

4. Develop the arches in your hands

The arches of your hand are a key prerequisite for proper grasp and crawling helps you develop the arches. Whether you’re using a pencil to write or a fork to eat, the arch is what allows you to hold on to it.

5. Provide proprioceptive input

The motion of crawling puts pressure on your hands, arms and shoulder joints. This proprioceptive input tells your body where it is in space and in relation to the objects around you. Well-developed proprioceptive awareness is what increases coordination and reduces clumsiness.

Crawling continues to offer the above benefits, even at an older age. To encourage older kids to crawl, try incorporating it into an obstacle course, using a fun tunnel, or trying out different animal walks.

Tell us what you’ve heard/experienced with crawling! Have questions? Let us know in the comments or reach out to us at customercare@funandfunction.com