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Is it important to do cross lateral movements with my baby?

Yes, cross lateral movements are important!

The brain consists of two brain halves that specialise in each of its functions. The right half specialises in rhythm, creativity and music and the left half specialises in language and logic.

The brainstem consists of nerve threads and is referred to as the brain bridge as it connects our two brain halves.

To strengthen the coordination between the two halves, you must activate the child’s cross pattern. The cross pattern is activated through exercise.

Cross pattern exercises help your baby to activate both halves of their brain, this will make it easier for them to learn new motor skills. After doing cross-movement exercises for a few weeks, the right and left brain halves will gradually be able to collaborate and share information and thus strengthen your baby´s learning ability.

In your baby’s first months, you can activate your baby by crossing one hand and touching the opposite foot, or crossing one hand and touching the opposite elbow – this simple exercise can be done in most places, an all-time favourite in our house was after we had changed nappies on the changing mat. Not only are these exercises great for training both halves of babies’ brain but they are a great way to connect with your baby and have one to one fun. You can find the exercises in the category 0-3 months.

The cross pattern is the first foundation in your baby´s development journey and will help your baby when they start to learn to crawl. Cross lateral movements are therefore important for your child’s motor development. Another basic foundation that your baby must have before they start to crawl is a general form of muscle strength, this comes from spending time on their tummies-  we cannot emphasise enough how important tummy time is!Try and make tummy time a pleasant experience for your baby, activate and use it as a good excuse for fun and games. Massaging your baby’s legs while they are on their tummies is also a good way to stimulate the touch senses, and of course a pleasant experience for your baby. You can see our exercises for tummy time under the category 0-3 months.

Some babies do not start crawling until they are 10-12 months old, this can be down to many reasons, but it’s never too late to train cross lateral movements. You can also try some of our crawling exercises see exercises under 3-6 months and 6-9 months.

Even if your child is already crawling, it doesn’t mean that you can’t continue, as crawling around on all fours is very good exercise for both muscle strength and motor skills.