Development in prone: neonate to crawling

Following on from my earlier blog post: Prone kneeling: strength, coordination, stability and balance requirements, I started to think about why it is that so many infants fail to learn to crawl.

By 6 months we can expect typically developing infants to move around on the floor in prone, have effective stability and postural control to reach for and play with toys, pivot around on the floor, and start pushing up into prone kneeling. 

W 7m prone 14.jpg      W 7m prone 13.jpg   W 7m prone 11.jpg   W 7m prone 2.jpg

I realized that I really did not know how typically infants develop these basic postural and movement abilities over the first 6-7 months.  I wanted to answer the question: what abilities does an infant need to be able to push up into prone kneeling and start to crawl?  Another important question is: Why do infants with movement difficulties often fail to learn to crawl?  How is crawling different from sitting, standing with support and learning to cruise, skills which are often learned by infants who do not crawl?       

I started my exploration of development in prone by analyzing a video clip of  Will, aged 7 months 3 weeks, just a week before he  started to crawl. You can see this analysis here. 

I was particularly struck be the pattern of movement Will adopted when he pushed up into prone kneeling. 

W 7m3w prone forearm support reach 15.jpg   W 7m3w prone forearm support reach 16.jpg   W 7m3w prone forearm support reach 17.jpg  W 7m3w prone forearm support reach 18.jpg

This analysis has given me insight into postural and movement abilities Will had acquired along the way, and which allowed him to progress to crawling a week later. 

My next step is to review and analyze the video clips of Will's development starting at 5 weeks.  My quest is to describe the changes in postural and movement control that occur over time and fill in the gaps between the neonate's limited abilities in prone and the exquisitely coordinated movement of an infant crawling at speed. 

M 2w prone.jpg   W 13m crawling 58.jpg

What next?

Subscribers: Find all the prone development articles here Prone Development 

More about development in prone 
Prone kneeling: strength, coordination, stability and balance requirements
What are the balance, stability and coordination requirements for reciprocal crawling? 

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