Not interested in crawling.....

AmericanMom_in_theUKJanuary 28, 2002

Hi All,

My son will be 6 months old in a few days. He is healthy and very coordinated, and he's doing really well as far as motor skills for his age.

He's in the 75th percentile for his height and weight.....the one thing is, he exhibits no interest at all in crawling. He's VERY interested in standing, and stepping, when we hold him upright. But the crawling thing.....Nada. Zip. Zilch.

I've read and heard a lot about crawling/lack of crawling and how necessary/not necessary it is for a baby's development. Anyone?

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I've heard that not crawling can be a developmental detrement, but I don't buy it. The only reason some babies don't crawl is because of the success of the back to sleep program. Now that most babies are put to sleep on their backs, they don't get the upper body strength from pushing up that stomach sleepers get. I know many babies your son's age who went straight to walking(no crawling at all) and they are all very bright and well adjusted. Sometimes researchers need something to report, so they give us "facts" without taking into account all of the variables. Your son is doing great, don't give it another thought. My son is only 3 1/2 months old, but he doesn't really like to be on his belly, so I am anticipating the same thing with him. Walk first, crawl first...who cares as long as he is healthy and happy.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2002 at 8:03PM
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Hi American Mom,

Well my son is not yet three months and is just working on sitting up on his own, however, I spent alot of time with a good friend and her baby four years ago at this stage. My friends' baby really skipped crawling all together and went straight to walking. I remember he sort of drug hiself around a little bit but really enjoyed standing and pulling up more, so he just naturally began walking that way. His parents didn't push him into it, and it didn't seem to harm his development at all. I've heard other people ask this question of doctors and they seem to say that skipping crawling to walking is fine. I have a feeling that my own baby might follow the same path. He loves to stand (fully spported by me) and has great leg movement when on his stomach, but he doesn't get his arms going yet and doesn't care to be on his stomach very long.

I'm sure your baby will develop perfectly normally.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2002 at 8:05PM
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As a pediatric occupational therapist who specializes in the 0-3 population, I beg to differ with Jacksmom and GrethcenH. It is essential to gross and fine motor skill development that children crawl. They need that experience both to develop the upper body and abdominal strength as well as for the sensory stimulation. The American Academy of Pediatrics, while agreeing with the Back to Sleep program, have urged parents to enable their children to be prone (on their stomachs) when they are awake. Most children who skip crawling do so becuase they are too weak -it takes minimal amount of upper body strength to walk. Children who skip crawling are found to have fine motor delays as they progress to school age. In addition, they have delays with bilateral integration -- coordinating the two sides of their body -- which affects both gross and fine motor skills.
To the parents of young infants, I urge you to train them to tolerate being on their stomachs. It is for their ultimate benefit. As for american mom in the UK, your son is too young to crawl or walk. The stepping you describe is reflexive, as is the "preference" to stand. Continue to foster stomach play so that he can build the upper body strength necessary for most of what he has to do later in life.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2002 at 8:31PM
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It depends on the child. some merely squirm or scoot for a while and then start pulling up. Pulling up develops the upper body strength just as crawling does.

As far as a six month child being too young to crawl, that is hogwash. I had three that started crawling at about 4 months. One pulled himself up in his playpen at 5 months, 20 days, the second pulled up at 5 months and 21 days. the third one was slow, he didn't pull up until he was almost six months old. One has a degree in Physics, another in Psychology and the other is a Doctor. None of them had any developmental problems. They are all strong, well developed men.

I have seen many many children start crawling before they were six months old. Just a hint....children who are kept barefooted, or in socks seem to learn how to use their feet quicker than those that are in shoes.

