Late Crawler & Walker- Should I Be Worried?

Updated on June 11, 2008
K.L. asks from Watertown, MA
36 answers

Hi,
I'm not sure if any other mothers have experienced this but my daughter will be 11 months old this upcoming Monday and is not crawling or walking. My husband and I have tried to encourage her but she just doesn't seem interested. She WILL stand up if we hold her but most of the time will cry if we put her on her stomach. I was wondering if anybody has had a similar experience and could offer any tips?

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J.M.

answers from Hartford on

My daughter didn't start crawling until she was eleven months old and walking until 13 months. I swear, we thought she would walk before she crawled! She just didn't seem to have any interest. Don't worry. It will happen in her own time. :-) Best of luck!

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E.B.

answers from Pittsfield on

hi,
my son (now 2) was the same, never crawled, hated tummy time so we didn't force it much, just as much as we could. he started walking with hands around a year and on his own at 14 months no problem, and all his development has been right on schedule. so there was nothing to worry about. I wouldn't worry if I were you.
good luck!
em

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S.D.

answers from Portland on

I wouldnt worry too much about it as long as she is meeting her milestones set by her pediatrician you are fine. My first child was walking at 8mos and my 2nd child didnt even make an attempt to walk until after her first b-day. Now we can't keep her still!!

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L.L.

answers from Burlington on

Hi K.,

Both of my girls were late walkers -- I'm talking 13 and 14 months old! They are now 10 and 7 and we have never had any physical issues that came of it. They are both very bright and were early talkers ~ but I guess that's a girl thing anyway!

Neither of them ever liked tummy time and I think that may have contributed to their lack of initiative in getting to their feet. There is no point in trying to force it because she'll become frustrated and may resist it even further. Will she try to walk in front of you with you holding both hands or is she showing absolutely no interest at all? My experience leads me to believe that unless she is showing signs of any other physical health or developmental challenge, there is no reason to believe she won't eventually develop the desire to get mobile. I clearly remember many well-meaning relatives expressing concern when my first one wasn't walking by her first birthday. I worried and fretted and drove her pediatrician crazy with all of my questions, but she was very reassuring -- and given all of the babies they see on a regular basis, they can confirm for you that that each child is different, and it will come in good time.

As with many things these days, there is so much social pressure to have our kids excel early at everything that it's easy to assume they are behind if they aren't walking at 9 months. When they start to walk is definitely NOT a determination of the physical or mental ability later in life.

One other suggestion I might make is to find a playgroup with other kids around her age that she can spend time with. Many towns offer all kinds of free activities for babies to preschoolers in terms of music and activity. It's difficult as a SAHM to be the sole source of entertainment, and getting her play/interaction time with other kids may help, too.

Best of luck to you. :o)

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J.D.

answers from Lewiston on

I'm not sure that I have any advice for you - but I can atleast let you know that you are not alone. My son is 10.5 months old and has absolutely no interest in crawling. He was late for rolling over as well and has always disliked lying on his belly. Just last week he started walking holding onto our hands (relying on us quite a bit). I've heard that lying a baby on their belly and using a towel or blanket as a sling to hold up some of their weight can encourage a baby to crawl. Also, watching other babies crawl or walk may inspire a late mover and shaker. I wish you the best of luck. If you do get any great advice, I'd love to hear it :)
~Jen

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B.G.

answers from Barnstable on

First, I wouldnt be to worried. The fact that you are watching for her developmental milestones is great but focusing on them can be stressful.
A few people I know - their kids walked before they crawled and they didnt walk until 15 mos. My sister being one of those people.
I know a girl whose daughter didnt stand or cruise around tables til she was 13 mos. She started walking on her own shortly after that and now at 17 mos she can crawl.
She can sit on her own though, right? And babble? If so, then you should be ok.... but at her 12 mos appt with your pedi - bring up your concerns and they will give you some great tools to motivate her.

