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teaching a baby to crawl

(52 Posts)
sassyminder Tue 22-Feb-11 19:41:37

I never thought my children to crawl but recently a mother told me she was teaching her 6 months old how to do it. I than asked a friend and she said that yes it is good for their development to be taught how to crawl. I'm confused as I though it was one of things kids will learn naturally. In fact comparing myself to other mothers I think I let my children to experiment and find out things by themselves naturally while other people around would rather teach and show...for instance I never teach children how to play with a toy, unless they specifically ask me I let them free to use their imagination and play whatever way they want. Am I to laid back??

nickytwotimes Tue 22-Feb-11 19:43:57

teach them? how?

nah, no need.

blueberryboybaitonSafari Tue 22-Feb-11 19:44:06

How can you teach a baby to crawl? Don't they need to have mastered otehr skills first like sitting, tummy to sitting, balancing on all fours without face planting? I have never assisted either of mine (I actively prayed DD2 wouldn't crawl until she was at least 20) and DD2 is 8mo and a crawling wizz!

smashingtime Tue 22-Feb-11 20:02:44

We had to help my dd to crawl as she has mobility problems and it took her a long time to master it - she was 15 months when she finally started. We would put her on all fours from a kneeling position and move her arms and legs so she got used to the sensation and co-ordination.

I do stress this was not an NT baby so as most babies manage to master crawling unaided it would not be something you need to do with your child usually!

AstronomyDomine Tue 22-Feb-11 20:06:21

My DS (now 15) wouldn't crawl, wouldn't walk in his walker (he just pushed backwards) ... then he just took off one day (after he'd turned 1!!) - I wouldn't worry unless like smashing there are other mobility issues.

AMumInScotland Tue 22-Feb-11 20:15:49

I think your friend is daft, unless like smashing her baby has mobility problems and needs some extra help. Babies will by their very nature find ways to move around - whether by crawling, bum-shuffling, or something else. I'm sure your friend will congratulate herself on her wonderful teaching skills when her baby achieves something they mostly manage on their own wink

Bumperlicious Tue 22-Feb-11 20:21:08

Why would you teach them to crawl? Honestly, the first signs of movement from dd2 and I'm strapping her down. Once they start to crawl you can no longer leave a room knowing they'll be in the same place when you get back.

Firawla Wed 23-Feb-11 08:43:12

6 months is quite young to crawl anyway, i think this is quite weird of your friend to do this

nannyl Wed 23-Feb-11 10:00:53

would never teach a baby to crawl

when if they want to, they will teach themselves

melpomene Wed 23-Feb-11 10:28:06

I think it's normal to encourage babies to crawl when they are starting to learn, by leaving a toy a bit out of reach for example. But teaching them sounds a bit weird.

Oakmaiden Wed 23-Feb-11 10:33:27

Crawling is actually really important for babies - it is a cross lateral movement which if they don't master can have implications for development further down the line - babies who never learn to crawl are more at risk of dyslexia and ADHD, amongst other things.

That said - most babies will work crawling out all on their own when the time is right for them, so it is rarely necessary to teach them to do it, and in your friend's case 6 months is very young and the child will almost certainly learn to crawl without any further help. But, some babies don't, and research suggests that it IS beneficial to help them to learn if they don't do it automatically.

iPhoneDrone Wed 23-Feb-11 10:34:47

your friends are overly controlling weirdy freaks

reallytired Wed 23-Feb-11 10:35:18

ha! Ha! pfb. I am sure that most second borns aren't taught to crawl

Tummy time is good for babies. If your baby doesn't like being on the floor then lie down on your baby and put your baby on your chest.

What is the advantage of learning to crawl at 6 months over learning to crawl at 9 months. Is this mother the sort who is trying to teach her child to read, do maths and generally hothouse?

reallytired Wed 23-Feb-11 10:37:43

Seriously scary .. ROD&Store_Code=G&Product_Code=5129&Category_Code=E QUP

My poor children are doomed to failure in life as they never had ANYTHING like this!

therugratref Wed 23-Feb-11 10:40:14

Save your energy for when you have to teach your child how to do verbal reasoning for the 11+.
Trust me the best baby is one that will reliably be where you left it. Something all second time mums realise.

