What is Myelinization?


We must be aware that children grow and develop at their own rate; we cannot force them to perform tasks before they are ready. This can sometimes be detrimental to a child’s development; it can damage and hinder it.  You cannot make a chick lay an egg before it is a chicken, in the same way you cannot make a child reach it full development without going through each and every important phase. You cannot hurry a child and if the important foundations are not laid down in a strong fashion, secure and solid the whole structure is flawed.

Myelinization is a guide to the path that your child will follow, to understand this development, helps adults assist children on their proper journey. Myelinization is defines as “the development of a myelin sheath around a nerve fiber.” This fatty coating serves as insulation protecting the messages from the brain to various muscles in the body, resulting in purposeful or coordinated movement. The newborn is only able to control the muscles of the mouth and the throat, eating and communicating. By the end of the first year the child can control the movements of the whole body: he has learned to grasp and release objects, to kick, to slither and crawl, to sit up freeing the hands for even more development, and is usually well on the way to standing and walking. Myelinization creates movement, but movement also increases the formation of myelin, so the more we allow our child to move the more we are supporting optimum development. There are many modern inventions that get in the way of the natural development of movement so we must make sure that our child spends as much time as possible in situations where she can move every part of the body.

When an infant who has been looking at a toy hanging above him and intuitively reaching for it, finally reaches it and makes it move, this is an exhilarating moment. Instead of just being cared for and acted upon, the infant has reached out and intentionally acted upon their environment. They have literally “changed the world.”

Myelinization follows a predictable pattern with age expectations that are predictable approximately. This is some guidelines to assist adults to observe and to help their child’s actual development.  

Myelinization  Movement Abilities
Birth Mouth and Throat Able to suck, swallow and cry
2 months Head and Neck

Can focus at larger distances

Can track visually

Can hold head up

4 months

Upper trunk


Hand as an extenuation of arms

Can reach for something to grasp

Can turn from tummy to back

Discovers own hand

6 months Whole Trunk

Can sit first with help then without

Turns over both ways

Movement of arm and hand is more refined

8 months Upper Thighs

Sits well

Up on hands and knees, may be crawling

Some wrist movement

10 months Lower Thighs

Can start to pull up to stand

12 months Lower Legs and Feet

May be walking, first aided, then alone


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  • Rebecca Grugan
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