Q. My 8-month-old isn't crawling yet. All the other babies in our playgroup are. There doesn't seem to be anything physically wrong with him. He does sit up and scoots on his bottom. Should I be concerned?
A. For crawling, there's a wide time frame for what is considered normal. Babies typically start to crawl at anywhere from 6 to 10 months. The fact that your son can sit up and move himself around by scooting indicates that his motor development is progressing well; he'll probably crawl in the next month or two. On the other hand, he may be one of those babies who skip crawling altogether; instead, he may pull himself up, then start to cruise by holding onto objects (such as you or the furniture), and eventually begin to walk. However, if your son still isn't taking these next steps that lead to walking by 10 months, talk to his doctor.
Meanwhile, there is no harm in playing with him in ways that may encourage crawling, as long as it's fun. Try placing desired objects just out of reach and taking turns getting them. When it's your turn, retrieve the object by crawling on all fours. Or put on some music and model rocking back and forth on all fours to the beat, as this kind of rocking is a precursor to crawling.
Claire Lerner, LCSW, is a child development specialist at Zero to Three, a national nonprofit promoting the healthy development of babies and toddlers (zerotothree.org).
Originally published in American Baby magazine, November 2005.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.