EXPERT ADVICE: Why is my child not crawling?

Some babies skip the crawling phase altogether. Find out from the experts if you should be concerned.

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From day one, you will be bubba’s only mode of transportation — whether you strap them into a stroller, put them into a carrier or just cradle them in your arms.

When they’re 9 months and up — or when they can sit well without support — your mini-me will try to crawl. They gradually become more confident in switching from being seated, to being on all fours. By 10 months, they’ll learn that pushing off the ground with their knees allows them to move about and thus start crawling.

“We should consider the child's overall development. If the child is slower in other aspects, parents should consider consulting a paediatrician.”

Besides a newfound freedom, your curious cherub will also benefit in other ways:

* Improve gross and fine motor skills Crawling involves the movement of larger parts of your child’s body like their arms, legs and feet as well as finer movements like their hands and fingers.

* Gain balance Your baby needs to balance his body when he gets on all fours before he learns how to move while resting on his arms and legs.

* Better hand-eye coordination Crawling requires your child to use his eyes to see where he’s going and his hands to stop his movements, when needed.

* Learns how to navigate During their first few attempts at getting around, you might see your munchkin trying to crawl through tight spaces, rather than going around it. But through time and experience, your child will eventually discover new and more efficient ways to get around and learn to slow down to avoid hurting themselves.

* Builds self-confidence Giving your little one positive encouragement and feedback when they crawl from A to B might boost their self-esteem.

Thomson Paediatric Centre paediatrician Dr Yang Linqi and NUH Rehabilitation Centre’s senior physiotherapist, Chong Hui Ngoh, offer expert advice on encouraging your baby to crawl:

Should parents be worried if their baby isn’t crawling?

Dr Yang: Some babies may not crawl at all and may just move on to the next milestone, which is pulling to stand and cruising. There is no negative impact on the child as long as they develop the rest of their milestones appropriately.
Chong: We should consider the child's overall development. If the child is slower in other aspects, parents should consider consulting a paediatrician. Children who do not have opportunities to stretch the soft tissues in their hands and to strengthen their upper body or practise using both hands may face challenges in the future when using them for things like self-feeding, handwriting and sports.