Most parents are on the edge when it comes to their baby’s milestones. Since, there are some parents who believe that by reaching a certain age, their little one should already be able to do so-and-so activities.
If you have concerns about how your baby’s progression is going, do not be a worrywart just yet. Some kids start talking first before they even learn how to flip over to their belly and crawl. You need to be patient at first.
Of course, as a parent, no one can blame you for worrying. After all, the looks you get when some of the fellow parents find out your 10-month-old baby is still not able to move on his or her own can send you on a mini-panic attack.
Why is it important for babies to crawl, anyway?
WHY IS CRAWLING AN IMPORTANT MILESTONE IN A BABY’S LIFE?
More than just being a means to move around, crawling is considered a wonderful growth development.
Going on all fours is usually expected during the initial year of a baby’s life. Below are some important reasons why crawling is glorified as a sign of a baby’s development.
1. It Signifies Physical Development
When your baby starts crawling, it clearly indicates that he or she has improved his or her physical capabilities and can now move on his or her own. Other indications include developments on the following:
This is an important prerequisite in learning how to walk. Also, it shows just how the baby’s confidence has evolved.
Both gross and fine motor skills are necessary for the little one to pull off crawling. Enhanced gross motor skills are utilized for walking, jumping, and running as it involves big movements of the entire body. Fine motor skills are required for eating, holding things, and even dressing up. It plays a big role in strengthening smaller muscles of the body.
Coordination between Hand and Eyes
Hand and eye coordination are important in practicing focus to get tasks done.
2. It Develops Understanding of Spatial Concepts
Initially, babies only move around, going through random paths to get to their destination. They have no concept to avoid things that are on the way, so long as they reach their desired spot. Through time, they will develop an understanding of the things around them and find ways to navigate their way around.
3. It Provides Enhanced Coordination between Left and Right Brain
More than just moving forward, crawling also helps babies practice their hearing and seeing skills on the way to their desired location.
4. It Presents the Idea of Distances
When a baby decides to go towards something, he or she employs what is called a binocular vision. Imagine your baby wanting to reach for something, of course, he or she will need to compute the distance of the subject from him or her. This is a similar concept when adults drive on the road or while riding a boat.
5. It Increases Self-confidence and Sense of Self-value
Of course, going places seems like a simple thing to do, but this is a form of accomplishment for kids. Simply because of the fact that they are now able to make their own choices on where to go.
Baby not crawling at 10 months, does this mean he or she is experiencing stunted growth?
First off, visit your pediatrician. Most of these experts will tell you that it is pretty normal and you need not fret about it. Just to make you feel more comfortable, here is a guide that can help you get an idea regarding the locomotion progression of a baby.
A GUIDE TO BABY’S FIRST STEPS
Getting Ready for Movements
• For the first few weeks, the baby spends time just stretching his or her limbs. This is how they make amends for the many months of being inside the womb like curved like a little ball.
• In the first two to four months, the baby should be doing other movements such as extending his or her hips and kicking his or her legs. Some parents get alarmed when they notice their kid’s legs are shaped like a bow. But keep calm because, in time, these straighten out on their own. Other concerns would be inwardly curved feet. But, most of these are due to spending many months inside the womb.
• On the fourth to the sixth month, babies start reaching out to their feet, playfully grabbing them and shoving them inside the mouth. Some even try to use their feet the same way they use their hands.
When should you worry? If your kid is not actively doing some stretches, you might want to contact your pediatrician, especially if he or she is not playing down his feet when providing support in standing position.
Beginning to Crawl
• At 7 to 8 months, babies will try to use their hands, as well as their knees in order to rock themselves. If you see this on your child, it means they are preparing themselves to start crawling.
When should you worry? If baby not crawling at 10 months or is unable to support his own weight or cannot move around, you must have him check by the pediatrician. Some babies lack the muscle tone to carry themselves and facilitate movements. If at one year old, the baby is not scooting, crawling, rolling, or anything similar, you should try to find out the reason behind it.
Beginning the Transition from Crawling to Walking
• By 9 to 10 months, kids develop curiosity enough to motivate to check things out. By one year, they enter the explorative stage. They cruise around with their hands while holding onto a piece of furniture. At this time, some kids look flat-footed. This is because some arches take time to develop and get hidden by a thick fat pad. This pad disappears when the kid hits two or three years of age.
