Crawling

Henry has been doing so well with his physical therapy, and he’s leaps and bounds above where he was two months ago.

The biggest issues are that he has weakness in his hips, abdominal muscles and and legs.  So, to counter act that we have several tools at our disposal to help strengthen him.
One of the big ones are the “hip huggers” that Henry wears – I’m mentioned these before, they’re the spanx type of garment, but they have the knees sewn together.  This forces Henry to keep his knees together and to use a sideways twisting motion to get in and out of crawling position.  Henry does really well with them most of the time.  He spends at least an hour in them a day, sometimes more, sometimes less if he’s unusually cranky.  It’s now really easy to notice how far apart his legs are when he’s crawling and he’s not wearing them.  This is slowly getting better.  He’s starting to spend more and more time on his knees and actually crawling than he was before, it’s getting marginally better everyday.
Henry in his "spanx"

Henry in his “spanx”

We have several exercises to strengthen his core.  We put him on a yoga ball and hold onto his legs or hips and roll him frontwards, backwards and side to side so that he has engage his core to remain upright.  We also bounce him on the ball which he seems to enjoy now.  We also do a type of sit up with him on the yoga ball.  We roll him backwards until he’s on his back on the ball, and then bend him to one side and have him try to sit up on his own.  He’s allowed to put a hand down to help him sit up, and he can do this really well on his right side, but we haven’t been able to get him to do it on his left side yet – not sure why.  Another exercise is to put him on a stool with no back and to put toys on the floor in front of him and have him lean forward to pick them up.  Also, any time that we can get him on his knees to play with objects is good, especially when we can get him to reach for objects while on his knees, so he’ll either be on both knees and a hand, or just both knees.
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One main problem that we’re having is that Henry wants to be pulling up and cruising, and not spending so much time on the floor learning to crawl.  His physical therapist was surprised that he’s cruising and pulling up now, she thinks it’s great that he has the strength to do so, but she still really wants him to spend more time crawling.  She said that there are studies that show that children who didn’t crawl, or didn’t crawl for long are more likely to have problems/issues later on in childhood.  Crawling helps strengthen the arm muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as upper back muscles – which are all needed to facilitate handwriting.  Meaning that children who don’t crawl could have issues learning to write.  She also mentioned that there studies now that link not crawling and ADD and ADHD.  So, it’s important to really get Henry to crawl before he graduates to walking full time.
 All in all, he’s doing great, and making improvements.  I also think that we’re lucky that his issues are mild and that he won’t be in physical therapy for too much longer.
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