Baby sitting getting ready to crawl

My baby has no desire to crawl. Should I be concerned?

The first time a baby crawls is an epic moment in any parents life.  Most of the time, getting your infant to the crawling stage of their life takes minimal effort because of the child's curiosity and desire to reach things for themselves.  Typically, babies are able to crawl by nine months old, but what does it mean if your baby is nearing 12 months and has yet to achieve this milestone?

Milestones for infants are important because they help the child to develop physically and mentally in order to progress into other stages of their childhood.  If a milestone such as crawling is not achieved, other milestones such as standing may be delayed because the child may not have the strength in their arms to pull themselves up nor the strength in their legs to remain in a standing position.  The lack of progress can cause an impasse on the infants development which, if not dealt with, will leave the child well behind their peers.

What can I do to help my child?

  1. The first thing that anyone should always do when it comes to their child's health is to consult a health care professional to see if there are any mental or physical defects that are causing the delay in the child's development.
  2. If your child is determined to be in good health by a professional, they could simply have a lack of interest or motivation to crawl.  The most important thing for a parent to do in this situation is to get actively involved with their child and work with them on crawling for at least an hour a day.  Get the child on the carpet and get them used to being on their stomach.  If your baby refuses to be on their tummy or they tend to cry when they have pressure on their front side they may have acid reflux or gas built up.  Any symptoms should be reported to the child's pediatrician so a correct diagnosis of the child's condition can be obtained and treatment can be started.
  3. Learn what motivates your child and makes them happy.  Food, toys, or a mirror are common motivators and you can progressively place object outside of your child's reach while they are in a sitting position to get them to exercise their torso and learn how to get out of a sitting position.  A strong torso is critical for allowing the baby to move from a sitting position to a crawling position.  Helping the infant to separately reach to the left, right, and center will help the torso develop evenly.  One way you can help the baby do this is, in a sitting position, tuck the left leg in and place the motivational object on the left side of the baby just out of their reach.  Tuck the right leg in when placing the objects on the right side, and both legs for objects directly in front of the baby. 
  4. Physically place the child in the crawling position.  Place the child over your leg with their arms touching the ground on one side and knees on the other.  Will help them get used to the crawling position as well as strengthen their arms and legs.  Another helpful method is when the child is able to hold their upper body up with their arms, tuck their legs in as close to their butt as possible and they will naturally push back which will push them forward.  Pushing forward is a great exercise for an infant's legs and will help them to learn to scoot.

Don't expect results immediately.  Helping a child crawl that doesn't want to on their own will take some work over a period of time.  You will notice that as the baby's strength develops, they will begin to hold themselves in the crawling position and begin to rock.  The child may also scoot back-wards before they move forward.  Any type of movement should be considered progress and the infant should be encouraged and motivated to keep working.  Soon after they learn that they are able to get to things that were out of their reach before, they should be crawling in no time at all.