Doman recommends practicing crawling every day for six months. Dun-slope To get a child who knows how to walk to do this, it will probably be necessary for her parents to get down on the floor and crawl around with her! Dun-slope If the importance of crawling is a matter for some debate, the placing of babies in the prone position on their tummies is an even more controversial issue, Dun-slope because it could be a matter of life and death. Dun-slope Which advice you choose to follow at bedtime is up to you. According to Doman, babies get bored when we place them on their backs and leave them to look at mobiles. What they really want is to explore the world – and putting them on their tummies gives them the opportunity to do this. Dun-slope Once in the prone position, a baby can see nearby objects and feels motivated to get over to them. Doman recommends that babies spend a minimum of four waking hours in the prone position – thought that time can be divided into short segments. This is in addition to the time the baby will spend on her tummy while asleep. Dun-slope Pediatricians generally recommend regular tummy time – although the importance they place on it varies considerably. Some doctors point out that babies are not ready to crawl until they have developed the muscles needed to sit well unsupported. Babies don’t usually cry out of a failure to do something, they say, but rather because the activity being asked of them is developmentally beyond their reach. Crawling – assuming your baby does it – normally starts between 6 and 10 months of age. Besides giving your baby regular tummy time, preferably on the floor, there are several things you can do to make it easier for him to get moving. Do not overdress your baby, as this would hamper the movement of his limbs and joints. When possible, leave your baby’s feet, knees and elbows bare, as this will give him better grip. You can also encourage your baby’s mobility by dangling his favorite toys just out of reach, or once he has started to belly crawl, calling for him to come to you on the other side of the room. Avoid aids like walkers, which take a lot of the effort out of getting around – to babies’ detriment. Babies normally start walking between 10 and 18 months. Some parents get anxious when their baby shows no signs of walking at a year of age. If that describes you, then remember what Glenn Doman says about the importance of crawling in developing speech as well as reading and writing skills. If he’s right, then learning to walk late might actually be a good thing! There’s plenty you can do to help strengthen your baby’s leg muscles besides. Before he begins to stand or even crawl, let him grip your fingers holding his wrists as a precaution and pull him up to standing, so that he’s supporting his own weight. Later, you can help him walk by supporting him under the arms. When he starts to cruise, encourage him to let go of the furniture by holding out your fingers and letting him grip you with both hands. Before you know it, he’ll be holding on to you with one hand only. Whether your child is learning to crawl or to walk, give him as much opportunity to move around as possible, minimizing the use of playpens and other restrictive devices. When he first starts walking, help by directing him to flat, smooth surfaces. As his coordination improves, let him walk on an incline and on uneven surfaces, both of which will help to develop his balance. If kitchens and living rooms are the social hub of a home, then surely bathrooms are the ultimate refuge. Bathrooms are where we spend time alone, pamper and nurture ourselves and enjoy some privacy. They are a sanctuary from our busy lives.