Parents would agree that seeing crawling and cognitive developments in babies is one of the most joyful parenting milestones. How critical is cognitive development in babies? Does your baby have to crawl to develop? This article answers questions about crawling and cognitive development in babies.
What is cognitive development in infants?
Cognitive development in infants is vital to progress in a child’s growth. It can also serve as a baby’s growth measurement guide to track an infant’s development process, how fast or how slow it grows.
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People often regard babies as mini-adults; hence, much attention is not given to babies’ cognitive skills. Contrary to this opinion, babies are very much different from adults, especially intellectually. The period of babyhood is a vital one of development and growth.
A baby’s mind does a lot of work; studying, learning, and thinking to adapt to whatever environment it finds itself. They constantly process every information that comes by them, learning about their environment and their people.
Hence, it is essential to learn about babies to help their minds develop in the best possible way.
Is crawling important for a baby’s development?
There are certain milestones your baby should achieve as she grows. These milestones help in determining when a child should manifest specific cognitive knowledge and behaviors.
Crawling is one of those critical milestones. It shows that your baby’s cognitive functions have grown well enough to help them move around independently. Aside from the significance of growth, it is also essential to further develop a child, improving the balance system, sensory organs, and cognitive functions like coordination and problem-solving.
Why should your baby crawl?
1. Improves coordination
When your baby begins to crawl, it stimulates coordination in their cognition. It instructs them what to do to move appropriately, thereby improving cooperation on every side of their body involved.
2. Create Awareness
Crawling helps babies become more conscious of their environment. Unlike being carried around by someone, crawling permits them to move about independently. It forces their jilts their cognition to be mindful of their environment to help them find their way around.
3. Create independence and responsibilities
Instead of crying and waiting for someone to help them do things like; grabbing toys out of reach, moving around, the responsibility of movement dawns on them and makes them move about independently instead of waiting for someone to help them out.
4. Give room for exploration
Once your baby can crawl, she is at liberty to discover and find out how things work by herself. She may begin to manipulate objects, waiting to learn what may happen due to the action to which she subjects these objects.
5. High sense
Crawling will stimulate your baby’s sensory system, helping her feel whatever texture of ground she’s on; smooth or rough. This can, in turn, improve her problem-solving skill by forcing her to consider a better option when she crawls on an uncomfortable surface.
However, specialists today have tagged crawling as a non-compulsory milestone, saying babies have no problems when they do not crawl as long as they show signs of curiosity about their environment.
Worries of cognitive development in babies
Nothing beats the excitement of watching your baby grow, especially when they begin to show signs of talking, that joyful feeling that comes when they attempt to call ‘dada’ or ‘mama’.
Remember that the period of babyhood is a very delicate one. If a baby is cared for properly during this period, it may affect its cognitive development. Hence, babies may begin to show signs of retardation; here are some warning signs of mental retardation to be alert when nursing an infant.
- If loud noises do not startle her
- when she doesn’t watch as objects move
- when she doesn’t try to grab things around her
- If she has difficulty recognizing familiar faces
- can’t move an object from one hand to another
- when her hands are still tight-fisted
- when she can’t imitate simple gestures like nodding and clapping
- doesn’t act inquisitive when you hide things
- she seems to lose a skill she once had
- when she doesn’t try to vocalize her mood and feelings
- can’t point out things
- do not know the use of simple household objects like a spoon, pen, toothbrush, etc,
Nonetheless, it is essential to note that developments may not happen as expected because they are babies. Growth occurs differently, and some areas may take longer to develop than others.
Best ways to improve Crawling and cognitive development in babies
Parents are always eager to see their infants grow, searching for possible ways to contribute to their babies’ intellectual growth.
Fortunately, parents can also have a positive influence on the cognitive growth of their children. There are simple and fun activities that parents can practice to help cognitive development in infants.
Although formal education is a significant determinant in kids’ Intellectual growth, the first years before education are crucial in infants’ cognitive development. Therefore, parents, the family have a vital role to play in an infant’s cognitive growth.
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Here are some ways to help your baby’s cognitive development;
1. Take good care of yourself
This is just as important as taking care of your baby. Parenting is a highly complex task; hence, being in the best state (physical, emotional, and mental) is critical to taking good care of your baby. A good state of mind promotes positive feelings and love towards your infant.
2. Play with your baby
Although it is just perceived as a fun activity, playing with your baby does more to improve cognitively. You can start by using toys to draw her attention when she is relaxed, as this would help her identify animate and inanimate objects. But be observant not to stress her when she seems tired.
3. Respond to her when she talks
When she giggles or makes sounds, she’s trying to communicate, and you can always respond to her by making funny sounds and adding actual words in between. It will give her the feeling of having a conversation and will help improve her knowledge of the language.
You may believe she has no idea of what you are saying, but reading to your baby stimulates language and sounds’ cognitive functions, thereby improving her communication skills.
5. Hold her often
Carry her, cuddle her, rock her, pet her. These actions give her a connection of warmth and love toward the caregiver. It will also make her feel safe around you. This action is critical to help them grow emotionally.