29 answers

Walking Before Crawling

My 9 1/2 month old daughter just started taking her first steps (while holding on to me). She hates being on her belly thus doesn't crawl. Has anyone else had their child walk before crawling and is it ok? Also, I now must babyproof the house. Any techniques/advice that would help me? Thanks!

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Even if it is better for babies to crawl first, we really have no control over it anyway. How are you really going to stop her from walking? It's about as effective as trying to get a baby to walk that just isn't ready.

It's not a problem. My eldest did the same. I talked to her pediatrician about it and was told that crawling is not a developmental milestone and not to worry about it. She is now almost nine, reading two grades above grade level and is a very successful competitive gymnast. Doesn't seem to have any impacted her at all!

Sue

I haven't read the other responses, but my son never crawled. He went right to walking at 10 months. If you had the choice between walking or crawling, you'd probably pick walking because it is a more efficient way to move. No need to worry, just time to childproof!

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As an occupational therapist I really think crawling is important for children in many ways. I found a great answer to your question on this link http://www.medcentral.org/body.cfm?id=456.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi M.-
I think that encouraging her to walk is okay. However, the pediatric physical therapist in me wants you to know that there are significant advantages to tummy-time/crawling. It's good for developing upper body strength, and the small muscles of the hands. Others include the development of movement patterns and the muscles that are important for balance, walking, running and standing with the least amount of effort. There is a reason that babies roll, then crawl, walk, etc. If she is not willing to spend any time on her stomach, I'd encourage you to have her spend a lot of time crawling over cushions, onto the couch, etc. Good luck! FYI- I know plenty of perfectly fine kids who never crawled, so don't stress yourself out about it:)

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M., My oldest daughter did walk before crawling and she has turned out okay. But I must add that I am a Licensed Daycare Provider and have been to numerous conferences on infant and toddlers and all the experts are saying that the children really need to learn to crawl before walking. It all deals with the children learning how to use both sides of their brain, the left and right. I am sure if you researched it on the internet you will see what I am referring to. I did have twins 8 yrs after I had my oldest and I made sure that they crawled before they walked. I also make it a point to let my moms know that I have the children learn to crawl before walking in my daycare also. My recommendation would be to keep trying to get your daughter to crawl. I crawl with my daycare kids on the floor or put toys in front of them that they like to have them move around. Good Luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful

I've heard that lots of kids never crawl. My younger son walked at 10 months and one of his cousins, 9 months. It's unusual, but not unheard of. (but boy, does it look weird to see a "baby" on their feet!)

You will definitely be kept busy this summer! Have fun with your almost-toddler.

Babyproofing, I tried to keep to the basics. Secure any furniture she might pull up on (dressers, bookcases) with tethers - that's a really important one, because it's a leading cause of accident and death. Moving all cleansers to high cupboards is easier, I found, than locking all the kitchen cabinets. The only cabinets I had locked were one that has liquor and the knife drawer. Everything else I moved around (canned goods were under the sink and cleaning products up high in the pantry, for example.) Get those snap-on covers for basement and bathroom doorknobs. I found it helpful to get down on my knees in each room and see what looks appealing and within reach for a kid.

1 mom found this helpful

I would still encourage your daughter to crawl and spend time on her tummy. Crawling actually helps children with reading according to studies. I wouldn't stop her from walking, but I would definitely give her tummy time.

1 mom found this helpful

We SWORE our baby was going to walk before she crawled. At 8 months, she was "furniture surfing." She'd pull herself up and walk herself as far as the chain of tables, couches, etc. could take her. She surprised us all and crawled a couple weeks before she could walk (10 months old). It was short lived. She only crawled when there was no furniture available to help her balance. Now, at 18 months, she thinks crawling is very funny!

Regardless, your baby is getting mobile, so yes it is time to babyproof. We didn't go overboard. Cabinet locks, outlet caps and gates for the stairs are all we did. We left one low cabinet and one low drawer unlocked and filled them with things she could play with. It has prevented her from being too concerned with the ones she can't open.