Bramshott Wed 23-Feb-11 10:42:44

I was NOT keen for DD2 to crawl (far too much trouble!) but at about 11 months my grandmother decided to get her a little car thing that whizzed around the floor and she was off and crawling after it within the day hmm grin. However, I reckon she'd have worked it out herself within the next few weeks, even without said whizzy car!

Bramshott Wed 23-Feb-11 10:45:02

"babies who never learn to crawl are more at risk of dyslexia and ADHD" - is that really borne out by facts Oakmaiden? Or could it be the other way round, that babies with dyslexia and ADHD are less likely to crawl? FWIW, I know several kids who didn't crawl (they mostly bottom-shuffled, and a few were early walkers) and none have the problems you describe.

bcmummy Wed 23-Feb-11 11:02:54

reallytired - OMG a crawling track???!!! How did my DS ever move without this essential bit of kit?? Jeez - seen it all now.

Agree that teaching a child to crawl is nuts - they will do it if/when they are ready.

MoragG Wed 23-Feb-11 11:31:59

Have to say I find it very unhelpful that whenever someone asks about this a poster comes along and says something along the lines of "babies who never learn to crawl are more at risk of dyslexia and ADHD". As if we didn't have enough developmental things to worry about :-( My DD (13 months) has chosen to bum shuffle - if I put her on her tummy she just pushes herself back up to a sitting position. Not sure how I am supposed to teach her how to crawl then??

Oakmaiden Wed 23-Feb-11 11:36:17

Bramshott - I am not an expert in the subject, but am merely repeating what I have been told by health professionals with regard to my own children (one of whom has ADHD, and Dyspraxic difficulties, amongst other things - and incidentally DID crawl). Apparently crawling involves a cross lateral movement which stimulates development of the corpus callosum (which is the bit that joins the two brain hemispheres together). Or something.

Certainly one of the "treatments" suggested to help mitigate his difficulties have been cross lateral exercises. Which is why he has taken up drumming (eek!).

I don't think anyone suggests that a child who doesn't crawl will DEFINITELY develop difficulties, just that it is an important part of development. I have always assumed that it is more that if a tendency towards those things already exists then one of the factors which may contribute to it becoming problematic is not having crawled. There are other ways children can practice cross lateral motion too - swimming for example. And, apparently, drumming. sigh

Oakmaiden Wed 23-Feb-11 11:42:23

Morag - I am not sure your irritation is justified. The OP seemed to be asking "is there really any point in teaching a child to crawl?". How is it unhelpful to answer "yes, in a some cases it might be a useful thing to do"?

rabbitstew Wed 23-Feb-11 12:10:48

Of course a child with difficulties with cross lateral movement is potentially going to need to be taught to crawl and teaching it to crawl is going to be beneficial. Not all children who don't crawl have such difficulties and not all children who are taught to crawl as babies are going to go on to be free of problems like ADHD, dyspraxia and dyslexia. What you don't know at 6 months old is whether your child is likely to have such difficulties, unless they have shown extremely obvious signs of having movement difficulties already (in which case you should get professional help for your child to try to make sure that ALL appropriate interventions are taking place), so it is interfering in the extreme to teach an otherwise apparently normal baby how to crawl and therefore more likely to be an irritation and obstacle to a healthy parent-child relationship than a benefit, in most children.

However, it is slightly irritating when some parents appear to imply that all people are silly to try to teach their children to crawl. Sometimes it is obvious to a parent a considerably long time before the so-called experts will admit it, that their child has problems with movement. I had to wait until my ds1 was 15 months old, still had head lag, couldn't get himself to sitting, pull to stand, bottom shuffle or crawl, before the "experts" agreed with what I had been pointing out since he was very small. And guess what - he was taught to roll over, push back on his hands to a sitting position, and taught to crawl. Up until the point when I refused to accept that the argument that "all children get there in the end" was a pile of shite as an argument for refusing my child help, I got b*gger all help. And was extremely upset by the first comment I got from the physiotherapist, which was, "it's a shame I didn't see him sooner."

Bramshott Wed 23-Feb-11 12:10:52

Thanks Oakmaiden - that's interesting.

rabbitstew Wed 23-Feb-11 12:13:57

(or should I say, up until the point when I realised the argument was... rather than refused to accept...)

activate Wed 23-Feb-11 12:14:41



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