22 answers

My 1 Year Old Doesn't Crawl Yet. Should I Worry?

My son has always been a little on the "late" side. He sat up, rolled over and rolled onto his tummy all several months after the "norm." Still, he's just 12 mos and still doesn't crawl. He can sit and pivot and has a really long forward reach, where he just about folds in half, and gets one leg out behind him. He can stand and take steps with assistance, but doesn't pull himself to standing either. Do you think I should be concerned and get help for him?

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So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the great advice. I've always believed that every child is truly on his own schedule and most of you confirm this. I won't ignore any feelings I have but I also believe he's just fine. Even since writing this, though eh doesn't crawl, he sit-pivots and manages to scoot toward objects he wants, so that's progress!

Thanks to you all.

Featured Answers

Hi J.,
My son crawled at 11mo and didn't walk till 17 mos; now he is just over 18mos and everyone comments on how 'well' he walks/runs! Pretty funny since people thought he was so 'behind' for so long. Don't worry about it-- just enjoy that he isn't everywhere all the time while you can!

What does his Ped say?. My son never crawled and didn't start walking until after 1 yr old. He never got up into a crawl position but kept his legs out straight behind him and drug himself around with his arms like GI Joe. He was perfectly normal growing up and will be 29 in a couple of days.

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I think you have to remember that some kids do things earlier than average, some kids later. My older daughter went from laying on the floor screaming in frustration - straight to walking! She never did crawl. Also she never rolled over until after she was walking. I was worried that something was wrong with her, but no - she's 6 now and a beautiful ballerina. She just decided to do things on her own schedule. Also I remember that my cousin, who is now 6'10" and was a huge baby, crawled and walked super late. I think he began walking at 18 months or something, and by that time he was the size of a large 3 year old (no joke, he was over 30 pounds at 1 year). I think it took him forever to learn to walk because it's not easy getting that much baby upright and balanced! Today he is very athletic, so it wasn't a lasting problem.

Perhaps you can encourage him to either walk or crawl by placing his toys well out of his reach. Otherwise, just keep practicing walking with him. Surely he'll master it by kindergarten! =) If you feel like something is wrong, take him to the doctor and discuss your concerns, just to put your mind at ease.

I would definitely mention this to his doctor. My cousin's child was just diagnosed with Prader Willi Sydrome. Some of the signs are poor muscle tone, late development, "failure to thrive" as infants, poor appetite. Around age 2-5, the child developes an unsatisfied need to consume food which can lead to life-threatening obesity. You can check www.pwsausa.org for more info and see if your child may have this devistating syndrome.

What does his Ped say?. My son never crawled and didn't start walking until after 1 yr old. He never got up into a crawl position but kept his legs out straight behind him and drug himself around with his arms like GI Joe. He was perfectly normal growing up and will be 29 in a couple of days.

My neighbor's son is 12 months old as well and he does not crawl or walk. He also rolled over late, etc. His dad is a Dr. and doesn't seem concerned. He says that some babies just physically mature later than others, much like some kids learning to speak late, etc. I would just mention it at your next well check visit and not worry too much.

Hi J.,
My son crawled at 11mo and didn't walk till 17 mos; now he is just over 18mos and everyone comments on how 'well' he walks/runs! Pretty funny since people thought he was so 'behind' for so long. Don't worry about it-- just enjoy that he isn't everywhere all the time while you can!

Hello J.,

I do think your son should crawl, but boys are often slower to do things than girls. I would talk to his doctor about it, but 12 months may be within the normal range of starting to crawl. His doctor will be able to advise you. Babies who are slower to do things are not always "slow", they may be like Einstein and taking time to think things over.

Take care,

E.

Hi J.,

Every baby is different. They work according to their own pace. We can only encourage them. Not push them. Some babies don't crawl at all. They just go straight to walking. I have a few friends with babies who did that. So don't worry. Just enjoy the little one.

Hi J.,
I don't think you have anything to worry about. Babies don't have to crawl to be developmentally "normal." My little pipsqueak did not crawl, ever. She walked first and now that she is a pro-walker, she crawls if she feels like it! And as for walking, anytime between 9 and 14 months is what I have read is considered "normal." Everybody develops at their own rate and it could be that your little one has all of his needs met from where he sits - so, no need to crawl/walk. He'll get there! And, if you are still concerned, check in with his pediatrician.
Best of luck,
N.

