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11 month old cannot get onto all fours or into a sitting position by himself

(12 Posts)
dizzee Sun 20-Sep-09 21:44:24

My DS is almost 11 months old. He has been sitting unsupported since he was 6 months old, but he cannot get into this position by himself. He happily rolls around the floor and has just recently begun to commando crawl a little bit, but he cannot get onto all fours. If I try to put him on his knees his legs just spread out (if that makes sense). Also he can get from sitting to lying, but he always just goes flat to his tummy and cannot support himself on his knees. He can push his bottom in the air and he can play in a kneeling position. Also, he stands well holding on to things so I don't think his legs are weak. It's like he can push his upper body OR his lower body up, but not both together.

Has anyone else had a baby who could not get onto his hands and knees and if so, how did they ever get into a sitting position?

Are there lots of commando crawlers out there who never crawled because they just couldn't get the hang of being on their hands and knees.

DS is quite flexible through the hips - when sitting up with legs apart he can put his chest/tummy flat to the floor. Can all babies do this? Do we just lose this flexibility with age?

I'd be grateful for other peoples experiences of how their DCs leant to crawl/sit.

siouxsieandthebanshees Mon 21-Sep-09 00:00:31

dd was like that, she was still just lying there and not even attempting to even roll over at 11 months. Then, bang in 6 weeks she was walking. Evey child is different and boys do tend to be a little slower in their devolpment

Clary Mon 21-Sep-09 00:08:20

Sounds like he might be hypermobile.

My DS1 had increased flexibility as a young child. He was a late crawler and walker tho sat early. Sorry can't recall if he could get to sitting at 11mo (think so tho) but I do remember he could walk before he could stand by himself (so when he fell, he had to crawl to nearest chair).

He's OK now tho not the most athletic runner etc btw.

But maybe worth having a doc look at him - if he is over-flexible it might be hard for him to support himself?

He bears weight so that's a good thing, he is probably fine tbh.

Rosesinautumn Mon 21-Sep-09 00:20:17

I should think he is fine but take him to the doctors anyway. On the off chance that there is a problem, the sooner you get it diagnosed the sooner you get the problem sorted.

DS2 never crawled, he was a big baby and just didn't seem to be able to support himself on his hands and knees. He skipped straight to walking (at about 11mths if I remember correctly). I think flexibility varies from person to person. DS1 could lie flat like you mentioned as a baby and still can at 4 he's just naturally very supple, DS2 has stiffened up since starting to walk though.

cory Mon 21-Sep-09 08:06:09

I agree with Clary, might be worth a dr having a look at those hips. Both my dcs are hypermobile and their lives would have been easier had it been spotted earlier.

Jane7 Mon 21-Sep-09 20:18:08

Hello Dizzee - I remember your ds is a bit like my dd. I took dd to the doctor and he looked a bit worried at her total inability to crawl or go on all-fours but then he saw that she was quite good on her feet and is doing a bit of cruising and seemed a lot less worried. i think if your ds is good on his legs then that's the main thing. i don't think it matters too much about crawling, getting from flat to sitting etc i might be wrong but i think it'll all come in time, although i agree a trip to the doctor is always a good idea if you're worried about it. is your ds cruising much yet? can he pull up on furniture? because if so, that must be sign that he's doing really well.

dizzee Mon 21-Sep-09 22:00:15

Thanks everyone. I think I will take him to the doctors. Just don't want them to think I'm a paranoid mummygrin. I know some babies don't ever crawl or only ever commando crawl, but I can't help but worry.

Hi Jane - how is your little one doing. DS has pulled up 4 times in the last fortnight, but most of the time he tries, realises it's difficult and then gives up. He loves standing up holding on, but he does not cruise. He absolutely will not take a step, either holding on to us or to the sofa etc. He is quite a cautious boy so I wonder if his lack of crawling/cruising actually just relates to his personality. For ages he wouldn't bear any weight on his legs, but then one day it was as if he realised that he could and since then he's been keen to stand all the time.

For those who know about hypermobility - what can be done to improve it? Is it a case of exercise or physio?

