The primary purpose of our visual system is to derive meaning and direct action. During infancy, the visual system develops alongside motor development. Crawling on their tummy is one of the most important stages for a child’s brain and vision development. The main cause of strabismus (eye turn) and amblyopia (lazy eye) is a lack of motor development. It is recommended that a baby creep and crawl for 5 months before cruising and walking.
Here’s are some recommendations:
- Get down on the floor with your child and make the floor an exciting place!
- Enjoy looking at books, toys, and games while lying on the tummy on the floor or on a blanket/playmat
- Encourage your child to reach out and move for toys just out of reach
- Once crawling, try different surfaces, slopes, and over obstacles
- Crawl with them as your child’s mirror neurons help them to learn by observing
- Resist assisting your child with walking by holding their hands or using a baby walker. They will walk when they have developed the necessary skill
- If your child sped through crawling or skipped crawling, which is common when there are older siblings, continue to encourage crawling by having crawling races or using tunnels
A handy reference book is “Active Baby, Healthy Brain” by Margaret Sasse.
If your child has developed a visual dysfunction or you have concerns about their vision development, do not hesitate to contact us about how vision therapy can help.