Should A Baby Crawl Before Walking?

Crawling before walking

Crawling offers lots of good experiences for a baby while also assisting in the strengthening and development of other areas.

If your baby has not started to crawl or creep by 9 months, it is time to see a physical therapist or your pediatrician.

Crawling is the first and lengthiest time your little one will be bearing weight via their hands in order to develop shoulder strength and stability.

This is significant since it lets them use their hands for other tasks, like:

Being able to dress themselves, Playing with toys, Coloring, Handwriting in the future and  Feeding themselves.

Kinds of crawling

Professionals have identified 25 different body parts that little ones use to crawl across the floor, but the 2 most common kinds are criss-cross on knees and hands and belly crawling.

Criss-cross crawling

It is often known as hands and knees crawling, necessitates the coordination of limbs from opposite sides.

A newborn alternates his or her legs and arms, bringing one arm to the floor at the same moment as the opposing leg.

This diagonal form of movement, also known as contra-lateral or cross- crawling, is critical for the development of the corpus callosum, a fundamental brain route that belly crawling doesn’t affect.

Belly crawling

Approximately half of all babies start to crawl by pressing their belly against the ground.

Belly crawling requires less balance and strength than crawling on hands and knees, these babies often begin crawling early.

This way of crawling is sometimes used by babies’ right up until they walk. Others begin crawling in a criss-cross pattern before they walk.

Other types of crawling

You might notice your little one moving across the floor with different combinations of movements and limbs.

Frequent rolling, crab crawling, scooting on the floor, leapfrogging, or even pulling or pulling with one knee or foot could suggest a problem to coordinate the cross-body action required to craw using knees and hands.

It can happen due to a variety of reasons, but it usually means your baby is losing out on key developmental inputs.

If your little one does not like crawling, seek out a neurologist to teach you about how you can encourage crawling in a nonjudgmental, supportive, and pleasant way so that your little one may get the full benefits of crawling.

Benefit of crawling

  1. Physical strength

Baby is acquiring great physical strength as they begin to get more physical, experiencing thrilling new freedom on all fours, which will prepare them for walking in a couple of months.

When a baby pulls herself up on furniture and stands up, the natural curve in their spine develops, and their legs, muscles, and lower back strengthen.

The more crawling the infant does, the better prepared they will be to walk on their own two feet.

  1. Coordination

Crawling improves right and left brain coordination by requiring the brain to process movement, sight, and hearing simultaneously.

The more your baby crawls, the more synchronized and developed each of these crucial skills will get.

Everyone should work together for the little one to gain mobility – right knee and… one forward movement; left knee and right arm… another forward movement.

Your baby is using their growing hearing and eyesight to pinpoint their preferred destination as they glide over the floor.

  1. Spatial understanding

Crawling also gives a newborn the chance to grasp spatial notions. This gives the baby a physical understanding and orientation of everything around them.

While a crawling baby may prefer to go “through” instead of “around” things, with experience and effort, little ones learn to negotiate a more efficient approach to their intended goal.

This knowledge will be crucial for navigation, self-preservation, and problem resolution throughout their lives.

  1. Self-confidence

Crawling babies are developing their self-confidence and making their first decisions. Babies take frequent physical risks and learn about their capabilities and limitations with each triumph and failure.

It’s amazing to watch your little ones explore the world around them at this period of their growth.

As they gain experience crawling, they will recognize when they need to slow down to investigate impediments on their route, navigate a step, or prevent injury.

  1. Binocular vision

When your infant realizes that their favorite toy can be near or far away, their visual abilities will improve dramatically.

Binocular vision is when your kid trains his eyes to stare off into the distance before returning to his hands when crawling or grabbing for that toy.

To compute distances and make sense of what we see, we employ binocular vision. It’s a skill that enables us to copy information on a blackboard, operate a car, and catch a ball.

  1. Physical development

When your baby begins to crawl, they are developing:

  • Hand-eye coordination: the ability to use the eyes to guide attention while also using the hands to complete a chore. Kicking a ball and even writing require this skill.
  • Balance – establishing balance is a physical prerequisite for your little one to gain confidence and the ability to progress to the next stage of development – walking.
  • Fine motor skills– this entails strengthening the body’s smallest muscles, like the fingers and hands. They’ll be used to move the mouth and chew, grab objects, write with a pencil or pen, and even attach garments in the future.
  • Gross motor skills– these are greater movements made by your baby with the feet, legs, arms, or whole body. These abilities are vital as they provide him with the physicality he will require to jump, run, and walk as he grows.

Begin to expose your little one to belly time while they play and are awake early to ensure they have a successful crawl. Always position your little one on their back while napping.

Continue to expose your infant to tummy time through play to increase their skillset and tolerance.

If your little one doesn’t enjoy their tummy, work on it in little increments and various positions.

To help babies focus on lifting their heads, tuck a towel under their arms or place them on your chest in a reclined position.

This will help make it simpler for your little one to elevate their head and push through their arms.

It’s fine to utilize positioning devices at different times all through the day; however, playing on the floor is the best way to develop mobility and strength.

This exposes them to the growth of their gross motor skills, from rolling to crawling to walking, as well as laying the groundwork for fine motor skills and developing excellent core strength for talking.

How can you assist your child with crawling?

The following tips can assist in encouraging crawling:

  • Holding or keeping your baby upright as little as possible can prevent her from acquiring too much muscle tension, which will make crawling harder.
  • Let the little one learn the joys of standing and sitting without help. The child will gain the coordination and strength she’ll need to crawl on her knees and hands this way.
  • Ignore the conventional opinion that crawling is unimportant.
  • Allow your infant to spend as much time on the floor as possible. Babies benefit from exploration because it allows them to try new movements.

Seek help from a functional neurology doctor if moving does not interest your little one, doesn’t use both legs and arms, your baby arches her back a lot, rolls more than crawls, or doesn’t want to curl up and snuggle.

For years, scientists have known that newborns who miss the crucial crawling phase might experience learning issues afterward.

To crawl on the knees and hands is critical for appropriate mental and physical development.


Allow your child as much freedom to move around as possible when he learns to crawl or walk, avoiding the usage of playpens and other limiting equipment.

As your baby begins to walk, assist him by directing him to smooth, flat surfaces.

Allow the baby to walk on elevation, and irregular surfaces as his coordination improves, as both will help him build his balance.

Above all, take pleasure in your baby’s first shaky steps into the world. Little ones grow up quickly, and it will not be long before you’re doing more running than walking to care for your child!

Leave a Comment