Paediatric Motor Development

Learning about normal motor development 

Many parents often wonder if their child is on the right track to move around safely and independently as they grow up. Today we will talk about the key motor skills of children should have and when they should be achieved!

When should my child be able to crawl?

Before crawling on all fours, infants will learn to commando crawl. This is when they move around by pulling forward with their arms and shuffling their legs on the floor. Infants usually achieve this at around 8 months. At around 10 months, they will be able to lift themselves and crawl on all fours by putting weight on their palms and knees. This skill is important as it teaches them to move their arms and legs alternatively to explore the environment around them and also helps them to strengthen muscles required to eventually stand up!

When should my child be able to stand? 

Once they can bring themselves up into standing from sitting and stand with some support, they will eventually progress to standing on their own! This happens at around 12-15 months. Standing unsupported tests their balance and strengthens the muscles required for walking. You can encourage it by getting them to play in standing, such as by placing toys on a table instead of on the floor

When should my child be able to walk?

This is it! The golden achievement. Typically, kids will learn to walk without support at around 16-18 months. By this time, they have learnt the ability to take steps alternatively and control their balance as they move around. You can encourage the skills required for walking by placing toys on a table and moving the toys around so that your child has to step sideways while they hold onto furniture to reach them. Alternatively, you can get a trolley-like toy so that they can step forwards while their arms are holding onto something for balance.

If you have any concerns about your child’s development, see our team at Optimum Health Solutions. Our physiotherapists make sure to keep up with current evidence and base our practice around current evidence, so we can make sure we are always giving parents the best care and advice!

REFERENCES

Annand A., Maher L. Early Infant stimulation development inventory. NSW, Australia: Australian Physiotherapy Association; 1981 p. 1-19

Developmental milestones: standing [internet]. BabyCentre UK; 2014

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