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Mrs. Chicky

Funny you should write this, because I was just having this conversation the other day. I was talking with someone about my child (a 'late' walker at almost 15 months, though it doesn't seem that late to me) and how when she was just learning to crawl at 8 months there was a small time when we thought she'd go quickly to walking. When my in-laws heard this they got very agitated and told us (my husband and I) that we must make sure our daughter crawled for a while first. Then they started sending us links to baby development websites that talked about what you already mentioned, that a child needs to crawl first. We had no idea!

As a matter of fact, when my husband was an infant his parents devised this aparatus that they called the "alligator", which was basically a skateboard with straps. My husband was having difficulty crawling so his parents strapped him on the gator to encourage his crawling skills. Must have worked because his hand-eye coordination is stellar!

Jill Urbane, The Mentor Mom

Sounds like your in-laws are well informed! I love the "alligator"...very clever :)


This is an interesting topic. However, one cannot stop their child from progressing at their own pace. You cannot force a child to crawl when all they want to do is get up and walk. My son crawled around 6 months and walked before he was 9 months. Was I going to discourage him from doing this? Heavens NO! He crawled. It was only for a short time but he crawled. I gave him equal amounts of tummy time and exersaucer time. He's now 11 months and seems perfectly normal. A lot of children dislike tummy time. But I believe it must be done several times a day to develop the muscles. But a child will do things at their own pace. To try to force your child to crawl longer is basically impossible and kind of absurd. If they are as determined as mine was to walk then good luck keeping them from crawling up the furniture to stand and making the natural steps of growing up.

The Mentor Mom

Thanks for sharing your opinion on this topic, Jennifer. I agree with you that children will do things at there own pace and as I said in the post, there is no definitive research that says skipping the crawling stage will cause difficulties later on. Again, this is just some information for parents to consider :)

Doula Jane

What if your baby has absolutely NO interest in crawling? I have tried many techniques, but so far my 8 month old isn't interested. She can sit beautifully, and is able to reach for things and regain her sitting position. We've tried tummy time daily, but she regards it as torture. I'd appreciate any insights, especially if someone has experienced this. This is my 4th child, and all the others adored crawling, so I am mystified!

The Mentor Mom

It can be frustrating when they have no interest, can't it?! Have you tried making tummy time more interesting for her by getting right down on your tummy in front of her? Maybe trying a shatterproof mirror where you can both look at each other. Encourage her to try to touch it and slowly move it back as she reaches for it so she has to move forward. Also, you can try rolling up a towel like a bolster and put it under her arms or belly so she is in hands and knees. Again, get down on the floor in front of her. Try singing songs in front of her which always sustains their attention. and see if she will tolerate several minutes of this. If you are able to do activities like this at least twice a day for as long as you can, hopefully she will start finding tummy time or time on hands and knees less aversive. Sometimes the missing ingredient is us! I really hope this helps and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions are would like any other suggestions :)


I have a 10 month old baby. He refuses to crawl. We have tried several things: we crawl around him, put toys out of reach, coax him with the cell phone, remote control, dog, etc. I have really been worried about him now crawling and I am not sure if I should be. Recently he has started a strange half walk/half crawl where he crawls on one knee and one foot. He LOVES to stand and be walked around the house. I don't know what to think????


To Mandy and all,

Hi, I don't know how to help you to get him crawl right now. There are some babies that prefer to skip crawling even in cases that their environment makes crawling convenient (genetics ??)

When my kids were infants, there was a theory, at least in my country, to put babies to sleep on the side. 2 of our kids were OK with this, but 3rd refused to sleep on the side and ALWAYS turned on his back.

Now, I've read that if baby sleeps on a back, it is hard for her/him to turn around to the tummy to start crawling. Anyway, we tried, but without success. He crawled less than 6 months, as needed. Now he has ADHD.

If baby not crawls enough as infant, it can be fixed later, after age 5, by doing crawling exercises from the book "Stopping ADHD". I do these exercises now with my son. I run a blog with our crawling videos:


You are welcome to visit. Please leave a comment. I am trying to organize a community around the importance of crawling.


