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12 month old who is not crawling...

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

hello mama's... before everyone tells me that every child develops at their own pace, I have to tell you that I know that and I have really tried not to worry about this.  However, my daughter will be a year next week and still does not crawl.  She was a big baby when she was born and has been very slow physically, especially since she learned to sit up (at 5 months).  She barely rolled over at all and still doesn't do it that often, but the crawling is such an important stage developmentally in my opinion, I really don't want her to skip it and go right to walking!  She will pull herself along with her hands when on her stomach, but she still can't sit up from a laying down position, and she can't really get onto her stomach from a sitting position either.  She likes to pull up on anything at the moment, and loves to stand assisted and walk while I hold her hands.  But is there anything that I can do to encourage crawling?  Has anyone had anything similar to this?  I am trying to relax, but it's hard!  She is my first, so I have no experience with it.  Looking forward to hearing from you all....

post #2 of 19

Babies do not need to crawl. There was a school of thought  years ago that said that babies 'had to' go through that stage. But if you look at the developmental milestones, crawling is often not mentioned. It's really variable, it's also a stage that's skipped by a fair number of kids. My sister crept like you're describing your daughter doing and went straight to walking. She was a big baby, and had a hard time getting her belly off the ground, according to my mother. They had a small apartment and she could easily cruise from couch to chair to table back to couch.

 

Other babies scoot on their bottoms. Still others roll. Crawling is not a requirement. It's not a very important skill.

 

If she's pulling herself to a stand, can get herself into a sitting position and is stable when she sits, she should be just fine.

 

Crawling develops partly from reaching, believe it or not. So, you can try to encourage crawling by putting toys just slightly out of her reach when she's sitting or when she's on her belly.

post #3 of 19

My nephew who 'army crawled' as his primary mode of movement from about 8m to a year only traditionally crawled for a few weeks maximum before walking at 14m.  He is easily the most coordinated and physically precocious of his cousins now at 4yo and runs like a deer!  Some kids need to go through a very short (if at all) crawling phase before walking.

post #4 of 19

I have heard that developmentally, any form of locomotion that precedes walking, whether it's rolling, army crawling, or some other odd form of motion, is considered crawling. Also, it seems that a lot more babies skip the crawling stage these days, and that may be due to the "back to sleep" campaign according to my pediatrician.

post #5 of 19

My perfectly normal 5 year old never crawled.  Not even once.  We have all sorts of pictures of him pulling himself to standing on anything he could reach, which led him right into walking around a year.  

 

I don't think it has really held him back in any way...it was just what he did.

post #6 of 19

Chances are, your DD isn't close to walking and she will likely crawl in a month or two and walk after that. It's OK! Crawling IS a good developmental stage, but you can't make her do it. DS crawled around 11 1/2 months and walked around 15. Many babies did both earlier but I knew he'd get there.

 

Just relax, it's hard, but she is still at a point where it's not abnormal.

post #7 of 19

Crawling is very important developmentally - it is a skill that assists in the ability to cross the midline. Crossing the midline is what is needed when learning to write, to do maths as well as other skills. This does not mean that every child who doesn't crawl will have problems (I went straight to walking at 9mo and excelled at maths). But crawling IS important.

 

I would encourage her to crawl as much as I can, but if she does prefer to walk, you can always practice/play crawling when she is older and more open to it

post #8 of 19

Yet another with a child (now 6) who never crawled, went straight to walking on her first birthday.  I wouldn't worry about it at all at this point. 

post #9 of 19
I agree cautiously with the others-- I have two who never crawled, and are both fine. However, with a baby a year old who can't get to sitting on her own, rarely rolls, and is not really very mobile-- I think I would be contemplating an evaluation with Early Intervention. Chances are very good that everything is just fine, but I think I would be mildly concerned. EI is so easy, and when we had our eval for DD1 (who has some oral issues and didn't learn to talk until late) it was very reassuring for us. It may be that baby would benefit from some low-key physical therapy for a few months, or at least it may be very comforting to hear an expert say everything is fine.