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L.L.

answers from Boston on

Our son didn;t walk until 18 months. (he just stood up and went on his own)
He crawled at 10 mos though.
he was more into books, playing, and trying to talk than moving
If she seems advanced in other areas, I would just enjoy this time because all hell breaks loose once they are on the move :-)

M.P.

answers from Boston on

I agree with most of the other moms. My oldest sister went straight from sitting to walking and then she couldn't be stopped. AND when she would fall on the floor, she would immediately wipe her hands as if they were dirty. You might want to run it by your doctor, but I would say your child is fine.

I also have another sister who was worried about her son's speech, because at 1-1/2 he was saying anything. He hearing was checked by the doctor, thinking maybe he wasn't hearing sounds, found to be fine and the doctor told her, "Don't worry, when he starts, you will probably wish he hadn't". AND that was the truth, once he starting talking my sister said, you couldn't shut him up.

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R.G.

answers from Boston on

Hi, K.! I know with your first child, you really pay attention to milestones and get concerned if your baby isn't right on track. However, let me tell you, that you have nothing to worry about. My son, who is 4.5, didn't start crawling until 13 months and walking until 15.5 months. Now he is very active and more athletic than most of his peers. My daughter is 14 months, and still isn't crawling. The drs. don't seem to worry about crawling. What they look for is pulling themselves up to standing with the help of furniture and walking. My daughter isn't doing any of these things. She manages to get around by scooting and rolling. When I told my Mom that I was starting to get concerned, she laughed and said that I never crawled and didn't walk until 17 months. And yet, I almost made it to the Olympics in figure skating. So, once again, you don't have anything to worry about. She'll get moving in her own time (then you'll be so busy chasing her you will wish she wasn't walking, yet!) Take care, Regina (R.)

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C.T.

answers from Bangor on

I don't know if it's "normal" or have advice... However.. I wanted to say.... Every child is different and develops at different levels. Ask your doctor and if they say it's okay - and your gut says it's okay - listen to your gut (more than the doctor ;-).
C.

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H.M.

answers from Boston on

No, you don't need to be worried. I would keep your eye on it and ask your pediatrician's opinion. My oldest son did not crawl until 11 months and took several steps at 15 months and then refused to do it again. He did not start walking until 2 days before early intervention was on their way to evaluate him. I think he did not want to walk until he could do it without falling. My pediatrician was not worried about the crawling but, was concerned about the walking and suggested early intervention. Just keep an eye on her and ask the pediatrician.

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L.Q.

answers from Boston on

Oh boy do I know what you are feeling right now! My son did not crawl until he was 10 months old (some say that is a little late but yet in the normal range). The bigger issue was he did not start walking until 4 days ago and he will be 18 months in 6 days. I was very worried because early intervention will tell you what is "normal" for walking is 9-14 months. I was 15 months myself and have heard of many other children not walking until 18 months. He would however walk with a walker with no problem and cruise furniture no problem he just seemed like he was too nervous to let go. I had scheduled early intervention to come out later this month but I feel I can call and cancel now that he is walking. Some kids are just a little slower at some things than others. However my son says a lot more words and even 2 sometimes 3 words together and has been since 14 months old. That is actually very impressive for a 14 even 17 months old and his doctor was impressed by that. Early intervention did says it could just be the child's personality and not a slowed motor skill at all which I believe is true for my son!
So try and relax and keep encouraging your daughter but what ever you do don't get aggravated or angry with her though!!
She will do it sooner than later try and be patient. However you are the mom and if you feel it is not "normal" then call early intervention they will come to your home to evaluate your daughter. But I say give it a little more time first.
Good luck!! Feel free to e-mail me anytime. [email protected]____.com

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A.G.

answers from Boston on

My first didn't crawl till she was 11 months either - walked at 15. And my third was similar. So, principly, you shouldn't worry. However, if it does seem like your daughter can't stand on her own - strengthwise or she can't seem to pull herself up (in her crib or next to a table or sofa, for example), talk to your pedi. My first was delayed some because of a Carnatine deficiency (it helps with muscles) in her diet. Check her leg strength by putting her in your lap and lifting her up some to see if she pushes back on your leg or if, lying down, she pushes with her leg when you push against her foot.

