Before you know it, your wonderful new arrival has gone from tiny baby, completely reliant on you, to being a little personality ready to explore the world. As your baby gets older, moving their head and eyes to follow objects isn’t enough anymore: they want to get moving! It’s an exciting time.
Rock ‘n roll
Around 6 to 9 months of age, your baby will start to turn over from front to back, preparing to get onto all fours and motor around! Then they’re off. At first, they’ll be going backwards, getting used to moving with their stronger legs. Then, as they get more strength in their arms, they will start to move forwards.
This helps with learning distance (mum and dad are further away) and visualizing the world around them. They will also start to sit and hold themselves upright. This helps with balance, which is important for the next stage in movement.
Time to talk
Around this time, they also start to vocalize. This is the noisy part of development but also a really wonderful time, when they realize that they can call for your attention, food or toys. Hand-in-hand with crawling, it is the first move towards interacting with, and then gaining some control over, the world around them.
These important steps have a profound impact on the brain and nervous system. More input means more nerve impulses to the brain, more information to work with and therefore more control over their body as a whole, and limbs in particular. Gravity also becomes an integral part of their world, causing new sensations like falling over.
Speeding it up
Around 10-12 months, crawling is becoming second nature and your baby starts getting faster and crawls further. Sitting is also better and more upright, meaning that overall, more muscles are being used, and therefore getting stronger. This leads on to another milestone, standing upright. First of all, with a little help from parents or furniture, your baby will pull themselves up before taking a few tentative steps while supported.
Walk this way
Between 12-18 months, your baby will start to walk more and more, needing less help and support. All this movement further strengthens legs and back, aiding with the development of proper spinal curves and hip & knee movements. Balance is also further developed, helping keep baby upright and walking further.
Reaching those milestones
These are important months for development. Milestones come thick and fast, and those early movements are laying the foundations for proper movement patterns later in life, as well as helping with the growth of the brain and nervous system. Keeping baby moving well, making sure they are using everything equally and freely, is important.
Natural help when you need it
Improper function of the joints of the pelvis or legs can often cause problems with walking, leading to limping or poor range of motion in the leg. This could affect your child’s ability to move happily and easily. This can also lead to issues with the lower back, which is commonly seen in adults too. Looking at this wide-spread pattern of “cause & effect” is a key factor in osteopathic diagnosis and treatment.