P.S. I am not OT or professional in child development or related, I am just a father of ADHD child and I do crawling exercises with him.

frazzled mom

We thought my daughter was physically advanced: she could sit up by herself at four months, and she was walking by nine months. She crawled for less than a week. Now she's 11, has been diagnosed with ADHD, and we're starting to wonder if the lack of time spent crawling had something to do with it. I'm going to read "Stopping ADHD" but I hope it's not too late!


I am quite concerned about all the assumptions that tonic neck reflex seems to have generated. My little one is nearly 13 months and only just starting to get on all fours. I get very sick of all the comments like "you know that they need to crawl first, or they might have trouble reading later on", which is exactly what a stressed out mother needs to hear, right? I have seen the Early Childhood Nurse and GP who say my baby is fine. It seems to me from my own research that there is a definite disorder associated with symmetrical tonic neck reflex (and asymmetrical tonic neck reflex). Babies who are just taking their time, but are developing beautifully in all other areas, should not be subjected to forced crawling exercises that they hate. Sorry to sound negative, but I'm feeling very frustrated with the myth that appears to have arisen from this and I would like to clear it up.

Not Buying Link between reading/ADHD and crawling

This sounds like total crap to me--just more to freak out moms and make them feel anxious, worried and guilty. A child will develop at his or her own rate according to genetically determined factors.

Not Buying Link between reading/ADHD and crawling

And, for the record, everyone in my family has some degree of ADHD and we were all early/on-time crawlers!


Though years late in replying, I still believe in this crawling a lot before walking. Because of certain circumstances, I let my son crawl until he was a year and half or less. He started playing football/soccer at 3 until this summer(our summer is April to June) and switched to Tennis which he absolutely enjoys. He has been at the top of his class all these years without much of my help. He adapts very very well with all sorts of people young and old. He is musically inclined too. Glad to have found this site. Keep up the good work. Cheers.


Thanks for this, I have a friend that won't let her daughter crawl. I know from being in child development that this wasn't good but didn't know how to pass that on.(I've mentioned things before and she got very upset) Also I would just like to say to the people that are getting angry to look again. It does not say don't let them walk, nor does it say when they need to learn to crawl. It says: "So how do you encourage crawling in a little one who has already taken to walking? Get a tunnel for them to crawl through. Play pretend games like being a dog or a horse and chase them around while they are on all fours." Thank you Mentor Mom.

Not giving in

Thank you! My daughter was recently diagnosed with ADHD. As I began to do my own research to be better informed it quickly became apparent that this is an overwhelming task. And even more difficult is trying to come up with non-drug related solution that fits for my child! My daughter never crawled but scooted in a sitting position until she walked at 14 mos. After meeting with doctors, a pyschologist, pediatric nuerologist and chiropractor I mentioned this behavior and none of them acknowledged a link between crawling and ADHD. I am now reading "Stopping ADHD". This gives me hope.

mom of 3

Is it possibile that ADHD is genetic and that not crawling could be genectic also. Maybe that gene causes or co exists with a gene that causes ADHD. Not crawling could possibly not be the cause of ADHD, but the other way around. Maybe for some kids, not crawling is an indicator for ADHD, or maybe an indicator of sensory issues which can go along with ADHD. A gene most likely causes it and may or may not be a common gene seen with ADHD. I could be wrong, but makes more sense to me to focus more time and effort on treating/learning skills to function better w/ADHD than trying to make it go away. Good luck though. I must admit, I intend on looking up info on the books mentioned here. Be careful though, stopping ADHD may also be stopping the wonderful differences that come along with it. :)


Excellent explanation of the importance of crawling before walking. I'm posting this for all of you whom I've discussed this topic with, but could not remember the exact details of why I have been so strongly encouraging our baby to crawl first--I had the gist of the reason stored in my head, but not the details. And I'm happy to report that we are now officially crawling! And pulling up, and standing...and, and, and!!!! :-)


There has been significant research done about the importance of crawling for spinal development, as well as brain development. And also research linking immunizations to ADHD. Isn't the internet wonderful? all the opinions, personal experiences, research studies, so you can think for yourself and do what works for you.

