Not Crawling Yet
Berkeley Parents Network >
Worries Big & Little >
Not Crawling Yet
My 8 month old son rolls over onto his back whenever we put him
on his tummy. He has shown no interest in crawling. We have put
toys out of his reach to tempt him and recently put a rolled
towel under his chest to help him feel more comfortable in the
belly-to-the-floor position. It helped a bit, but he still
rolled over after a very short time. He is interested in
walking and already takes assisted steps, and he's a bright,
happy, healthy boy. Any advice about how to encourage him to
crawl? And is it something to worry about? I don't know what
stories to believe about crawling being related to
coordination, reading and writing, etc. Is it possible that he
may just be a late crawler or walk before he learns to crawl?
I appreciate your ideas.
Mom of a non-crawler
Dear Mom of Non crawler
I don't think you need to worry. My son wasn't interested in
crawling at 8 months either. He was more interested in pulling
himself up to standing. He went through a frustrated period when
he obviously wanted to move but couldn't. Then at 9 months he
suddenly figured out how to crawl and off he went. I didn't do
anything in particular to encourage him and it actually was good
as I could leave him on the floor when I had to do something and
he wouldn't move far. He actually started taking steps at 10.5
months so didn't crawl for very long and all he wants to do now
is walk. I've heard that crawling is supposed to be good for
coordination for later on but who knows - its a hard thing to
My son did not crawl until he was 10 mos. old and when he did he did the army
crawl. Not the regular on all fours crawl. He started walking at 13 months. I also
was afraid of this ''coordination'' or learning disorder problem that I heard about.
asked my doctor and he said there are no studies that say a child who
walks first will have learning problems or coordination problems. In fact, he just
laughed and said that my son probably just gets frustrated with crawling so he's
decided to master walking first. But no worries...your baby is developing normally.
Our son didn't crawl until 11 months, then walked at 13 months.
After that, all bets were off and I longed for those non-mobile
days!! :) He loved being upright, however, from very early on,
and liked to ''stand'' with support holding on to stuff much
before he crawled. We enticed him with toys just out of reach,
but didn't sweat it too much, and he eventually did it himself.
I figured out, at least in my case, that the more I seemed to
stress about it, the more he picked up on it in subtle ways and
got frustrated easier. Maybe mention it to your pediatrician,
but it sounds like you're right on track.
Don't worry. Babies are crawling late or not at all these days
due to the Back to Sleep campaign. Crawling is not considered a
developmental milestone by doctors.
Crawling is not essential -- in fact, most books have removed it as a
''milestone'' in baby's development. Kids who walk early, often don't
crawl, and I don't believe this is associated with any lasting problems.
I'm not a medical expert so I may get blasted for saying this
but according to a lot of parenting books and contrary to what
a lot of people believe, crawling is not a necessary milestone.
A lot of kids don't crawl at all, especially since back-to-
sleep. And, my mother told me I crawled for maybe a day before
walking at 8 and a half months. My grandmother said my dad
never crawled. I'd check things out with your doctor, but I
have a feeling your son will do what he needs to do in his own
time. I read in two books of the many parenting books I have
(Touchpoints and What to Expect in the First Year) that
crawling is not a necessary milestone.
Now having said that, I do think you need to do whatever you
can to encourage your child to explore and move. Keep at it.
Give him tummy time. Prop him up. Put toys around. He needs
stimulation and eventually, he'll be enticed enough to move
around in SOME way, even if it's rolling over and over to his
Good luck. Play with your little guy. Keep encouraging him to
move in many ways.
Our son never crawled either and we were worried about it like
you. Then one day at about 10 months, he got up and wobbled
across the room. Our crawling worries vanished! We then fixated
on his funny gate, frequent falling, etc. In retrospect, we now
know all those things were within the range of ''normal''. At 4
years old, he runs well, is very coordinated, and is athletic.
As long as he moves and is interested in grasping and using his
limbs I wouldn't worry too much.
Mom of a non-crawler
Relax! Your baby is an individual and will do everything in
his own time. If he is happy and healthy, then maybe it's
not so important that he is a 'late' crawler. And what is 'late'
anyway? In the beginning I read so many books and
listened to so many people about what should be and what
should not be happening with my baby. I finally had to take
a step back from all of it and just appreciate my son for the
person he is. Trust your instincts (and contact your
pediatrician if your worries persist) and enjoy this brief
period--he'll be running around soon enough!