My daughter never crawled either. She rolled everywhere. She also never pulled herself up onto things, but would stand if you stood her up. At 16 months she decided that it was time to get up and walk so she did.

Good Luck,
K.

Hi J.,

Talk to your doctor and have him/her assess your son to rule anything out. But every kid is different. My daughter never crawled, and when she was 11 months old all of a sudden started to walk. Your son may be one who opts not to crawl. But talk to your doctor to be sure nothing else is going on.

Probably worth talking with your Pedi. and easily not a big concern. I actually skipped crawling and went straight to walking. My girlfriend went through this with her daughter. Late crawler, very late walker (almost 2 yrs. old). I often think it had a bit to do with the fact that mommy did EVERYTHING for her. Baby number 2 crawled at an average time frame. But she wasn't as catered to either.

Both my girls were late movers. They crawled eventually but it was so late they went quickly to walking at about 14 months. If all other developmental stages seem fine give it some more time. My oldest was just more content to sit and play in one place, turns out that's her personality. She's laid back, loves to read and is a bit of a dreamer. She was slow to walk but began speaking at 6-7 months. My friends boy NEVER rolled over. That rollover thing seems to be a big one with us Moms as everyone wants to know if the little one has rolled over yet. She worried about it until he was so old he began sitting up, pulling up and crawling. He just skipped the rollover and is now a great student, baseball player and one of the best gymnasts in the state. Every child is different and unless you really feel that something is wrong, don't worry about it. Good luck!

Don't worry, I know its hard but soon enough he will be running from room to room.

Don't worry, but definitely do talk about this with his doctor just to be sure... and perhaps just to reassure yourself that he's ok.
The "norms" are just that... an average of what all children do... and individual children vary from those norms all the time.

Hi! One of my kids did a funny pivot-tip-pivot-tip thing instead of crawling. She's now a competitive soccer player! My guess is your son's just going to skip the whole crawling thing and go straight to walking.

Good luck!

J.,
We have physical therapists coming all week long for our little boy. I don't propose to know everything but I've learned a lot. :)
One thing they told me that the age of normal walking has been changed to 18 mo.
Also, crawling is super important for brain development. They also say that the longer they crawl the better. So we play games several times a day with our little guy encouraging him to get the feeling of how to transition from sitting to crawl. We also put him on his hands and knees and help rock. He loves that. We also put a mirror in front of him while rocking so he can see what his body is doing.
I've also read a lot of books on helping brain damaged children. They say that everything to help them is also appropriate for a healthy child. They've proven that it just helps them develop even better.
It's all about triggering the pathways in the brain.
Thank God your little boy is healthy with no problems. :) all these exercises/games will just help him develop even better. :)
You'll have a genius on your hands. :-)

HI J.-
A couple of things you might try- first, remember some babies don't crawl. My sister was a scooter and then a walker. No crawling for her! Second, try working with him. If he wants to go somewhere or move, hold your hands out and say "up." He will quickly learn that to get around he needs to put his hands up. Then, if he wants to stand, make him do some of the work and pull himself up. If he cries, help him a little, but let him put the effort in. Lastly, about the crawling- put him on all fours and put your leg behind his feet so he can't just kick them out and go to his tummy. Help him in the crawling motion/movements by tucking his knees up, moving one hand at a time and then a leg to simulate, etc. Also, do you ahve a walker with wheels or a johnny jumper? Those can stimulate the need to move and help strengthen the legs plus get them interested in moving around.
Lastly, it is summer, so get into the wading pool. A little floaty that will hold him up yet force him to kick around a bit might be really good too. It just sounds like he needs a little extra motivation, that's all.
Good luck!
-E. M

J.,

I just had to respond as my first son never did crawl. Of course, that was many years ago for me (currently a grandmother)but I thought it was great as he never got into things like all the babies that did crawl. When he was a little over a year he just started walking. I really don't think you have anything to worry about.

Hi J.,

My first two children were always ahead of the milestone charts on every line item. I don't think they were "special" babies, I think the charts are somewhat of an average. So my personal opinion is that if a child is not hitting " a number" of the milestones by the stated time, they are delayed.

