Baby Milestones: To Crawl or Not to Crawl
Submitted by Erin
My 8-month-old son Joey can't crawl. He can get from one side of the room to another in a matter of seconds, but it's not by normal knees-and-hands crawling. Instead, he sort of leans sideways and reaches while thrusting his butt into the air and then flops forward, bonking his head on the way down. It's not pretty. Not at all.
And yet Joey's inability to crawl wouldn't bother me so much if it weren't for meddling know-it-alls. My son's happy. He's healthy. It's not like he's 7 and still can't crawl. He's 8 months old, for gosh sakes! And yet there are all these people who seem to think that it's their duty to inform me about all of the things that could possibly be wrong with him since he's not crawling. Here are just a few (of the many) things that people have told me lately:
—If he doesn't learn to crawl before he can stand, then he'll never be able to read or write because he won't understand sequencing.
—If he never crawls, he'll need physical therapy on his legs and he'll be stuck in casts for years because he'll never learn to walk flat-footed.
—If he can't crawl before he's 9 months old, it's a sign that he'll probably have a learning disability in math.
—If he doesn't crawl before he's 8 months old, his arms are too weak and I should have him see a therapist immediately because it could be a sign of a physical disability.
So now I'm freaking out a little. For weeks, I've been reminding myself to relax. He's a baby. His pediatrician doesn't see a problem. He's right on track with the rest of his baby milestones. Crawling has nothing to do with reading. Or writing. Or math. At least I don't think it does. But sometimes, as I watch him scooting along in his awkward way, I start to wonder: Is he destined to struggle in school? Will he never be captain of the football team? Is there some merit to what these people are saying? Or should I just relax and wait and see?