The domestic at my husband’s work fell pregnant and was due two weeks after we were. I saw her once and then again six to seven months after the babies were born and so I popped the normal questions-how’s your baby, is she crawling etc. And yes, her baby was crawling…so when I responded that my baby (two weeks older) wasn't crawling she replied, very concerned- “Why not? What is wrong with him?”
What's wrong with him is that I am taking too good care of him. Every time he moans, I pick him up, pamper him and give him what he needs. Until it became what he wants i.s.o needs and then…at eight months he wasn’t really making any attempt to reach for objects further than his comfortable reach in a sitting position. Well he made an effort, he moaned, and I picked it up and gave it to him. I conditioned him to do so by continuously jumping to his command. I even coached the nanny to do so because I cannot handle moaning. It’s like Chinese water torture, gentle moaning that grinds through my ears…my skin…my head starts to malfunction…and so I avoid it, by giving him what he wants.
With the cleaner’s baby it was a whole different story, she was not number one and everyone did not jump up every time she moaned or bumped her head. She had to make do and so she persisted until she started crawling, 6 months of age. Yes, genetic do play a role. I walked when I was 9 months old, but my kids both waited to mid eight months before they started crawling (this is still within the normal developmental milestones so I wasn’t too worried, but some kids miss this milestone because we are such great mothers). So there is more to say than every child develops at his or her own pace or according to their genetics.
So I decided to be a…less involved mother. I decided to face the moaning and let him come up with plan B - crawling. Within two days he started reaching further and I even teased him to reach. (like all the books say you should). Tipe A personality came out and within three days he started leopard crawling. I know there are a lot of opinions out there about whether your baby should or shouldn’t crawl, when they should start etc. I will stand by it that crawling is an important milestone, have grace, compare but don’t compete. Read up and find out how you can help your child to master crawling. Don’t be selfish or lazy. Help your little one. The best thing you can do for your child is not always giving him what he wants, but help him with what he needs!
If you need advice or tips on how to help your baby to crawl, contact your local occupational therapist. They will also be able to identify reasons for not crawling and if possible means around it if your baby skipped this stage.
The benefits of crawling reach far beyond just being able to move. It helps with forming of the spine, for posture and movement in the future. It may assist in problem solving and integration. It provides shoulder strength and stability for future writing skills. I think you owe it to your kid to at least try. Make use of the numerous paid and free resources out there. And be reminded that if they do skip it, it is not the end of the world. It may just mean harder work later on.