Preparing Your Baby For The Games? Start With The Foundations!

Preparing your baby for the Games? Start with the foundations!

A healthy baby starts moving at 7 weeks in utero, and continues to build on and utilize these learned movement patterns long after it walks into it’s first box. That’s (one reason) why developmental milestones are important.

A developmental milestone is walking at 12 months, right? No! It’d be like saying CrossFit is only picking up big weights and putting them down. There’s a lot more motor milestones than walking, including:

Tummy time, crawling, side-ways walking, standing on one foot, riding a tricycle – and more

Here are a few ways becoming a better CrossFitter is similar to achieving developmental milestones:

Practice makes (near) perfect: We know how important it is to do skill work, but ours looks a little different. Babies crawl 2 football fields per day, fall 17 times per hour, and walk 7.7 football fields per day before becoming proficient walkers.

Foundations are important: Can you imagine if week one was a full-blown, Rx AMRAP? Like a new CrossFitter in foundations class, babies progress from one skill to the next while building in complexity. Skipping something important (such as crawling) leads to poor performance in the next skill.

Every child is different: Milestones have ranges. Delayed milestones are a concern, but recognize that some children don’t walk until 18 months. Some of us won’t hit our first ring muscle up for another 18 months (or 18 years!)

Sitting on the couch doesn't help with progress: We have to focus on movement to get a six-pack, and babies are no different. The best way promote development is put a baby on the floor or in a Pack and Play and let them MOVE. I strongly discourage the use of baby walkers, baby jumpers, Bumbo seats and ExerSaucers because they don’t allow active movement and exploration.

They can be taught: In the same way that coaches help scale workouts, pediatric physical therapists use purposeful play and family education to encourage movement and exploration in achieving motor milestones.

If you, or someone you know, are worried about a baby or young child’s movement or milestones, don’t “wait and see.” Get a referral for a pediatric physical therapist.

Kelly Fritz, PT, DPT


Nicholas Beal