However, crawling is VERY good exercise. Put a favorite toy some distance in front of him and get him to go get it. Make a game of crawling. Get down on the floor and crawl with him. Let him chase you. You can encouage him to crawl by not holding him up or "walking" him. And Let him learn to pull up on his own.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2002 at 10:45PM
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to OTlady:

I was very interested to find out that you are a pediatric OT!! That was my major for 2 years in college, I went away to Colorado State University, and when I didn't get into the random lottery entry program (total joke) I decided it wasn't worth it for me to stay another year to MAYBE get into the program. OT has always interested me. I volunteered at a nursing home in their OT dept and loved it, although the environment was a little depressing for me. I absolutely love children and I am hoping when I have time (ya right) I would love to go back and pursue my degree. I am about a semester away from a psych. degree (don't think I'll do too much with that) so maybe grad school....? Anyway, I would love to hear more about your job, would you mind emailing me?
I would really appreciate it, Thanks!!


    Bookmark   January 28, 2002 at 11:19PM
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hhmmm....all very interesting responses and i'm very curious as to what dd does in a couple of months (she's 10 weeks now). only experience is this. my mom said i NEVER crawled, i apparently wasn't all that interested in it ( :
i was also a tummy sleeper (born in '74) so the back sleeper theory doesn't hold true for me. maybe the strength thing has merit, not sure.
i'd say don't worry about it and you guys can practice the woman who had the idea of putting a favorite toy on the ground and you baby on its tummy...but don't stress to much about. seems like your child is developing wonderfully!

love, jami

    Bookmark   January 29, 2002 at 12:24AM
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If I stressed about my dd developemental skills, I'd be in trouble. My dd didn't start rolling over until about 6 months!! She's tiny for her age though exactly in 50% range. She can hold herself up "like" crawling but I don't think she'll be crawling none to soon. I try very hard not to compare (though its hard because all these "charts" get shoved down your throat!) I know she will develope fine and I don't always agree with my pediatrician on things. The medical community is way too hung up charts and grafts for my taste. I know its their only way to gauge things but I don't always buy it.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2002 at 7:52AM
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I've heard plenty of parents say that many children would walk first and then they may stop for a while and begin to crawl. I swear I read somewhere that crawling is not a basic milestone, same with walking. They do it~ just not at an exact time like some of the other stuff. When the child is ready, they'll do it~just like potty training :-) I don't think DS started crawling right at 6 months either. He was a little late with it. We did give him tummy time every day. With him, we got him to want to move and reach and go after our kitten and also his dad's remote control truck. He wanted it so one day he took off after it. Same will happen when your baby starts to walk. You'll watch them take only a few steps here and there and then one day they take off! It's so shocking when it happens. I would give your son some time and see what he decides to do. You can't go by the books on everything.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2002 at 8:51AM
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I agree that 6 mos being too early to crawl is "hogwash!" :D...Timberly started TRYING to crawl at 5 mos (scooting, 'bear-crawling', etc) and had it mastered (well, kind of, she could get where she wanted to go!) by 6 mos...(Although I do think that 3 mos is too early to sit without a boppy or other support, Timberly started trying to sit by about 3.5-4 mos, but 5.5 mos is when she could do it for extended periods of time...) BUT every baby IS different, and some have more weight to carry than others (I have a friend whose baby was 25 lbs at 4.5 months and hadn't rolled over yet...we decided it was b/c he had so much to roll!).

    Bookmark   January 29, 2002 at 9:09AM
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My DD didn't crawl. She rolled around - never wanted to crawl because she could get what she wanted by rolling :-)

She started pulling up and cruising furniture sometime around 8 or 9 months. Then she was walking on her first birthday.

She simply never crawled.

She's 4 now, and doing fine in every way, so I think some kids just kind of move to the beat of a different drum.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2002 at 9:10AM
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I have a niece who never crawled. Like TREKaren's dd, she rolled everywhere. She's now 9 and never had any developmental problems or fine motor delays.

My son is also a "roller". He's seven months old and has gone up on his hands and knees, but hasn't crawled yet. We wouldn't be surprised if he never crawls. Why should he when he can get where ever he wants by rolling? As other posters have said, all kids are different. Some will crawl early, some will crawl late and some won't crawl at all.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2002 at 9:47AM
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All kids will do things at their own pace, and with their own spin on it. Developmental milestones are averages -- it's more normal for a baby to be off the average than to hit a milestone at exactly the "specified" mark. And when they do learn something new, they may regress on somethinge else. It's an incremental process, not something that can be determined by charts.

