Baby is Not Crawling – Causes and Ways to Deal With it

5 min read

Baby is Not Crawling

Crawling is a natural process of your baby’s development. It is the first stage where babies move and explore the world around them. Every parent keenly awaits that special day when their baby starts crawling. Crawling in Babies generally starts somewhere around the 6th to 12th month. But what if your baby is not crawling even after that?

Some babies start crawling early, others take time. And some babies don’t crawl at all. But what are the causes behind a non- crawling baby? How can you help your baby crawl? Should you be concerned if your infant is not crawling? Let’s know about all of that in this article.
In This Article

What Delays a Baby’s Crawling? – Reasons Why Your Baby is Not Crawling

what delays crawling in baby

Each baby is unique. So it is normal that their bodies will function differently. Having said that, some external factors can be responsible for the delayed crawling of a infant. Here are some causes for your infant not crawling as per expected milestones.

1. Not Having Enough Tummy Time

Tummy time helps strengthen the baby’s neck muscles and initiates crawling reflexes. If you always put your infant on its back, then he/she will not get the scope to crawl. Because of SIDS, it is essential that you keep your baby on its back while sleeping. But while awake, you can give them a bit of tummy time under supervision.

2. Curved Legs

Curved or bow-shaped legs are common in babies. This condition occurs when the baby doesn’t get enough space to stretch in the womb. Your baby’s bones are flexible; hence the condition gets corrected with some stretching and oil massages.
[Read : Bowed Legs in Babies]

3. Flat Feet

Another common problem for delayed crawling is the flat surface of the foot. The curvature on the feet gives babies the necessary grip for crawling or walking. Flat feet condition often corrects itself with time. But if your baby feels tightness in the heel cord or Achilles tendon or has pain when trying to move their feet, you may need to see a doctor.

4. Baby is a Non-Crawler

Some babies don’t like to crawl at all. Moving on the tummy seems very non-classy for them. Instead, they try dragging themselves with the help of hands or pulling themselves to rise on their legs. These are all good signs. You just need to encourage their movement, and they will do more for appreciation.

5. Lack of Encouragement From Parents

Parents often don’t let their babies stay on their bellies out of fear. Remember, these motor reflexes and coordination are vital for your baby. Let them be on their own for some time, but don’t leave them alone.

6. Baby’s Personality

Every baby has a different personality. Some try to move as quickly as possible, while others are too lazy to move. If your child is lazy, time and patience are the keys. Be patient and give your baby time and encouragement to crawl.

7. Uncomfortable and Restrictive Clothes

If the clothing of your baby is too tight or very loose, it may act as a hurdle for their free movement. Choose breathable and comfortable clothes for the baby’s daily exercise time. Also, keep your infant diaper-free when it is trying to crawl. According to NCBI, diapers can create a bundle between the legs and restrict movement.

8. Weight of the Baby

Chubby babies are cute. But being overweight can result in delayed motor development. Your little one may find it difficult to move around with the extra weight.

9. The Baby Was Born Prematurely

Premature babies are those born before the 37th month of pregnancy, while a normal baby stays in the mother’s womb for at least 40 months. A premature baby’s growth is almost one month slower than that of a normal baby. So, naturally, they will take more time to crawl than a normal infant.

10. Delay in Achieving Other Growth Milestones

A infant must achieve certain milestones before it gains the ability to crawl. So if a seemingly normal baby is showing delay in previous activities such as rolling over, shuffling, pulling forward, etc. then you must talk to your pediatrician.
[Read : Baby Milestones : Crawling]

Baby Physical Growth: Delayed Crawling Reasons

Is it Normal for Babies to Take Longer to Crawl?

Delayed crawling in babies is normal. The baby’s growth milestone charts you find at hospitals and other places are made by calculating the average of many babies. For this reason, your baby crawling a bit sooner or later than the mentioned timeline is normal. You should at least give two months more than the time limit before starting to worry about it.

Baby Not Crawling: 5 Reasons to be Concerned

Cause For Concern If A Baby Is Not Crawling

Besides the above list, there can be a few hidden problems that can cause delayed crawling. So you must be careful and check your baby’s growth thoroughly. Some concerning issues include:

  1. Hypertonicity or stiff baby syndrome
  2. Weak and untoned legs
  3. Cerebral palsy
  4. Congenital hip dislocation
  5. Autism

[Read : Clicky Hips in Babies(DDH)]

Is it Okay if Your Baby Skips the Crawling Stage?

Crawling is a part of your baby’s growing adventure, but it is not the mandatory one. If your baby is not crawling, but showing other growth signs such as rolling over or shuffling, they are completely fine. Some infants simply don’t like to crawl and try to stand and walk instead.

It is fine as long as your baby is not showing any discomfort while trying. But you need to ask for medical supervision if your baby is;

  • Not trying to move on its own after 9 months
  • Moves arms, but legs are stiff and rigid
  • Trying to stand up erect after 15 months
  • Walking on toes
  • Having frequent falls or difficulty balancing while trying to crawl or stand
  • Having low energy to support the body weight
  • Experiencing muscle or joint-related problems

In case of any abnormality in your baby’s movement or behavior, you should always talk to the pediatrician. Any underlying problems such as autism or any other neurological problem require immediate intervention for better results in the long run.

Delayed crawling in babies is not something to panic about if your infant is showing progress in other aspects. Let them grow at their own pace. Give them at least 2 to 3 additional months before starting to worry. Most of the healthy infants crawl. Keep encouraging your baby, and you will see the result.

FAQ’s

1. When to Worry About the Baby Not Crawling?

If the baby is not showing any signs of moving forward even after the one-year mark, it is something to be concerned about. You should seek a doctor’s advice.

2. What is Abnormal Crawling?

If the baby, instead of crawling or pushing forward on their hands and knees, finds it tricky to move, it is abnormal. Additionally, if the baby shows awkwardness or entangles hands and legs while moving, then it is abnormal. And it can be a sign of autism, according to PNAS.

3. What’s the Difference Between Creeping and Crawling?

Crawling is when the baby puts its tummy in contact with the floor, knees and elbows are bent, and the head is upright. Creeping is when the baby keeps its arms straight, its tummy off the ground, and puts all the weight on its knees and hands.

4. When is the Latest a Baby Should Start Crawling?

In general, babies start crawling between 6 and 12 months. Some babies can take an additional one or two months to start crawling.

Read Also: Types of Baby Crawling

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