As I was fretting about some aspect of my baby's motor
development recently, my mother told me a story about myself: I
never crawled, just waited until 10 months and went straight to
walking, and she was told by the ''experts'' that that meant I
would potentially have all kinds of problems (poor motor
coordination, learning disabilities, etc.) if she didn't force
me to learn to crawl. She never did, since I seemed happy
walking. I now have a Ph.D. from Harvard and I'm a professional
dancer. My mom's conclusion: phooey on those experts!
My first baby roller over at a year (!), and never crawled. I never worried at all.
She was an alert, interactive baby, very social, but not very physical. So what? People
used to ask me if I was worried, and I always said, ''Well, I've never met a grownup
who can't roll over...''. My other two babies crawled between nine and ten months.
Remember, in some places (like West Africa, for example), many babies are carried
on their mother's backs until they are of walking age. I lived in Africa for three
years and never saw a baby crawl! There is no proof of any correlation between
cognition and crawling. Relax. Enjoy.
Crawling is a developmental leap that can be and often is
skipped. No worries if all else seems fine. My son never
crawled and is a perfectly well-adjusted four year old.
Mama of a walker...
Our daughter was never much of a crawler -- from birth, she was
a very ''vertical'' child, always wanting to stand up and check
everything out...around 9-10 months she started crawling between
things so she could then stand up and hand-over-hand her way
around. She never did the stereotypical crawling thing.
At almost 20 months, she's really rather astonishingly
coordinated (watching her on the climbing structure at the park
is sort of amazing...that would be the 5-year-olds plus climbing
structure, not the toddler one....) -- much more so than other
kids the same age that we see. So I wouldn't worry about
getting yours to crawl too much....
My 3-year-old son runs, jumps, climbs, talks constantly in
complex sentences, can spell his name and is generally a
But even at 10 months, he didn't crawl, and I was worried. At
about 11 months, he finally started scooting around on his
bottom, but he didn't walk until 17 months. He never crawled. If
your child seems fine in others ways, try not to worry (though I
I'm in the same boat -- we have an active, energetic 7 1/2 month old who
is very eager to walk, and balances on all fours, but prefers to sit up or
stand up with help, rather than crawl. My mother is constantly warning
me of the dire implications of my daughter not crawling, but yesterday I
asked our pediatrician who said there really are no conclusive studies
that link crawling to other developments. And our 3 year old son
followed a similar pattern, very little crawling. With babies sleeping on
their backs now there are a lot more going more or less straight to
walking, with little or no crawling in between. So I have decided not to
worry about it any more!
another mom of a non-crawler
Don't worry. He sounds perfectly fine. All babies do things at
mom whose kids didn't walk until 15 months
Don't fret! It's perfectly normal for a 8-month-old not to
crawl. Our little girl didn't crawl until she was 9 month old
and we know kids that didn't start until later. Indeed, one of
her little friends never crawled but instead deviced this method
of moving at high speeds sitting up. He's now 2 1/2 years old
and playing baseball!
But chances are your little girl will crawl if you give her time.
Mine finally did, at exactly 9 months, when my husband got a
remote controlled car. She was fascinated by it and decided to
crawl after it. I'm not sure it was a coincidence or if that
actually encouraged her, though you may want to try.
Our now 11 month old didn't crawl until almost 10 months. She hated her tummy
when she was a new born. She now crawls like crazy. Give your baby time. Try
placing some toys in front of him when he is on his tummy. Or get down on your
tummy facing him to try to entertain him. Good luck.
My daughter did not crawl until 9 months, and then began walking
three weeks later. She was the latest crawler but the earliest
walker of her baby group. She is now 4.5 years and can run
faster and farther than most of the 7 year olds she knows, and
she is on track or early in all developmental milestones. Don't
relax. some kids simply aren't into crawling and go right to
walking. you can encourage whatever you want but in the end
they're going to do their own thing and be just fine.
I wouldn't worry at all. I have a friend whose kids didn't crawl
until after 9 months and they're doing fine. Every kid is
different on this one. Some kids skip crawling and go straight
to walking (or go to spiderwalking on hands and feet). Yours may
do that. Late crawling and going straight to walking are both
Some kids don't crawl and go straight to walking, which is fine.
Crawling isn't necessary. Our daughter didn't crawl until 9 1/2
months, which is also normal.
just another mom
Our now-2-yr-old didn't crawl until 11 months or walk until 14
mos. I worried about it at the time, too. But he is now
extremely coordinated, rhythmic, verbal and musical! Don't
I never crawled. Neither did my brother. And we are both
well-adjusted people. :) My pediatrician said it was perfectly
normal not to crawl. My son, who is now 13 months old, was a late
crawler (9-months), but it didn't bother me or my husband or my
I have never heard of crawling being linked to coordination and
reading, like you mentioned in your post, but I wouldn't worry.