Best of luck!

There are many benefits to crawling before walking and highly encouraged. It works both sides of the brain, better hand/foot coordination, balance, stability, etc. Many pediatric physical therapists will often take kids that have learned to walk before crawling back on the floor and teach them to crawl. So definitely get on the floor with her to encourage crawling, while it is exciting that she is taking her first steps, there are many benefits!

J. W. MPH
Chicago Examiner Family Health Expert
http://www.examiner.com/x-7158-Chicago-Family-Health-Exam...

my brother never crawled either. he just started walking at 9 months and he was absolutely fine, athletic and accomplished. perhaps there are advantages to crawling as one poster mentioned, but i'm guessing you can find other ways to let her increase upper arm strength, coordination, etc. every kid is different, so go with the flow and good luck chasing your little one around!

She needs to learn how to crawl beacuse if she doesn't she might have a problem later on that could be related to that. My daughter never wanted to crawl and we ended up doing physical therapy so that she would learn how to crawl at 12 months she learned how to crawl and then began talking. All of her motor skills seemed to improve. She now a very healthy active 8 year old. I have another friend whose daughter never crawled and never thought anything about it because it was back in the 60s, and as she got older struggled with communicating and was just having a hard time with everything. At the age of 8 possibly older I can't remember she put her in a clinic and all of these kids were learning how to crawl and after she went there for a couple of weeks everything started to click and she became a little artist and she had a much easier time with everything after that. It's very imporant that they learn how to crawl and even if they don't do it for very long.

I'd continue to encourage her to spend time on the floor, learning to push herself up onto her hands and knees and then pull herself up to stand by herself using a couch, your leg or whatever surface she can find. Learning to get in and out of standing safely and independently is an important developmental skill. It is important in helping her build the ability to control her body in space, learn to balance herself against the pull of gravity and safely lower herself from standing. Don't give up on crawling just yet.

My cousin walked before he crawled and he is just fine! I had my babyproofing done by protective parents childproofing. They came to my house for an evaluation and pointed out items they had for different problems. I had them install a gate and bought some other odds and ends that my husband put in himself. We focused on the rooms that the baby is in most of the time and did just the basics such as outlet covers in the other rooms as my son never plays in those rooms alone. Check out the website protectiveparentschildproofing.com
Good luck!

It's not a problem. My eldest did the same. I talked to her pediatrician about it and was told that crawling is not a developmental milestone and not to worry about it. She is now almost nine, reading two grades above grade level and is a very successful competitive gymnast. Doesn't seem to have any impacted her at all!

Sue

Walking before crawling is fine. In fact, it's a bit of a "side effect" of babies sleeping on their backs. More and more babies are skipping crawling because they don't like being on their tummies. :-)

M. - It is perfectly ok for a child to walk and never crawl. My son did exactly the same thing. He never wanted to get on his knees, but found comfort in holding onto anything that he could get his hands on to help him navigate around the house, i.e.,furniture, walls the dog and other people. I did have to child proof the house by temporarily removing cocktail tables with glass tops and sharp edges making sure that there were no sharp corners to cause injury. Above all, make sure that all electrical outlets have safety protectors on them to prevent your toddler from putting objects into them as well as to put safety locks on all of your lower cabinets and drawers.

Now take out your camera and enjoy your baby!

MsTea

I think this is a common thing, however, if it were me I would still encourage my child to learn to crawl, even though they can walk already. My SIL has dislexia (sp?), and I don't know how true it is, but when she was younger her doctor said some of it had to do with the fact that she never crawled. Part of brain development or something. Anyway... I would encourage her to crawl still.

One of my twins girls did not crawl for long, and was walking at 10 months, her sister crawled for a few months longer, and walked at 12 months. There is no problem if they decide not to crawl first.

