Now more than ever, instant information is at our fingertips. For parents, this can be both beneficial and overwhelming. As a pediatric physical therapist, one of the most common questions I receive is, “Should I be concerned?” or “Is it ok that my child does or doesn’t do _______.”
With the release of the 2022 CDC checklists for motor development milestones, there is some uncertainty and confusion. This is because the age for many milestones, including walking, was pushed back, and crawling was removed.
Motor Milestones One: Crawling
We’ll start with a focus on crawling, which is an important baseline for babies. It works on core strength, weight-bearing through hips, coordination, motor planning, and sensory exploration. In addition, crawling also helps with visual development. However, if your child is already pulling to stand and walking, you don’t have to stop them, but encouraging some crawling would be beneficial.
So, how can you encourage crawling? Here are some tips below:
Side sitting – this is beneficial, especially if your little one has difficulty transitioning from sitting to floor play.
Incline weight-bearing – this is a good way to introduce weight-bearing through the legs and arms and encourage weight shift.
When Should my Child See a Pediatric Physical Therapist?
Pediatric physical therapists are licensed healthcare professionals with specialized education and training in assessing and treating children with movement difficulties. They can provide effective treatments that can help improve your child’s function and quality of life.
Many children experience movement difficulties that can impact their ability to participate in activities and meet developmental milestones. A pediatric physical therapist can assess a child’s movement skills and develop a personalized treatment plan to help the child improve their function.
There are many reasons why a child may benefit from seeing a pediatric physical therapist, including
- Delays in reaching milestones such as rolling, sitting, crawling, or walking
- Difficulty with fine motor skills such as writing or drawing
- Pain or discomfort with movement
- Reduced participation in activities due to movement difficulties.
If you are concerned about your child’s development or movement, you should consult with your pediatrician or another healthcare provider to see if a referral to a pediatric physical therapist is appropriate.