Sandy Thomas

Hi, I was just researching Symmetric Tonic Neck Reflex and came across your blog here. My son is 16 and still taking Adderall for ADHD, they just upped it again at the doctor's office and I was looking for other means for controlling his hyperactivity and to help him concentrate better in class. My son never crawled, I was always in AWE of this, cause he went from pulling up on the couch to walking at 8-9 months old. I did not know there was a link between this and ADHD until I saw an ad about it. My daughter crawled for months before she started walking at about 15 months of age... and she has no syptoms of ADHD. I would appreciate any feedback... Thank You, Sandy Thomas

Patricia Weiss

I am going to be a grandmother for the first time. My son who is the prospective father never learned to crawl and went straight on to walking. He was always in the talented and gifted program throughout his school years. He was read to every day from birth. He was reading the unabridged version of Huckleberry Finn and recognized for a talent in writing at 7 years of age.Presently at 35 years old he is a published author and one of the most successful bloggers in the country as well as an avid cyclist. So far as we can tell missing this developmental stage has had only positive effects.

Cathie B

I would suggest looking up INPP if you have a child with ADHD and any other learning delays. They specialize in kids that have retained infant reflexes. My son has gone through the therapy and it did wonders. He was a late crawler, early walker and had other reflexes that did not become inhibited normally.

I do believe that tummy time and crawling are much more important that anyone gives it credit for (even here!!!) Much of the therapy they do is based on movements a baby makes to program neuro-pathways that were not properly set in place as an infant.

Once we completed these exercises, the changes that we saw were unbelievable. For example, when he was 15 months old, his eyes crossed. He had two surgeries to correct the problem, but they turned again when he was 5. He started the therapy when he turned six. About 6 months into the program, his eyes straightened out. He wore no glasses, did not do vision therapy or any other therapy, for that matter. But his eyes straightened, he calmed down and his learning delays improved significantly (both fine and large motor skills).


Hi my daughter is nine months old we have done everything you have suggested to try to get her to start crawling but she only acts intersted in walking and standing. do you have any other suggestions as to what i can do to get her to try to crawl before she walks?


Hello... I'm a pediatric physical therapist who deals with the "crawling vs. walking" discussion frequently. Yes, children will develop at their own pace, but when parents continually encourage positions in standing (via exer-saucers, jolly jumpers, walkers, etc.) when children are not physiologically and developmentally ready for them, they tend to exhibit a strong 'extensor' pattern (using all the back muscles at once to make their bodies straight) to stand up. As a result, babies tend to be delayed with being able to use their legs opposite each other, or their arms/legs opposite each other as the original post mentioned. There should be warnings on these 'standing' devices!!! If you would like to encourage your child to crawl stop standing them and put them on their tummy. They can only stand if you place them in that position, so stop condoning it until other milestones are reached. Particularily lying down on the floor and coming into the sit position. Very important!

Jennifer Carey

This is really helpful and informative information on crawling, and the importance of crawling as a developmental stage! I introduced the Baby Bumpers crawling protective kneepads to help encourage both parents and babies to explore and grow in comfort. Your assessments have been confirmed to me in market research by orthopedic pediatric surgeons and the Spina Bifida Foundation. Check out www.babybumpers.com.au and I would love for you to write a review on my website! It is great to know that Parents are encouraged to put babies back on the floor to encourage this important stage, and I love your ideas for crawling games too!

sue iverson

As a school teacher for 23 years, I can you that crawling does matter. I have recognized that the pattern is more of "how many months" of crawling does it take to develop--and not the age. 6 to 8 months seems to be the average to avoid school problems. I have also seen stduents begin sports activities with lots of "cross the midline" movement lke soccer, be totally changed into productive students and it was the movement not the "team work".

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