In small children, the maturational process occurs fairly predictably from the top down. First head c
ontrol is gained as the nerves supplying the neck muscles mature and the neck muscles gain strength. The shoulder, upper arms, and hand control improves. Upper body or trunk control is next, then the hips and pelvis, and finally the legs! Because hand movements are so complex, doctors track "fine motor" skills separately from gross motor skills. Balance and coordination are part of gross motor skills although they have more complex controlling systems than just the motor strip.
The familiar order of gross motor development: turning the head from side to side when lying prone on the stomach at two weeks, then lifting the head briefly when prone at two to three months, holding the head upright by four to five months, then raising up the shoulders and upper chest when four to five months. Arm movements also gain some control about age four to five months as the infant can bring her hands to midline when lying on her back.
Missed opportunities to develop motor skills during childhood
may result in adults who are incapable of functioning physically as they should

After that, she can reach and grab an object and bring it to her mouth. She can hold an object in one hand and transfer it to another by six to seven months. Truncal control allows the baby to sit propped against her outstretched arms about six to seven months with independent sitting by eight to nine months. Finally, the baby is able to pull up into a supported standing position as the signals to the pelvis and thigh muscles increases, followed by standing alone, and then walking. After that, signalling continues to be refined and allows the child to run, climb, hop on two feet, then one foot, then skip by age five.

Because gross motor skills are so obvious, these are the ones that people tend to notice the most. But remember, gross motor is only one part of development. If gross motor skills are associated with delays in the other areas of development, this is more concerning for the child’s overall well-being. If gross motor skills are the only area that is lagging, this is usually not as concerning for long term well-being.
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