Our EI red flags here in NJ recommend an eval for a baby who isn't cruising independently at 12 months, isn't pulling to stand by 12 months, or isn't independently mobile in some way (scooting, rolling, crawling, creeping) by 12 months. It sounds like baby is pulling up, but not cruising or moving around very much. That would make me maybe consider an eval.
post #10 of 19

 

Quote:
 However, with a baby a year old who can't get to sitting on her own, rarely rolls, and is not really very mobile-- I think I would be contemplating an evaluation with Early Intervention

 

I really agree with this. I am NOT saying there is anything wrong-I am saying in my experience (my son has been in PT/OT since he was 7 mos old) that children who aren't able to use their core like they should ought to have an evaluation.

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post

. However, with a baby a year old who can't get to sitting on her own, rarely rolls, and is not really very mobile-- I think I would be contemplating an evaluation with Early Intervention. Chances are very good that everything is just fine, but I think I would be mildly concerned. 

I'd 3rd this. I have two children that were later to crawl due to core weakness issues. DD2 went from crawling to walking in 2 months so I never followed up with EI. DS was red flagged at 12m by our pedi, he is my 3rd, and a boy, so I was not too concerned, I gave him till 18 months, and then contacted EI. He is 20 months now and is at least 6 months behind so we get weekly services. The not crawling thing wouldn't concern me as much as that it sounds like her core strength is really not there. DS STILL falls over while sitting at times, he was a big baby was well, but now is actually smaller, but everything has just been quite a bit behind.

post #12 of 19

my pediatrician told me today at my 6 month visit that studies are now showing that the crawling stage is not developmentally significant.  She said that it was thought to be important in the past, but that it's not even on the benchmark list.

post #13 of 19
As an EI and working on my PhD in EC education I have a couple things. There is no conclusive evidence that crawling is needed or not needed. We honestly don't have any idea what it does for development just that most children go through a crawling as a benchmark. There are a lot of theories on either side but they are all almost impossible to prove scientifically. It is likely that moving one's body around is important developmentally otherwise humans would not have evolved to do so...we would just go straight to walking. BUT, some kids just don't crawl, just like some kids don't do other milestones and are fine. They meet whatever brain development they get in some other way, which imo makes a lot of sense. Humans are very adaptable.

Your dd's other physical delays are a bit concerning. I would get an EI eval and find out what is going on with the sitting and rolling thing.
post #14 of 19

I also have a child that skipped crawling.  From my research I couldn't find anything that proved that crawling was important.  There are some studies that show it might be, but then there are whole cultures of people who's babies aren't allowed to crawl (because of unsafe ground conditions)..  If you're worried about the crawling you can always go back later and play crawling games with your LO.  My personal opinion is that there is no good way to force a child to do something before his/her brain is ready to do it.  It would be like deciding that your LO needed to walk before crawling, etc..   My baby didn't learn to crawl until 2-3 months after she walked.  Now at 16mo I will see her crawling around from time to time.  :)

post #15 of 19

I haven't read all the responses. My son has also been very slow physically. Slow to roll, sit up, pull up, crawl, and walk. He was a small, high needs baby when he was born, so I don't know if there is any correlation in size. I took him to the ped, and she said that he was on the 'low end of normal' and to just work with him.

 

So many people will tell you not to worry about it, but you can't not. I've seen a 9 month old stand and toddle with my own eyes, but my 'toddler' didn't.  What we realized was that the wait and "let him do it on his own" approach just doesn't work with our son.

 

We've been working with him actively 'teaching' him how to walk, currently. Now he can take quite a few steps on his own, but won't ever try it without our encouragement. We did the same thing for crawling. He still cannot stand on his own, so I guess that's next.

 

We haven't explored ei, etc, as he seems to be making it with help now.

 

I don't know if it's an issue with personality, or actually something that's missing in motor skills. I know I"m a bit slow in this department as well-- years of forced dance class as a child taught me that it's very difficult for me to learn physical stuff by watching.