Some kids roll over to get from point A-to-B, others just take
their sweet time and some prefer to walk.
Never bothered with the crawl
My 10 month old daughter is not crawling yet and I am a little
concerned. Every baby in her peer group is crawling, including
all of the younger ones. She didn't like being on her stomach and
up until the last month or so I didn't make her do it regularly.
Now I have her on her stomach for five minute stints multiple times
a day. She does push up and slide a little along the floor backwards,
but can't bring her knees up underneath her and support
herself. I know some babies never crawl, but I also understand it
it isn't great for their development to go directly to walking and
to not develop that kind of coordinatin and muscle strength. I would
appreciate some insight and I was wondering if there are some
physiological reasons for why she still resists being on her stomach.
As an aside, she basically doesn't rollover either (she rolled over
from her stomach to her back a couple times and now I think she forgot
how.) She also happens to be 95+% for height and 95% for weight.
My son never crawled and walked at 15 months. He spent a great deal of
time walking around a sturdy table. He is now a teen and has never had any
sort of physical problems. He tends to be a very cautious, methodical type
of person and maybe he just didn't feel a need to get anywhere quickly.
It doesn't sound like you have anything to worry about. The pediatricians I
talked to were not at all worried about my daughter crawling late or
"incorrectly" and never rolling. My daughter, now 5, is very coordinated and
I have always thought she actually got two cool things out of her
development pattern: she got to carry things around and see well ahead of
her when she crawled because she did it sitting up; and (for whatever
reason) she never toddled, she never went through that
falling-down-all-the-time period that most kids do.
Sam, my now almost 3 year old, never crawled, started scooting around on
his bum at around 11 months, and didn't walk until 18 months. Since his
main little buddy followed nearly the same pattern, it made it easier not
to have peer-induced worries. In retrospect, I see that kids follow a
wide variety of courses toward walking, and it seems that many fall outside
what is considered "normal". I, too, had heard that it wasn't great to go
straight to walking... but we certainly haven't seen any signs of trouble.
Our main concern was with whether or not he made some effort to locomote
... and the scooting achieved that quite efficiently. In fact, more
efficiently -- since there was no need to change position to pick things up
to play! His (other) large and small motor skills -- as well as verbal and
social skills -- were proceeding at or ahead of schedule in all other
ways.... we decided to look at the totality rather than the separate parts,
and checked in with our doctor about it all during regular visits. In
short, we decided not to worry ... and he did it all at his own pace and in
his own way. He is now in perpetual motion, and the days of stillness have
My daughter will turn one on Saturday the 10th and she didn't start
crawling until last week. She wasn't even mobile until about a month
until about a month and a half ago, when she started being able to
move a couple of feet across the floor by herself. She also followed
the exact same pattern as yours with the rolling over. She could do
it, but never figured out she could get anywhere by doing it and so
gave up on it. I think you have a very advanced group of peers,
because I know of a few other babies who also didn't crawl until
later. I heard a couple of reasons why babies would crawl/walk late.
One of them has to do with how fat they are. The pudgy ones have
trouble until they stretch out a little because the fat gets in the
way. The other is that they sometimes spend so much time
concentrating on other things like talking that they just put it off
until later. "Late walkers, early talkers." (and vice versa). My
daughter, while not exactly "talking", started babbling a couple
months before her peers. Perhaps there's something like that that
your baby did early? In any case, I wouldn't worry about it. It's
still well within the range of normal and how early or late a baby
crawls has nothing to do with their future abilities. (Or so I'm
My now 15-year old didn't crawl until he was 11 months old, and then he
just barely met the requirement. Like 2 times! I had to stop reading
the development books! I could have put him on a raft in a swimming pool
at 10 1/2 months and he couldn't have gotten off! He would just sit. Then
he cruised and at 12 months walked and I've never seen any ill effects.
He just hated to be face down.
I didn't really feel there was anything to worry about because in every
other way he seemed OK and I think that's important--to determine if
he's just being an individual or if there is a developmental problem.
We had a similar situation with our 3rd child who never did crawl. So
much toddler clothing with reinforced knees! Eventually, our little one
sat up on the floor and utilized her legs and arms to propel herself (at
remarkably great speed I should add). She was actually much fast than
crawlers. Also she didn't start this mode of transportation until
around 10 months, perhaps because until then everything she wanted was
right at her disposal. And following the then latest advise, she slept
on her side or back. So for her, being on her stomach was a little
foreign. Her older sisters slept on their tummies or side, and did
begin crawling around 7-8 months.