I have a 9 month old girl doing the exact same thing. She has just loved standing up for a long time and can stand on her own for several minutes and walks with help. She is advancing in other ways too, like she can bend down and pick something up. Personally I think she will walk on her own before she crawls and I am sure she will be just fine, although, I am curious to see what others write. Also, I thought you might like to know that you are not the only one:)

I'm a 68 yr. old gramma whose first born son started walking, like your baby, at 9-1/2 mos. Our pediatrician at that time said that by not crawling enough, his coordination might be a little off. Coincidentally, he wasn't into football as an older child. He did go in for soccer and running. He became an avid reader and memorized his lead part in a play while in preschool. At 48 he is brilliant and very knowledgeable in just about everything. So take heart

Crawling is not developmentally necessary. There's absolutely no concern to skip this milestone. Ask your peditrician if you're really concerned.

My son too started walking a 9 months. Pay close attention to her every move. Redirect when necessary and start putting everything up and out of reach. When it really gets tough is when they're able to climb up on chairs and grow tall enough to pull things off tables and counters.

Good Luck and enjoy!

For us #4 waled before he crawled. He walked at 10 1/2 months and did not figure out how to crawl until he was 1 1/2 years old. The good thing...even when they are just staring to walk, you can still sit them down in the middle of a room and they stay there :) If they are not next to something to pull themselves up on, they still cannot move! Made things easier for me :) Also, when they are walking and they fall, they cannot just crawl to something and pull themselves back up. The only problem I saw is that when we were at a friends house he could not figure out how to crawl through one of those play tunnels :) He just sat at one end. It was funny when he finally figured it out...we were clapping like he was walking!! Have fun...I say it is no big deal! I have 5 kids to compare things to and I see no difference with him.

both of my kids would walk holding on to me for months before they walked or crawled. My daughter was literally putting weight on her feet/legs the day she was born. Well she just turned one and she's just about to walk unassisted wooo hooo. My son never crawled. did more of a body drag thing. HA. babyproof; wow. those plug covers that cover the outlet AND what's plugged into it.

My oldest did the same thing. Walked by 10 months but refused to crawl - she would scream like her body would not go in the position when we tried. LOL Now she is 4, going on 14.
Enjoy your early walker!

My daughter walked at 13 months and crawled at 17 months and she is 5 1/2 now and totally fine. I heard all the same things you are hearing now and my best advice is to continue to encourage her to crawl, but please don't freak out about it. Despite what you may think after all these responses, odds are, your child will be fine.

My daughter never crawled. Walking is way better than crawling. We got her a train table and she walked around that holding on and got the hang of it. We also bought her a wagon she could push while holding on! Now the real fun begins enjoy!!

Our second, now 16 months, was the same. I know I have heard of some research that suggests babies that skip the crawling stage are more likely to have trouble with math or language skills later on (who would have thought to research that!), but two doctors I've talked to say baloney. And even if it's true, the studies didn't determine cause/effect. So encouraging your daughter to crawl might not change that anyway. Our son walked early and figured out crawling only a couple months ago. He still prefers to walk up the stairs rather than crawl. And he says many more words than his sister did at this age.

Even if it is better for babies to crawl first, we really have no control over it anyway. How are you really going to stop her from walking? It's about as effective as trying to get a baby to walk that just isn't ready.

I haven't read the other responses, but my son never crawled. He went right to walking at 10 months. If you had the choice between walking or crawling, you'd probably pick walking because it is a more efficient way to move. No need to worry, just time to childproof!

Yes, don't sweat it - my daughter started walking at 10 months and practically skipped crawling altogether. She "army-crawled" for a few days but preferred cruising and being upright. As always, if you have more questions, consult your pediatrician but I don't believe there's any harm in walking before crawling. Good luck!

M.,

Our oldest never crawled and started walking at 9 months and can I tell you at age 29 he is just fine! He is in the Coast Guard he has surved on ships and is now in Public Affairs where he hangs from helicopters, off of edges of ships and just about anywhere to get the photos and video's he needs for the news. Besides that he did very well in school and attended Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago along with his younger brother who did crawl, so I really don’t think it matters.

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