When should you worry? Well, if baby not crawling at 10 months and uses his or her hands to move around or sometimes show leg stiffness, there may be an issue. Other alarming signs would be constantly falling down or limping to one side. These can be due to spinal cord issues, joint problems, or cerebral palsy and require medical attention.
While this is the most common pattern, some babies are different. For example, some skip the crawling stage and immediately enters the walking stage (often without warning, resulting to the parent’s pure joy and bliss).
Parents, especially first-timers, are usually obsessed with monitoring their child’s progress. And because of the availability of parenting books and online websites, it is easy to compare your child’s development to the usual track that kids undergo.
As stated, some kids do not undergo crawling. So, for those eagerly competitive parents with a milestones’ checklist, this can be really triggering.
Some toddlers begin to scoot and this can go on for a while before they start crawling. Meanwhile, some go from scooting like a small yogi to walking. Although, this transition takes time. So, why is it that some kids skip crawling?
WHY DO SOME BABIES SKIP THE STAGE OF CRAWLING?
According to an expert, while skipping crawling is not normal, it does not signify that your child is not developing. Whatever mechanism babies utilize to move around can help them in improving coordination and balance skills. These movements also provide them with the ability to explore and develop independence. It does not necessarily have to just be crawling. Methods like sliding on the tummy, shuffling through their bottoms, or using legs and arms to change into a seated position. Some babies even do commando crawling to move from one place to another.
But, if you still feel like you need to know the reasons why your little one is not crawling at 10 months, here are some possible reasons:
1. Upper Body Weakness
Babies must first be able to support their upper weight on one arm, before fully shifting to the crawling position. This takes time to muster.
What can you do? Start tummy time. Prop the little one on his or her belly. For newborns, 10 minutes a day is enough, but this should be increased to an hour by the time the baby reaches his or her third month.
2. Core Muscle Weakness
Core muscles are needed to prevent the tummy from sagging. Strong belly and back muscles are also required for crawling.
What can you do? Encourage playtime while the baby is lying on the side to utilize back and belly muscles. Kicking and foot reaching can also do the same.
3. Touch Sensitivity
Some babies find it difficult to sustain the weight because they have tactile sensory systems that react with the type of floor they will crawl on. If you see a baby crawling on fist, this may be the cause.
What can you do? Teach the baby some sensory plays.
4. Tightness in the Neck
Neck tightness in one side is fairly common in kids. If ignored, this can cause unequal strength and uneven functionality of both hands. Torticollis, the medical term, can be seen as a preference to turn head on one side than the other, flattening of the head to one side, or head tilts or turns to one side.
What can you do? Limit the time your baby spends stuck in containers as this can affect his or her body’s ability to move.
5. Infant Reflexes
If it is still present, it can be helpful in most cases. However, these are expected to disappear once the mind of the baby develops. If it takes time to disappear, it can affect the baby’s developmental progress.
What can you do? Do not restrict the baby’s movements. Allow baby to play in a flat surface. Also, do not prevent movements with baby gear.
There are times that the lack of infant reflexes can be bad. One infant reflex is necessary to help baby start crawling. This facilitates a downward dog yoga-like position where the chin is close to the chest. So without it, initiating crawling can be a struggle.
What can you do? More tummy time. Tummy time can help you heaps.
6. Lack of Opportunity to Practice Crawling
For a baby to be able to crawl, he or she needs time to play freely. It requires plenty of time to develop foundation strengths and develop a new motor skill.
What can you do? Again give your baby a liberty to move around and explore. Restricting the baby in “holding devices” with the intention of keeping them safe is understandable, but you are limiting his or her ability to grow.
7. Lack of Motivation
Yes, even babies need a reason to do something. Of course, most of the time curiosity is the motivational factor in the equation, so this is rarely a course of concern. However, some kids who suffer from visual issues can restrict their desire to reach out for new things. If your baby is diagnosed with a vision disorder, try not to let this be a hindrance to reaching developmental milestones. Assist them and develop activities that hone other senses like sounds.
There are other things you can do to motivate your child to crawl. Tummy time, playing at baby gyms, and conditioning the arms and legs are very productive ways to encourage your child from 6 months and more. In 7 to 10 months, you can use toys to have her reach out and get her moving.
Again, do not feel bad right away. The developmental growth of every child is incomparable to another child. Just be sure to assist your child in this transitional period. Of course, it will never hurt to ask for expert advice. But for now, do not be so hard on yourself or on your child.