My 3rd child has issues, specifically showing up around the 5 month old mark. She got a booster and also had a cold- that cold went on for months and ear infections for 2 or 3 months. She would try to hold her bottle but she would end up knocking it out of her mouth. It was like her hand eye coordination was off. She sat up about a month late. Attempted crawling was months late, babbling around the 7 month mark just didn't seem to happen.(she was sick until 9 months) Both my other children cruised furniture and used a walker toy. This child didn't do either. She eventually got herself to a standing position and walked from that.She walked on time. She did say her first word at 8 months. As a toddler, words were spoken but not as many as my other two. Her vocabulary was about 25 words at two, my first child was 200 words by two. Speaking 2 or 3 words in a row was much delayed. Also multi syllable words were not attempted. My son said words like "unbelievable" by three yrs old, she wouldn't attempt this syllablation until 4 or even 5. Even a three syllable word was not attempted. My concerns fell on deaf ears with everyone, her pedi and my husband/friends. I was told she's fine and I was worrying for nothing. For riding a trike, she made it just "on" the cutoff date-36 months. People told me she would grow out of any delays but time does not make a child grow out of delays- at least from what I've seen. I beleive her delay to now be 2 or 3 yrs behind where she should be. She is 6 1/2 yrs old. Emotionally speaking, sometimes she doesn't respond to social cues exactly the way most people would. It's hard to put my finger on it exactly but there is just enough of it to know it is there. I taught all my kids to read, she took 3 times a long to memorize the letter sounds.
Trying to get her to sit on my lap to read a book to her was impossible until she was about 4. She just couldn't sit there or focus. A back and forth conversation was labored and many times in vain. I would say something to her and rather than respond to what was said she would return dialoge that was totally off topic.

Last year I was doing some medical research and had an AHA moment. I came across autism, and was shocked to see that she DID indeed, as a baby/toddler, Have all these same issues listed for this syndrome. Why a DOCTOR couldn't see it or diagnose it is beyond me.I am convinced she has autism.

Others might give me a smile and say things are fine, but being her mother, I know. A mothers instinct is a great thing! trust it.

Now, I have read several reports online that doctors have cured autism. Some have said it is caused by bacteria and used antibiotics/hyperbarics/bee venom, etc. Others have claimed internal fungal issues to be the cause. Still others claim it's a body laden in heavy metals or imbalances. If any of these have merit, I don't see how 'language therapy' would help and I think therapy seems to be the ongoing trend for many delays.
I think diet is certainly a BIG one for any delays, especially important to cut out processed food, sugar and carbs which supress the immune system and will help bacteria and fungus to grow.

My suggestion is to get yourself familiar with the different delay syndromes so that you can pinpoint any issues that might come up and get early intervention. If you have strong concerns and are blown off by a doctor, get a second opinion. Follow your instinct.

Hi J.,

Looks like the mom's here have given you allot of good advice. I have a 10 month old boy. A few months ago I was worried because he couldn't roll over. After a conversation with my grandmother I felt much better. You see, she had eight children. She told me each took a different path and developed at their own rate, some of them NEVER crawled they simply rolled all over the place and then stood up and started to walk. Others just sat in one place and crawled later. The "NORM" is only a guideline, one designed to help us mother’s pay attention to the developmental needs of our babies.

From what you’ve written it doesn’t sound like your baby is having difficulties. He can sit up and reach outward. Great for him, he’s trying to move forward. He’s just taking his own path. If you are concerned you may want to do as one mommy advised and have him evaluated by a physical therapist. A physical therapist will look at his physical development and not automatically assume there is a greater issue at play. They will also let you know if you should seek advice from an MD if there is something to be concerned about.

However, with-that-said, I would give your son a few more months – maybe seek care if he hasn’t improved by the age of 18months. In the mean time, play crawling games and use a jumpy – they help allot.

Best of luck,
D.

hello, I am an occupational therapist and I work in a pediatric clinic. My advice would be to get him evaluated by a physical therapist if your doctor will give you a referral. Discuss your concerns with your doctor and then ask for a Physical therapy evaluation. A therapist can assess what may be the reason for his delay as well as help him to achieve the motor milestones he should be achieving. Hope this helps,
H.

Lots of kids never crawl they just go straight to walking, sounds like your son maybe one of them. You should ask your dr when you go for your normal checkups. I think they are every 6 months until the baby is 2 years old

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