Saturday, April 4, 2009

Is crawling a Lost Art?
When my first baby showed no signs of crawling, we were apprehensive about this important developmental milestone(as put by traditional schools of thought and some cultures). But this was followed by curiosity when he started the crab- crawl(moving backwards by lifting his bottom), yet on other days cruising around like a scooter giving forward thrusts with his bottom . Gradually enjoying his newly acquired freedom , he started hopping like a frog with one leg folded inside and pushing ahead with the other. Funny though it may seem, we were concerned being new parents on the block. Call it a new mom's half-baked attempts, I would put the poor thing on his tummy and wait for him to evince crawling signs just to find him crying frantically. Clearly he wasn't comfortable with it; more so, because he has been sleeping on his back most of the time , so as to avoid SIDS. Then came the stand up stage on his 1st birthday and he did just fine, wobbling like a ball and then finding his balance. Now my baby is a handsome 8-year old boy and I call him Jumping Jack. My younger son is 20-months old now and come to think of it, history is repeating itself. He has been a scooter too, a delight for onlookers. He graduated from sitting to walking to running around the house . Seems like kids are pressed for time in modern times ! But after 8 years into parenting business, I have met quite a few parents who are quite at ease with this trend in kids. So is this trend the in-thing now-a-days? Is It normal? More so, what a pediatrician's take on it?

Crawling is a developmental milestone that occurs at about six to eight months of age. But gradually this is losing its place and now most children jump from lying to sitting to walking.The possible reason: "The Back to Sleep" program, initiated sometime in 1960s to prevent SIDS in infants. Some traditional beliefs still say that crawling leads to more muscle strength and coordination in babies but health care givers and pediatricians are suggestive that as long as the babies are cruising along the floor making good use of each arm and leg, it is absolutely fine. There is no set age but generally speaking six to ten months is normal for babies to get moving on the floor, in any way they enjoy. On occasions, I meet grandmas who resort to best possible means to get grand children into mastering crawling by doing it themselves , gently pushing the baby forward and forcing him on his tummy. Don't jump the gun ladies! Enjoy your little delight because before you know it, babyhood just flies away.



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