Also all of our children have been slow to walk, which in our case
meant they were pulling themselves up around 12 months but didn't let go
and really take off until they were 16mo. Babies develop differently,
but for the most part they all seem to catch up with one another. We
discussed it with our pediatrician and she wassn't concerned. So we
decided to relax and let her develop at her own pace and she is none the
worse for wear (well except for the bottom of all of her clothing, but
on the bright side, we had well polished floors;-)
We are expecting our fourth in a few weeks, and it amuses me still how
with each pregnancy the experts have flipped opinions from things like
sleeping on the stomach only, to sleeping on the side or back to
sleeping on the back is best. Sometimes I feel like we are one big
I think you're just looking at typical baby idiosyncrasy there. One of
ours was like that, and she was also hefty like yours--it seems that bigger
babies often crawl and walk later than the smaller ones. She eventually
learned to do both. If your pediatrician's not worried, you shouldn't
worry either. They all have their own schedules.
Assuming the pediatrician says she's completely healthy... There's
this terrific toy from Gerber you could try, it is a ball about 8"
diameter, it has an offset motor in it and is battery powered so it rolls
around on its own, plays music and animal sounds, then stops. Baby will
be curious and want to crawl over to it. But a few seconds later it
starts all over again and keeps the baby interested in the very hard
exertions needed to try to crawl. If you cannot find this product in
the store or at a used toy store, perhaps try any ball that makes noise
from inside; or get creative with a noisy toy dangled by you on a
fishing line (with total supervision of course). Good luck!
My daughter, who is now 12, didn't spend much time crawling and never
wanted to be on her stomach either. People tried to scare me into
thinking her development would somehow be hindered by her going
directly into walking without having crawled, (including my
brother-in-law who is a doctor). She is now a beautiful adolescent,
plays the violin and viola like nobody's business, gets excellent
grades and is physically able in many sports. Our pediatrician
told me not to listen to what others were saying. If your
pediatrician tells you your child is healthy, please don't worry.
This is for the parent concerned about the 10-month old not crawling. I
too had concerns at about the same time when my 10-month old (now 15 months
and crawling all over the place) son was not crawling or attempting to
crawl. He too did not enjoy being on his belly and did not do a lot of
rolling (only in his crib). He did begin to crawl at 12 months -- first
pushing backwards and then commando crawling by dragging his body by pulling
with his arms. He eventually figured out how to lift his belly up and
support his weight on his hands and knees. It can be disconcerting when you
see all of the other babies crawling and especially when younger babies are
doing things your child isn't. My son also couldn't get into a sitting
position on his own. He sat fine as long as he was place in a sitting position.
I would suggest having your pediatrician look at her, or at least talk
with the doctor about your concerns. I was concerned about my son's muscle
tone, but it was fine. He basically waited until he was ready and felt
comfortable with the new movement. I don't know what your daughter's
personality is like, but my son loved to watch people and explore things
in his hands and read books. He just wasn't a very physical infant. But
once he figured it out and was comfortable with it, he is doing great. He
did go through a very intense period of frustration prior to developing his
Some ideas to try that helped us: sit on the folor with her with your
leg extended and place a toy on the opposite side of your leg while
positioning her on the other side; keep her barefoot so that she has
leverage for weight bearing and greater sensitivity with her feet; when
she is on her belly and if she begins to push up her chest with her
place your hands under her belly and hips and gently lift her so that
she goes on her knees to help her feel the new position (my son didn't
seem aware of *how* to get there. Good luck.
I have a niece who is almost 10 months and she isn't crawling yet
either. And only rolls from her belly to her back because she hates
being on her belly. I run in to more and more parents who are having
the same concern. Apparently because babies are sleeping on their backs
they are not getting as much tummy time, and are not rolling and
crawling as early as babies have in the past. I belong to another list
serve and one of the moms there said that she works for an office doing
research on the long term effects of late/skipped rolling and crawling
and on revising the developmental guidelines. Of course, if you are
about development, you should certainly bring it up with your
pediatrician to see if tests need to be done.
From what I've seen, a 10-month-old not crawling is
nothing to worry about. I've known two children who
didn't crawl until they were a year old, and they're
fine now. One of them is almost two now, is running
around, and is very advanced for her age at talking
and at many other activities. Another girl I know
didn't crawl at all; she just sat for a long time,
then kind of scooted in a sitting position for awhile,
then walked. She's 8 years old now, exceptionally
bright and has no developmental problems at all. It
can make a parent worry if their child isn't doing
what the others do, but chances are there's no problem
at all with your child.