DS can hold a hands and knees position if his hands are slightly higher than his knees (for example on a low box). He just hates having his tummy parallel to the ground (if that makes sense). I'm trying to encourage him, but it is difficult as I worry that it is somehow painful for him.

rabbitstew Mon 21-Sep-09 23:24:43

My ds1 was similar, due to excessive hypermobility and an excessively cautious personality, and needed physiotherapy to help him along a bit. He started physio at 15 months (when he wasn't even attempting to bottom shuffle, crawl, pull to stand or get himself from lying to sitting) and was walking by 23 months. He is now 5 and, whilst not an athletic child, is full of energy and not physically behind his peers. I seem to remember he finally learnt to get himself to sitting by rolling onto his tummy and then pushing himself back on his hands until in a "kneeling" position (or, more accurately, a "w" position, as his feet and lower legs would be poking out rather than being under his bottom - not a good position for the hips, I'm told, but one both my ds's seem to favour). He couldn't actually get to sitting from lying on his back until he was about 4 years old. He was also rather amusing to watch learning to crawl - he would be getting along quite quickly when suddenly his hips would seem to give way and he would end up splayed on the floor.

The chances are your ds is going to get there in the end just fine on his own - after all, he's already attempting crawling and pulling to stand. However, there is no harm in asking for someone to have a look at his hip and other joints, to ensure there aren't any major issues with them, just for your reassurance - who cares if they think you're an excessively anxious mummy? Physiotherapy made a colossal difference to my ds1 and I wish we'd been able to access it sooner.

As for your ds and standing but not cruising, my ds1 could stand holding on to things just fine, but couldn't cruise for ages, either, because cruising does require quite a lot of hip control. My ds1 also had knee hypermobility, so he tended to lock his knees into a hyper-extended position when standing, which would then render it impossible for him to move, or even sit down again, unless he fell backwards onto his bottom with his legs still locked straight!!! Needless to say, all that was actually required to rectify these issues was exercises designed to build up the muscles that support his loose joints, which for most children is achieved by their own efforts to move around. Some children, though, need a bit of extra support to enable them to walk within an acceptable time frame (I'm quite certain my ds would have walked considerably later than 23 months without the extra help he received).

Jane7 Tue 22-Sep-09 10:33:03

Dizzee -if it's any reassurance, dd din't cruise for ages, would just hold onto sofas in the same spot, however much i tried to lure her with exiting toys at the other end. then suddenly, after ages, literally months of not moving, she started being able to do a bit of footwork. but that wasn't until about a week or two ago, and she's turning one in two weeks. as for pulling up, if things are a good height for her and her feet are in the right place, she has a go, but I often have to support her bum. she never does the pulling up that most babies do eg onto her knees and then up. she pulls up from sitting which seems like much more work, especially as she's quite hefty (12 kilos!). she can't get from stomach to sitting either although i don't think she's really tried as i've given up putting her on her stomach now, she seems to want to be on her feet all the times. sorry for waffling, it's just nice to find someone in similar situation. i'd be interested to hear what your doctor says. if you want to email me i'm on ethicsgirl at

bruffin Tue 22-Sep-09 10:54:19

Ds was a commando crawler and from what I can remember he was actually walking before he could get himself into the sitting position, but he was walking at 10 months.

dizzee Mon 28-Sep-09 21:02:34

DS has made an improvement this week and can now support himself quite well on all-fours if I put him in that position. He rocks backwards and forwards in that position, so I'm hoping that he will one day (soon) crawl. He still enjoys standing and seems to transfer his weight from one leg to the other, but still no cruising yet.

He has some funny ways though. He'll push his bottom into the air and push up on his right hand, but he cannot get onto all fours because he keeps his left arm underneath him and then eventually rolls to his left. If I move his left arm into position he has no problem supporting himself on it and it doesn't seem noticeably weaker than his right. It's as if it's just a habit to keep it underneath him.

I think I'll leave it a couple more weeks to see if he makes any more progress then I'll take him to the doctors.

Jane7 - How is your dd doing? She is quite big at 12kilo - I guess that does make it harder for pulling-up. DS was 9.5 kilo about a month ago, but he is long (91st percentile). If she is cruising then it sounds like maybe it's just lack of confidence that stops her walking alone. Maybe it's just hating tummy time combined with a cautious personality which is making our babies a bit slow to get moving.

I might start a thread for mutual support for those of us with slow coach babies!

Jane7 Sat 03-Oct-09 20:33:28

dizzeee- that's a great idea to start a thread for slowcoach babies. i do try so hard not to worry or care that dd is behind other babies but it's hard. the big development my dd has had in the last week or so is that she's bumshuffling, so at least she can get around, although it is funny to see and she's still not good at all at pulling up. has done it about once or twice in her cot. also she turned one this week. hurrah! hope your ds is getting on ok. it sounds like crawling might be just around the corner

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