Also, try to motivate crawling. The day after I toook my first for her 1 yr check-up and the docter was consired about her leg strength she DID start crawling. I had put down a large foam puzzle mat for her - for the first time. She was all over it and just started moving.

Good Luck.

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S.R.

answers from Hartford on

My son crawled the week before he started walking which was the week before his first birthday. He never was a huge crawler but loved to walk. He didn't have any delays. You can talk to your ped. about it but they will probable advise you not to be worried. I am sure you have already heard it but every child is different. Give you daughter the opportunities to grow and practice and she will probably set her own pace. When you talk to the ped. ask when you should worry and then pledge not to worry until then. I did that with several things and I never ended up having to worry.

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M.B.

answers from Hartford on

So she's never liked tummy time then? This is very common. My 7 month old just got approved for services with Birth to three because he hates tummy time and isn't sitting up or rolling over yet. Well, he rolls front to back, but not back to front. He hates being on his tummy. Would rather kick himself around laying on his back or be upright and jumping. Birth to three is a great program here in CT. You don't need a referral from a doctor. You can call them yourself. The website is birth23.org and you can fill out a referral on there and they'll contact you with your concerns and then send someone out to evaluate. Can't hurt to get an evaluation. If you don't qualify then they can at least tell you some things you can do to encourage the walking and crawling and you will get regular screenings to see if she does ever end up qualifying. Then if she does qualify they come right out to your home or wherever you are most comfortable how ever often you like and will teach you and her how to get moving. They can help figure out if there's a physical problem there or if it's just simply developmental. I know my sons ped. wishes all kids could get birth to three actually that's how great of a program it is for kids.

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H.M.

answers from Pittsfield on

No need to worry at all. I have 4 kids ages 10, 5,4,2. 3 girls and a boy. All my girls were late walkers 13-14 months. My sone walked at about 10 and a half months. The "normal" range is very big. My Doc said he wouldn't even be concerned until about 2yrs! And besides once they start walking there's no stopping them :)

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K.T.

answers from Boston on

I dont think I'd be worried, just run it by your doctor to make sure. I'll share my experience.

1st child, never really fully crawled, and walked exactly 11mo old.

2nd child crawled EVERYWHERE, yet didnt walk til 13mo old

My neice did not walk at all, til 18mo old!!!!! She would hop on her knees, she never hardly crawled either.

I would just keep encourging her, 11mo old is still young for walking, before you know it, she will be all over the place. She will walk when she is good and ready.

I always kept my kids barefoot in the house, I think it was easier when they were learning to walk. Or lay her on her tummy and hold a toy she likes a foot or so in front of her, and see if she will scoot or crawl to reach it.

P.H.

answers from Boston on

She may have issues like Low Muscle Tone and need some physical therapy. Call your local Early Intervention office and as for a Free evaluation. This is free service and they would come to your home if she needs any services. My son was 6 weeks early and has had many issues, he has low muscle tone which could be hereditary:

Early Intervention

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Welcome to the Early Intervention Program
Early Intervention provides family-centered services to help children who qualify to develop the skills they will need to continue to grow into happy and healthy members of the community.

Quick Links
Information for Families
Information for Providers and Practitioners
This program is part of Division for Perinatal, Early Childhood, and Special Health Needs.

Contact Information
Ron Benham, Director, Early Intervention Program
Bureau of Family Health and Nutrition
250 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02108
Tel: ###-###-####
Fax: ###-###-####
TTY: ###-###-####
Email: [email protected]____.com

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H.S.

answers from Burlington on

Hi,

I am a RN, so I know a little about child development. I feel you should call or make and appointment with your child's health care provider. Perhaps some PT or OT work would be helpful.

