The brain is a highly adaptive organ that essentially is the central processing unit for the human body. Ninety percent of the brain is developed during the first three years of life making this the most crucial time for your child. In this stage, neural connections are being established that will lay the foundation for physical, mental, and emotional health.
During your child’s earliest years, there are identifiable developmental milestones that help you determine whether your child is thriving or struggling. Understanding milestones and tracking them play a role in recognizing if any developmental delays need to be addressed. Often times these milestones are easy to dismiss as normal, especially if you’re a first-time parent. There are many people who believe tracking them aren’t important, but understanding their significance is critical to your child’s quality of life in the long run.
Developmental milestones are age-specific tasks and skills that a child can accomplish at a certain age range. Generally, there are five categories of milestones: fine motor skills, language, movement or gross motor skills, social and emotional, and cognitive. Listed below are common tasks or skills within each of these categories:
- Fine Motor Skills: using hands to eat, dress, write, grab items, or play
- Language: pays attention to speech, tries to imitate words, babbles
- Movement: sits without assistance, pulls self up to stand, crawling
- Social and Emotional: enjoys imitating people, develops social smile
- Cognitive: imitates gestures, uses objects correctly, finds hidden objects easily
These milestones are based on the normal growth and development of humans, not just a hunch, and this list is nowhere near exhaustive. It can seem overwhelming when thinking about keeping records of every milestone, but staying on top of your child’s development helps make sure they’re not falling behind. (It also gives you opportunities to remember the joys of those early years!)
The Development of the Corpus Callosum
As nervous-system based chiropractors, we are concerned with your child reaching all their milestones as the brain is connected to every single one.
For example, a baby will begin crawling primarily between months six to eight. Crawling helps develop strength in the shoulders, neck and curvature of the spine. It also helps with proprioception, balance and vestibular tracks, which are all factors that help your child grow in their awareness of physical space and proper movement. The formation of the hip capsules is also affected by the movement associated with crawling, starting with the superior hip capsule when a baby begins to sit up, the inferior hip capsule when they begin crawling. These capsules will continue to grow stronger as they move more.
During this process of learning to crawl, your baby’s brain will begin the integration process between both sides of the brain, strengthening the corpus callosum. The corpus callosum is what connects the two hemispheres in your brain and ensures that they are able to send signals to one another. It is made of a thick bundle of nerve fibers that contribute to coordination and intelligence. As your baby begins to crawl, the right and the left side of the brain will work to be in sync with one another. .
When the left and right sides of the brain are in sync, the right signals are sent to the right parts of the body through the nervous system. It keeps the brain calm and organized so that your child develops physically, mentally, and emotionally, reaching the milestones necessary for their age.
It is important to understand that a delay in your child’s development could mean a problem somewhere else in the body, perhaps something that started long before they even started to crawl. This is why we encourage you to keep a record of milestones and take the necessary steps to have them checked out by a professional if you feel like there’s something off with the way they are developing.
Developmental Delays and Chiropractic
When children aren’t developing the way they’re supposed to, it’s not something you should brush off. Early detection is important to a child’s overall development because the earlier you find what’s causing the delay, the earlier they could get back on track.
Chiropractic care offers a different approach to healing the brain-body connection. There are many issues within the body that can interfere with the messages the brain sends out via the spinal cord, which both are members of the central nervous system. Our goal is to relieve the interference and stress placed upon the nervous system through chiropractic adjustments, so your child can begin to heal and function at their best.
Having your child checked out by a highly-trained pediatric chiropractor can help you get to the root of the problem. Through non-invasive neurological scans and treatment plans, nervous-system based chiropractic care will help your child thrive the way they were meant to!