Before moving out of Hudson County during the summer of 2016, our then EI physical therapist told us that Hope was “very close” to crawling. We were convinced she was right—she was a professional, after all.
About 9 months later, Hope began commando crawling, but even that was short lived and she returned quickly to butt scooting. Although she was achieving some incredible gross motor milestones along the way, such as rolling, sitting up on her own, crossing midline to play, pulling to stand, and even cruising, it seemed crawling just wasn’t in the cards for Hope.
That is, until the day after she turned 21 months old. Hope’s grandparents were visiting with their two dogs in tow, and we were all just sitting around talking boring adult stuff in the family room while Hope played on the floor. From a seated position, Hope reached far in front of her to reach the dog, lost her balance, and landed flat on her tummy. Instead of sitting back up and scooting closer to the dog to try again to reach him, she instead tucked her legs underneath her and crawled toward him on hands and knees.
This was the first time Hope made the decision to crawl all on her own. We knew she was capable of crawling, that she was strong enough and had the coordination to do so, but she’d never done it without someone physically guiding her through the motion. To see her achieve this incredible feat—not because we forced her, but because she was ready and chose to do it herself—gave us one of our most exciting moments with her to date. Crawling came out of nowhere and when we least expected it.
[Below is a video, which might not display on e-mail. If you cannot view the video, please click through to www.AtHerOwnPace.com to enjoy this short clip of Hope working on crawling at OT.]
We’ve learned that it doesn’t matter when Hope reaches her goals, but rather how and why. We continue with weekly PT because we believe it is critical for her to safely navigate her world in order to strengthen all the right muscles, saving her joints from potential long-term damage caused by moving with bad form. That’s the “how.” The “why” is that we want Hope to be inspired from a place within herself. We motivate our daughter with praise and love. Hope’s reward for succeeding is self-confidence.