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What are the skills that crawling helps develop in my child?

mom leaning her baby on a yoga ball

Key points:

  1. Developing core muscles is essential for a baby’s posture and physical development.
  2. Tummy time, crawling, bouncing on an exercise ball, collecting objects from the floor, and tickling are all fun ways to exercise a baby’s core.
  3. Obstacles and resistance can be added to crawling exercises to help develop muscular tone.
  4. Core muscles are necessary for accomplishing further physical milestones such as standing and walking.

We have already discussed the importance of muscle development and how it can influence your baby’s physical milestones. Today we decided to give special attention to a fundamental part of muscular development: the core muscles. Let’s help your baby work on those abs!


The core muscles of your little one are located in the abdomen, pelvis, and back. They are the basic muscles that contribute to strengthening the whole body and helping it stay upright later on. That is what we call posture. Postural control is the foundation upon which your child will develop other physical skills. Their posture needs to be toned in order for them to move their arms and legs, turn their head from side to side, and sit in an upright position. It will also be a fundamental aspect of standing up or walking.

To help your baby get the necessary muscular tone they need to hold a posture, there are easy and fun ways to exercise their core:

  • Tummy time: Whenever we talk about your child’s physical development, tummy time always comes up. This activity is essential to strengthen all the core muscles and prepare them for future skills.
  • Crawling: Once your baby is strong enough to start crawling, you can take advantage of this activity and place obstacles in their way to make them go around them. Use your imagination and build tunnels around their crawling space, or play “crawling tag” with them. Try to catch them while they crawl. When you do, try to hold them so they have to put all their strength to get away. The resistance you are placing on them, can help them develop muscular tone when crawling against it.
  • Bouncing on an exercise ball: Get your Pilates mood on and place your little one on top of a ball so they can start bouncing. Just as it does for you, it will strengthen their whole core. Make sure you are always there to help them, and practice this on a safe soft surface.
  • Collecting objects from the floor: When picking up their toys, bending down and grabbing objects can help strengthen their back muscles.
  • Tickling: Gently tickle them under the chin or feet to ensure they tuck their chin and place their knees towards their chest.

Take some of these tips into account to work on your baby’s core. This group of muscles will be essential to accomplish further milestones.

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