Our son did as yours; for a long time he only wanted to stand. Eventually he got on hands and knees and rocked. Then finally, one day, he let loose and got across the room. He was around 6mo, but plenty of kids his age crawled earlier, and lots more crawled later. Some didn't at all.

If you were seriously worried about development, it would be a good idea to schedule an appt with a doctor. But it really doesn't sound like you are, or like you should be.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2002 at 10:04AM
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I just thought of something, if their upper body strength is lacking, wouldn't pulling up be out of the question for them? I would think that it takes just as much strength to pull up as it would to crawl (and you just show me a baby who walks without pulling up first!)...I agree with Kara, if you are truly worried, the only thing that will ease your mind is a visit or call to your pediatrician who will most likely assure you that everything is A-OK! :)

    Bookmark   January 29, 2002 at 10:42AM
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Wow, what a response to my question! Thanks pretty much have confirmed what I already knew.

I'd just like to point out that my son Ryan rolled over at 2 months. Freaked me and my husband out! We would put him to sleep on his back, then a couple hours later would hear him fussing. When we'd look in his crib, he would be on his tummy and mad as heck, LOL. The first few times my husband and I looked at each other and asked "Did YOU put him on his tummy?" Of course, neither one of us had. Ryan turned over all by himself for about a week. Then it was like he forgot how to roll over, and didn't do it again for 2 months!! Strange child o' mine.....

As far as Ryan's other skills...he has been playing, sitting up unsupported, for about a month now. His balance is amazing. He can lean WAYYY over to get stuff, and he doesn't fall over. We do sitting up and standing exercises every day. From a lying down position, Ryan can pull himself up to sit, the only help from me being that I hold his arms out straight. But I don't pull, AT ALL. He sits up by himself, using his little tummy muscles. The same thing for standing. All I do is hold his arms out straight while he's sitting in front of me, and he pushes with his legs until he's standing. I don't pull him at all. Once he's standing, I put a favorite toy of his out in front of him, and he starts stepping, trying to get to it. Amazes me, just amazes me.

Anyway, I'm not overly concerned about him not crawling, although just out of curiousity I did ask the doc about it last week. He said the same thing: "All babies are different, and they develop at different rates. The charts just show average developmental ages for certain skills. Many babies do not crawl, ever, and they turn out just fine."

Ryan and I still do Tummy Time every day, anyway. He likes to lie on his tummy and play - for a short while, anyway. Then he rolls over and holds out his arms, wanting me to help him sit up. LOL his preference is clear!!

Once again, thanks everyone...but more comments are welcome!!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2002 at 12:18PM
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Here is an article on what Leslie was talking about, crawling is not considered a milestone and all the stuff I have read about kids not crawling pretty much says that it is not true that kids "need" that stage. I'd be interested to read the research that states otherwise.


Here is a link that might be useful: Crawling

    Bookmark   January 29, 2002 at 1:22PM
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my baby is 8 months old and is just starting to crawl and my doctor said that is right on track. at her 6 month appt she was expected to be able to sit but certainly not crawl- although many babies do crawl early, i wouldn't be worried at 6 months- there is alot of time yet.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2002 at 2:34PM
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I had a friend whose baby didn't even roll over till she was 9 months old. They could just leave her lying on a bed, etc, and didn't even worry about her rolling over and off. I really thought something was wrong with that child. Then she crawled at 10 months, and walked at 12 months! No problems since, either!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2002 at 3:59PM
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I've got three kids, all beyond walking now, but not one of them crawled at 6 mos. They were a very little bit mobile by some inventive means (rolling over and over, dragging with arms) but not very far. I think it was more like 8 mos +/- when they crawled. They all walked right about their first birthday, didn't crawl for long. It was fun to watch the development of that, the different moves they came up to get what they wanted just out of reach.

