“My adopted daughter is having a really big response to crawling. How can such a simple activity cause her to feel anxious?”
These feelings are real and strong. Babies are so vulnerable and their feelings at this stage of their development are life and death kinds of issues — will someone come for me when I cry out; is the world safe; if I hurt, if I am hungry, if I am too hot, if I am too cold, will there be relief and refuge from my caregiver? Is my life valued; will I survive? Of course the thoughts don’t come in those particular ways, but it is the essence of the pons level brain that is a ‘survival’ brai
Most babies get what they need, immediate relief from life threatening distress (heat, cold, pain, hunger) because they have loving parents; most babies are reassured by the call-response cycle, wherein the baby cries to meet a need, the caregiver responds lovingly; most babies have bodies that are freed up to crawl away from perceived danger (which is the first purpose of tummy crawling); most babies have a caregiver nearby and they can track their eyes back and forth to keep track of that person. Most babies feel safe, so these questions, in the form of huge body distress, do not come up.