My baby does not know how to crawl, are there any problems?

My baby is over 9 months old, why wouldn’t he crawl like his sister? Does it mean he is slow in development?

The rate of development varies among babies, especially in motor development. Generally speaking, around 10% of babies omit the stage of crawling and learn to walk directly. For these babies, apart from not crawling, the other motor developmental aspects are all fine, such as sitting firmly at around 9 months old, and changing from prone to sitting position. They usually have their own way of moving, such as move with the bottom shuffling. Some will crawl with the tummy on the ground. Up till now, there is no evidence showing that babies who do not crawl will develop slower, so you do not need to worry too much.

Of course, there are some diseases that may influence the crawling ability of babies. Therefore, you need to watch out for the following conditions:

  1. Slow in overall development including fine motor and social skills
  2. Asymmetrical movements on both sides of the body such as one side moving less than the other
  3. Problems in joint movements, especially the hip joints
  4. Difference in length of the lower limbs

If you suspect your child having the above mentioned conditions, you can call Maternal and Child Health Centre, or you can consult your family doctor for further assessment.

How can I encourage my baby to learn crawling?

You can place some floor mats on the floor and put your baby in a prone position. Then you stay a few steps away from him, shake his favorite toy, attracting him to reach out his hand to grasp or crawl near you. Allow your child to expose all his knees and feet if possible so as to increase his sensations when touching the floor.