Why is my baby going backwards, instead of forward, when attempting to crawl?

We’ve previously discussed how crawling can occur between the 6- to 10-month mark. We’ve also talked about the different styles of crawling and how your little one can adopt other kinds of movements, like rolling or shuffling to get around. During this learning process, you might see your baby go backwards first before getting the hang of crawling forward. Why?

As your baby explores the world, he uses his arms and upper body as a first approach when playing or exploring something. During tummy time he uses his arms to lift himself up and support his neck; this is very important to get him ready to crawl. By doing so, he’ll develop the strength needed to get into a crawling position, and his upper body muscles will develop faster than the lower ones. That’s why, as he explores, he might find it easier to push instead of pull, when he attempts to move.

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Is my baby ready to start crawling?

As with any other developmental milestone, crawling can happen within a certain range of time, usually between 6-10 months of age. However, every baby is different and develops at his or her own pace. Crawling might be a bit more challenging for heavier babies because of the extra body weight they have to carry, so they might take a little more time to accomplish this milestone. Also, other babies might skip crawling all together; they might find other skills more interesting and want to explore the world through other kinds of movement. This said, if you have any concerns about your little one’s physical development, you should talk to your pediatrician about it.

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Ready, set, go: A journey of my child’s physical skills

Since he is born, you and your child will embark on a journey that will go from him grabbing your finger to climbing on the playground. Your child will astound you with his every day achievements and, as you move through the stops on this journey, you’ll see not only his physical abilities thrive, but also his growing independence and confidence. Keep reading to learn about every stop and landmark you’ll encounter on this trip!

Although independent steps might happen close to your baby’s first birthday, your little one has been on the developmental pathway for the acquisition of walking since he was born. Every effort, body adjustment, and struggle will help him waltz through every one of his developmental milestones and steer him to walk and later on run, climb, and jump.

Here’s a map of his journey and specific recommendations for each stage. As you begin this journey with your baby you need to remember that, even though it might seem intuitive for us adults, running, walking, standing, and even rolling requires a whole set of physical skills. Every effort calls on his motor planning, balance, coordination, and attention abilities.

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Writing and drawing: What can my little one do at each stage?

Being able to write or draw is a huge accomplishment for your little one! Like all aspects of development these skills are acquired in a gradual process that involves more advanced and complex skills each time. Since your baby is born, she starts to work on her finger and hand movements that, later on, will allow her to hold a crayon and scribble. From this point, there are several stages that she’ll go through while practicing her writing and drawing.

Random Scribbling
Starting at about 16 months, your daughter will begin to scribble in a random way. She will start to realize that her arm movements create the lines she sees on the page. At this point she’ll be able to hold the crayon with her whole fist and her scribbles will be produced with large arm movements (originated from the shoulder).

Controlled Scribbling
As she develops more control over her hand and finger muscles, she’ll begin to make more controlled lines and scribbles. You might see that she repeats the same lines (vertical, horizontal, diagonal, etc.) over and over again, practicing. Continue reading

How to play with your little one

It’s well known that play is crucial for the development of babies and toddlers. It’s how they explore and learn new things about the world, acquire new skills, practice their creativity, and experience social interactions. Here are a few tips for you to get the most out of this time of the day!

Follow your little one’s lead when playing. Don’t worry if he doesn’t use a certain toy the way it’s supposed to be used, let him explore and teach you new ways to have fun.

Be patient. Show your little one how the toys work, but let him have his time handling them. Provide just enough help, but don’t do everything for him, even if it takes him more time to complete challenges.

Pay attention to your little one’s cues. Because he’s still developing language skills and self-control, he might not always know how to say what he wants or how to react when he’s frustrated. But if you pay attention and read his signals, you could jump in before he gets overly upset. These signals could be anything from sounds to facial expressions and gestures. Continue reading

Children’s theory of mind

As adults, we understand that others have their own thoughts, beliefs, and desires; that is, they have their own way of thinking. But we’ve not always been aware of this. To be able to make accurate deductions about others’ intentions and beliefs, children need to develop a theory of mind. To illustrate this with an example let’s tell a brief story. “A little girl places all her toy blocks in one container and then leaves the room. Meanwhile, someone comes in and rearranges the room, changing the blocks to a different box. Later, the little girl returns and wants to build a block tower. Where would she look for the blocks?”. As different studies have shown, younger kids will probably answer that she would open the box where the blocks actually are, and it’s not until about 4 or 5 years of age that children understand that what the little girl believes is not necessarily what is real, thus they will be able to answer that she would look in the original container where she placed the blocks.

Having a theory of mind has a huge impact on children, as it transforms the way they are able to see others and make sense of their actions. Basically, the theory of mind serves children in two major developmental areas: social and cognitive. Continue reading