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hello,

I did want to follow up, especially since it seems like a lot of people have been viewing this post.  We went for our 12m checkup to the pedi and he was not concerned.  He asked me some questions about her pulling up, moving when she wants things, sitting strong etc., all of which she does.  We also spent some time on our belly at the office and she just doesn't want thing badly enough to move for them all the time.  He said that if the development stops progressing, then we should be worried, but at this point she is moving forward, just at her own pace.  He did say that she seems anxious about moving, so she is very cautious with it and takes her time.  An interesting theory he has is that maybe the bulk of her cloth diapers is hindering her legs from getting underneath her body, but I just think that she's a little bowed :)

Since the visit (last week) she has mastered getting into a sitting position from laying down, and is pulling up on everything she can get her hands on. She has started to do tons of butt scooting and also is getting onto her hand and knees quite often (but still splays out when she tries to move forward, so she sticks with army)

She cut her first 4 teeth in one month, so that has taken a lot of her energy I am sure.

 

It is such a tough position to be in... our society says that our children need to be at a certain place at a certain time and the pressures of that, as a mom, when they are not, that is really hard to swallow.  Thank you to all of you for your feedback, especially those of you who were gentle in your words.

post #17 of 19

good to hear that she is moving forward! it really seems like some little ones almost stall at a stage for a few weeks before leaping ahead. i was just starting to get concerned with my 10 month old who wasn't able to pull up, crawl, cruise or even get up to sitting independently. she did a little army crawling and that was it. within 10 days at my parents' house over christmas holidays, she mastered cross crawling, pulling up, cruising and even stairs. we arrived back home and it was like i had a whole new baby... we had to completely re-babyproof our apartment!

 

i wouldn't be surprised if your dd masters a whole bunch of skills within a very short amount of time. our babies sound a little similar, mine is also very precise and cautious about moving... she checks and rechecks every step she takes and will often not move at all if in a new environment! she is starting to be a little more confident with her own abilities but it has really taken a lot of time. she is now almost 11 months and seems completely on track with the average baby.

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverFish View Post

good to hear that she is moving forward! it really seems like some little ones almost stall at a stage for a few weeks before leaping ahead. i was just starting to get concerned with my 10 month old who wasn't able to pull up, crawl, cruise or even get up to sitting independently. she did a little army crawling and that was it. within 10 days at my parents' house over christmas holidays, she mastered cross crawling, pulling up, cruising and even stairs. we arrived back home and it was like i had a whole new baby... we had to completely re-babyproof our apartment!

 

i wouldn't be surprised if your dd masters a whole bunch of skills within a very short amount of time. our babies sound a little similar, mine is also very precise and cautious about moving... she checks and rechecks every step she takes and will often not move at all if in a new environment! she is starting to be a little more confident with her own abilities but it has really taken a lot of time. she is now almost 11 months and seems completely on track with the average baby.


Cecilia did exactly that as well, after weeks of almost crawling forward (but crawling backward with no problem). Now she's on fire, I tell you-- cross crawling, pulling up, cruising, and also said her first two words: "mama" and "didi" (kitty). All within 10 days.

post #19 of 19

I'm on the fence about the importance of crawling. For many kids it might be totally fine to skip it, but others may need it.

 

My son has low muscle tone and needed a lot of PT and OT intervention to sit up, crawl, and walk. His PT stressed the importance of crawling for him, but for different reasons than have been mentioned. Crawling builds core and upper body strength in a way that other types of mobility don't. For many kids who skip crawling, they will find other ways to build that strength, but for some kids (like my son) crawling is essential to well-rounded physical development. No one was ever concerned that my DS would never get through his milestones, just that he'd develop poor habits of motion to compensate for low core and upper body strength. Physical habits can be very hard to unlearn, so his PT felt it very important that he learn to do things the right way the first time around.

 

An evaluation never hurts, sometimes it's great to have a handful of highly trained professionals say your child is fine! But she might also benefit from strength building exercises. Some things to look for that might indicate low upper body strength- how is her posture when sitting, does she jut her chin forward or is it tucked? (Jutting forward takes less strength) Does she favor sitting cross-legged or on her knees? (sitting cross legged takes more strength) Is she able to increase the length of time she can sit and be active, or does she fatigue easily? How are her eating skills? Chewing and swallowing are highly connected to upper body and core strength.

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