Encourage him to move by placing toys just out of reach, little further as his skills develop. Getting the toy and your praise is his reward. My kids learned to crawl chasing the cat! In fact, we got the cat when #1 was a baby, that was just the motivation he needed to crawl! He's a very tolerant cat.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2002 at 6:06PM
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So we all agree that these milestones are hogwash, huh? LOL My son was 2 months premature and just because that everyone assumed he'd be two months behind on his skills. So what was he supposed to be doing during these two months he was outside my belly when he was still supposed to be inside~nothing? No, he was doing the things other babies did after they were born. Just to be safe the dr's referred us to a program in the area that sent a person to our house and did things with him to see if he was on schedule. Most times he just didn't seem to want to do things for this stranger, not that he couldn't do them. Some things they'd mark down that he was behind on because he was say 5 weeks and should be doing this and that but wasn't. A week or so later, he was doing it. So he wasn't anymore behind than any other baby that was full term and his age. They wanted us to continue with the program and have a more in detail evaluation done but we knew he was doing what he should be doing and passed on the offer after 5 months. DS is perfectly fine and up to date in height, weight and all his skills and he's almost 3 now. He's never been behind anymore than other children are according to those lists. They're nice to have as a guide, but I didn't take them seriously. Some things he was behind on, some ahead and others on schedule.

Oh, I once read that if a child seems to be developing more verbally, he'll lack in something else. Same if he's more into movment and physical things, he'll be behind on his talking. It was kind of explained as they couldn't work on all areas at once. They do catch up at some point. So if you're baby isn't interested in crawling, is she making lots of sounds or maybe saying the simple "words" they say at that age?


    Bookmark   January 29, 2002 at 6:36PM
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I don't think it's fair to say that all milestones are hogwash per se, but should be given as a range and not an absolute. That said, however, I have heard that crawling is a poor indicator of physical development and is not even included in health histories of infants because the range of babies who do and do not crawl is so wide. A few years back there was a study that indicated that babies who did not crawl didn't develop proper brain patterning strategies and were predicted to be poor readers later in life, but I've heard that that study has been discredited now.

I will say that my DD was NOT a crawler and the few times she did crawl it was not the smooth, "normal" crawl we always think of. However, DD walked at 10 months and is now 10 years old and in the 5th grade gifted program and is as avid a reader as you could hope to find. She tested off the charts in reading and math and is kinesthetically talented, so she suffered no detriment to her intellect or motor skills from her poor crawling abilities.

I have also heard that infants today tend to crawl later than infants years ago due to the "back to sleep" campaign, although again, no significant effects from this were found to pan out when the child was a little older.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2002 at 7:31PM
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Ok - well, that's the FIRST time this forum has sent me to the dictionary. What are kinesthetic talents?

Merriam Webster says it is "a sense mediated by end organs located in muscles, tendons, and joints and stimulated by bodily movements and tensions; also : sensory experience derived from this sense"

How in the world would you know if you had this talent, and what do you do with it?

Sorry but I just HAD to ask :-)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2002 at 7:58AM
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In communication, we consider kinesics to be part of nonverbal communication, broadly described as body movement. So, gestures, facial expressions, and movement are included. Oculesics, or eye contact, is a domain of kinesics.

Wanna know about haptics, chromenics, and vocalics? : )

    Bookmark   January 31, 2002 at 10:00AM
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Oops, sorry if I was unclear, I was borrowing from the education field - Dr. Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences.

Body/Kinesthetic intelligence

Here's a link...

Here is a link that might be useful: Body/Kinesthetic - -MI Theory

    Bookmark   January 31, 2002 at 11:38PM
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Hmmm...well I know we've gotten completely OT here, LOL, but at least I learned something new this week! :-)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2002 at 7:46AM
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Not OT - just plain old education theory stuff!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2002 at 11:22AM
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A friend of mine had this "problem" with her daughter - she acted like she wanted to skip crawling altogether so the doctor told her to get down on the floor and SHOW HER how to do it! Apparently it worked. So that is always an idea if you're worried, and maybe it will save you a trip to the doctor! LOL

    Bookmark   February 2, 2002 at 8:04PM
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