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L.L.

answers from Hartford on

Hi K., My ten mo. old grandson is doing the same thing so I am also curious to see your responses. I think they all learn things when they are ready personally. I also think if they are bigger babies, especially length wise, it is also more difficult for them. Wish you well and God bless. L.

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C.H.

answers from Boston on

well, as long as shes inch worming and lloks like she trying, i wouldnt worry too much, but if she doesnt crawl soon I would check with the doc. My oldest didnt walk till 14 months, my youngest at 9! theyre all different. Maybe she needs to have more floor time to explore? We used to put a meaowing kitty doll my baby looooved a few feet from her to get her to go, it was so cute and it def. worked. Everytime she got close wed move it a bit more, poor thing, lol good luck

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M.K.

answers from Boston on

Checking with your pediatrician is always a good idea, but I wouldn't worry beyond mentioning it at her 1-year checkup. My nephew didn't crawl until after his 1st birthday, and then didn't walk until around 18 months but then he could ride a bike without training wheels before his third birthday...

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L.M.

answers from Boston on

Hi K.,

My son was the same way! He absolutely hated being on his stomach and never crawled at all. He ended up getting around by "scooting" on his behind. He did not start this until around 9 1/2 months. He also did not walk until 14 1/2 - 15 months. They all do things at their own pace and some kids never crawl at all. Have you talked to your Dr. about this? I don't think they get worried at this point, but it may put you at ease.

L.

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R.S.

answers from New London on

Hi - I think every child developes at a different pace. My niece did not crawl or walk until she was @ 13 mths and then just started doing it. She is 11 now and can't sit down for a minute!!

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C.R.

answers from Boston on

Will she scoot around on her bottom? I know that babies sometimes choose different means of moving around at first- scooting, crabwalking, rolling. I remember our baby hated being put on her belly, until our babysitter would prop her up with the Boppy pillow curved around under her upper chest. Then she could more easily reach things and look around without her face bonking on the floor beneath.

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M.B.

answers from Boston on

My son started crawling around just after turning 1 and didn't start walking on his own till about 18 months. The doctor told me it was completely normal for some to start later. I would just ask the pediatrition what they think. I know my friends daughter never crawled at all though. she would just sit on her bum and push her way around.
Does she have a walker? If not maybe try one of those to encourage her.

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J.S.

answers from Boston on

That sounds just like my daughter. She started crawling just before she turned 1, when some of her friends were already walking. She didn't walk until she was almost 17 months. She's 22 months now and you'd never even know it. She runs and jumps and dances just as well as the other toddlers we know. I don't think we did anything special to encourage her. I might seat her out of reach of a toy she wanted and get her to crawl to it, which sometimes worked. She wasn't crazy about her tummy time either and I didn't push it like I should have.
Is your daughter working on language skills instead? I think mine was. She's far ahead of the toddlers that walked earlier in terms of talking, so I never worried too much about her physical development because she was just working on something else.
Talk to your Ped about it, in case this goes on much longer and he/she wants to have your daughter evaluated. But from my experience, your daughter is probably just fine.

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L.H.

answers from Boston on

Ditto on Bonnie's response. I, too, was a worried first time mom and panicked that something was wrong! Add to that having autism and aspergers in the family, and you can imagine how much of a mess I became over this "delay".

All for naught, I am glad to say. At 3 years old my late crawler (12 mos), walker (cusp of 14 mos), and talker (don't get me started on that one!) is so fast on her feet that we have a hard time keeping up. She's also an incessant talker with a wicked sense of humor, an extensive vocabulary and song repetoire, and an adorable voice that we sometimes wish was silent (like when her brother is napping!). Literally, she was late with every milestone, both verbal and physical. Come to think of it, even her *teeth* were later than most kids!