My daughter is almost 9.5 mos. old and doesn't crawl either. She
never liked be on her stomach, so it also took her a while to figure out
how to roll over. Now when I put her on her tummy, she just rolls over.
So I'm not sure she'll ever crawl. There are some who feel a baby should
crawl before they walk, but I thought was sort of passe. My doc says no
big deal. I say no big deal, and in fact, am told to enjoy her
non-mobility while I can, since life changes drastically once they
they start to move. Also remember that boys tend to develop those
those gross motor skills more quickly than girls, while the girls
tend to develop those fine motor skills more quickly. My daughter's
fine motor skill are beautiful, she likes to stand and so I'm
definitely not worried. If you really are worried, talk to your
doctor.....if everything else is "normal", then I'm sure your daughter
is just a late bloomer like mine!
Slightly different subject, but when my son was around 12 mos. we went into
a small store where another adult customer asked me something about him & I
somehow let out the thing at the top of my mind which was "he's not walking
yet." (I had previously worried about his crawling too, by the way.) She
mentioned that her parents had told her that she hadn't walked until she
was 18 mos., & fortunately for me I had the wit at the time to say "and
just look at you now!" We both laughed, and once I saw it that way, it
really changed my perspective & improved my attitude. I figured my son
would certainly be walking long before he grew up! Of course we worry, but
apparently with motor development there's just no telling the future from
the present. And the present moves awfully slowly when one is home with a
baby! In retrospect (from my desk at work) the people who say "these days
are fleeting so you'd better enjoy them" are 100% right.
I'm a little distressed. My 12 month old is not crawling and
is showing NO signs of interest in it either. We had our check-
up and the doctor said he was fine. While I should be enjoying
this period of having a baby, especially one that I'm not
running around after, I still feel a bit of anxiety. All the
babies in his playgroup are crawing/cruising/walking. I put my
son on his belly and he just rolls over. If I work with him to
get up on all fours, he just wants to get down on his belly and
then rolls over!
Is there anyone out there who was in a similar situation? What
did you do or not do?
Our son only recently started crawling at 14 months. Like you, I knew I was
supposed to just relax and ''be happy I didn't have to run after him all the time.'' But
sometimes seeing him with other kids his age, just sitting there while they ran
circles around him, made me cry! He already seemed lonely and ''left out.'' Plus, it
didn't help that all the relatives kept calling and asking whether they should contact
a child development center. I never found anyone online or among my friends
whose babies weren't crawling by this time. All I can say is that he finally got
around to it at his own pace, and he's now having a ball locating the electrical
equipment in every room he enters. I almost instantly forgot about all the pre-crawl
worrying. Our pediatrician said not to BEGIN worrying unless he wasn't crawling by
15 months OR walking by 18 months (even if he never crawled). Of course, he is
still not walking or even pulling up or cruising, and we frequently see MUCH
younger babies doing triathlons at the playground. What can we do? I can only
assume that if he was SO delayed that he was going to be disabled or something,
the doctor would see signs of this already. You didn't say whether your son is large
for his age, has a big head, or is naturally cautious . . . these were all factors for our
We received all kinds of advice about various toys, devices, and exercises we should
use to ''encourage'' crawling. Nothing really worked, and the doctor confirmed that
''lots of floor time'' was really the best thing we could offer. She also recommended
more play-time with kids his age. I personally found it helpful to focus of the neat
things my baby COULD do, to keep me from unconsciously defining him as lacking
in some way.
I don't have much advice to offer, but just wanted to let you know that you're not
the only one! It's another one of those uncomfortable ''phases'' we have to endure
and then instantly forget about once they're over.
Please don't worry about your child being a late crawler. Our
now 2 yr. old son didn't crawl until he was 12 mos. and didn't
walk till 17 mos. He's now constantly in motion, but very
cautious which may explain the initial slowness. He also
started talking early which I figure made up for the slower
motor skills. In our playgroup we were surrounded by babies
(especially the girls) who were walking by 10 mos. Looking
back it was a luxury not to have to start chasing him around
any sooner or worry about what he was getting into. According
to our peditrician, the chunky ones always take longer which
was definitely the case w/our son. Good luck and try not to
this page was last updated: Jan 29, 2007
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website: BerkeleyParentsNetwork.org
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network