The Importance Of Crawling While Walking

Throughout the first stage of growth, children gradually develop a series of abilities or skills at a physical, cognitive and socio-affective level, these abilities allow them to complete their psychomotor development. From the point of view of the development of physical functions, these skills are known as motor milestones and the following are considered fundamental: Turning, crawling, sitting, crawling and walking.

Crawling specifically refers to the act of moving using four points of support. The baby’s body is supported on the knees and hands, while the trunk remains elevated. There are different types of crawling; however, the most recognizable and complete is the one that presents a crossed pattern of movement. This pattern involves the right arm moving in sync with the left foot and the left arm moving in sync with the right foot. The act of crawling allows the baby first of all to gain strength in its limbs, neck and back. It also determines a greater degree of autonomy. This implies the possibility of discovering her own body and exploring a broader environment while developing her senses, this allows the creation of coordination and the dissociation of the extremities, although during the

In the baropodometric study, the movement of the hands is a factor to take into account, since although some authors comment that the movement of the arms does not influence during walking, in our experience we take into account the integration of both arms when running and walking.

Development of walking skills

The analysis of these segments is carried out in the videography stage of the baropodometric study   that is carried out in the foot evaluation clinic in Puebla .

Vestibular And Proprioceptive Development During Crawling 

The vestibular and proprioceptive senses inform the organism of our body’s position in space and its relationship with the environment at all times and without our being aware of it, regulating movement and the sense of balance. The aforementioned crossover pattern of movement is the neurological function that enables organized body movement and balance of the body. Through crawling, the child learns to know and locate the different parts of his body to begin to move safely and in a balanced and coordinated manner, stimulating the proprioceptive and vestibular receptors.

Through crawling the child discovers independence

Sensory Motor Stimulation During Crawling

Likewise, the act of crawling stimulates and integrates the tactile functions of the palm of the hand. This records and sends information to the brain about the sensations and textures that the baby is experiencing. This circumstance has a direct benefit in relation to the development of fine motor skills, which is so important for the acquisition of later skills such as writing. Crawling allows the brain to record all kinds of information in relation to the space traveled and its surrounding environment; encouraging the neurological development of the baby.

Oculo-Manual Development During Crawling

Crawling requires the display of specific visual functions. Without going any further, the baby’s eyes need to focus when looking at the ground, in order to place the hand and knee. It is, therefore, a muscle exercise for vision that develops the process of visual convergence. Therefore, crawling allows executing and perfecting vision to explore the environment through which the baby makes its way. In addition, a relationship has been established with the acquisition of later skills such as reading or writing. This is because, visually, when the baby focuses both eyes to locate the hand and knee, she does so at a short distance.

Integration Of Reflexes During Crawling

One of the main functions that allows the integration of crawling is the development of fall reflexes. This is especially important for accident prevention once our son begins to walk on his own. The baby will seek to support his hands when falling because it will be a movement that he will have previously integrated and he will know how to do it, avoiding falling on his mouth and without support, with the risk that this entails.

This is a reflex that develops with crawling. Adults who did not crawl during falls often comment that they did not know how to slow down the fall, especially in those with ankle sprains or fractures.

Muscle Toning During Crawling

Crawling also prepares our son on a physical level for the acquisition of the next motor milestone: Walking. Crawling allows him to tone the muscles to keep his spine straight once he starts walking. The joints of the wrists, shoulders, spine, femurs, and hips bear the stress of the weight that the baby unloads on the palms of his hands. This is how the body learns to perceive the opposition of gravity and handle it.

Cognitive Development During Crawling

The autonomy that crawling provides the baby allows him to explore and interact with the world around him. This circumstance allows the maturation of cognitive functions through the connection of the cerebral hemispheres and the process of lateralization of the brain through which a dominant hemisphere is finally established. This process determines the predominant use of the right or left side, creates neural connections to advance learning and, therefore, increases the child’s abilities, resulting fundamentally for her subsequent development.

Child neurodevelopment is a complex and multivariate process that depends on the maturation of the central nervous system and is determined by genetic models and environmental stimulation; behavioral acquisitions occur in a set order. When this is modified by factors as important as prematurity and low weight, the child can undergo a radical change in the acquisition and expression of various abilities. Among the basic motor skills, crawling represents the first pattern of autonomous locomotion that the child acquires, it is the displacement through a quadrupedal position that represents the opportunity to acquire basic movement schemes for motor maturation; It starts between six and eight months and lasts up to 11 months.

Crawling includes changes in perceptual, cognitive, and emotional aspects. Most initiate mobility by rolling forward on the stomach; This action takes the body along the support surface through the coordinated activity of the arms and legs, and it developed from turning or the possibility of moving the body between one position and the other. Crawling as the first harmonic, systematic and coordinated movement allows the establishment of connections between the cerebral hemispheres. With crawling, the child develops control of the trunk and pelvis to achieve verticalization of the body when moving through the kneeling, semi-squatting and standing pattern. It makes possible the dissociation between the movement of the shoulder girdle and the pelvic girdle, in addition to the exploration of the environment,

crawling vs walker

In conclusion, children who did not have the ability or opportunity to crawl have decreased some motor skills, likewise, their coordination ability is poor. Crawling is a necessary process to achieve a stable gait; In addition to favoring various aspects. It is a complete taboo to use walkers for children to learn to walk properly, in addition to the fact that these devices can favor the presence of genu varus , walking on their toes and internal rotation of the foot. At the bottom we leave you two links that belong to our blog section  of orthopedic insoles and movement diagnosis.


by Abdullah Sam
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