Try hard to just enjoy your baby where she is. It's so difficult with all the books, magazines, and web sites telling you what milestone to be expecting this week/month and not even seeing it on the horizon. It will come, and sometimes out of the blue like crawling did for my little blob! Try to resist all the comforts she's grown used to (bouncy chairs, swings, exersaucer, etc) and continue to try tummy time, lay her on her back when she's tuckered from the belly (a minute later, right?), have her sit with toys out of reach, and allow her fuss ~ she'll find her way. My daughter's profile sounds so much like your description of your daughter, and she's proof that yours may suddenly surprise you. Ours surely did!

L.

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S.S.

answers from New London on

I wouldn't necessarily be worried about the fact that she won't crawl or walk as long as she has her own way of moving around. Maybe she scoots or rolls to where she wants to go? She might just have her own way of getting places and is perfectly happy with it. Will she pull herself up at all or do you actually have to stand her up? When you put her on her stomach, does she roll over herself or just cry until you pick her up? It might just be the way I'm reading it, but if she cries on her stomach, maybe there's something that hurts when she's in that position. If that's the case, I'd talk to her doctor to make sure there's nothing wrong.

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K.C.

answers from Boston on

My daughter was scooting on her bottom at her first birthday and she didn't start walking until ~14 months. She never crawled either but I think that's because we have wood floors so scooting was probably easier. My niece didn't start walking until 14+ months either and both my daughter and niece are now very active toddlers.

~K.

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B.M.

answers from Boston on

My son didn't crawl at 11 mos. either. He disliked being on his stomach as well. He started walking at 13 mos. and then crawled after. Try putting objects and toys out of her reach so she will be encouraged to go after them. If you are really worried look into early intervention programs. Talk to her pediatrician for more information.

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C.Z.

answers from Portland on

Hi, some babies never crawl at all, they just go to standing up and walking eventually. My daughter wasn't really a crawler and would just walk around on her knees, she walked late too. Don't worry about it, she will walk when she is ready and might never crawl. If u see any other delays u can ask your doc but I really wouldn't worry :-)

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W.D.

answers from Boston on

not every kid crawls.. some go straight into running! don't worry.. she's totally normal..

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K.P.

answers from Boston on

Your daughter sounds exactly like my own! She has always been perfectly content to just sit and play, etc... would sit up /stand with help but no desire to move on her own. Tummy time is still a major cause of distress for her. I attributed it to her extremely laid back nature, and that she's maybe held a little too often by yours truly. By her 12mo appt, I mentioned it to her pedi. He wasnt greatly concerned but suggested having her screened by early intervention merely to see if she needed some help somewhere. I was initally horrified at the idea of it - which I know I shouldnt have been, but no one wants to hear that their baby may need services. Turns out that she has wide spaced hips, and it's causing her to have difficulties. She's nearly 14 mos now and I cannot believe how much progress she's made in that short time with a few suggestions/exercises. She's still not quite there yet in terms of walking or crawling even... but getting there. I'm not saying that your daughter needs early intervention - but it can't hurt to ask your pedi. I'm glad I took his suggestion, rather than waiting until she was that much further behind. I'm not trying to scare you or anyone by sharing this - but sometimes there is something else contributing, and it may take more than just waiting it out. But remember like many moms above have said, most babies walk by 18mos, which is stil 7 mos away for you!

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S.L.

answers from Boston on

Hi- my son didnt crawl until 12 months and then didnt take his first step until 17 months-I was worried because he had an older brother so I figured he would be up and running in no time..I was wrong. Our pedi told us that if he wasnt walking by 18 months they would have his hips checked, but it turned out unneccesary. Also, my oldest crawed at 10 months and walked at 14 months.
Try not to worry too much, I know its hard not too, but Im sure your daughter is developing fine!

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C.L.

answers from Boston on

dont be worry. her time will come when she is ready. my son didnt walk til he was nearly 17 mos old. each babies is different.

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