Babies not crawling
- Re: NEW YORK TIMES
April 29, 2001
"Pediatricians are seeing more babies who never crawl, going directly from
sitting to toddling. Researchers say this may be a real change in infant
Far more likely is the concerted campaign to put babies to sleep on their
backs and not on their sides or stomaches. The impetus behind the campaign
is to fight sudden infant death syndrome, which appparently has been been
successful although I do not have figures on decreases in mortality.
A tiny baby put to sleep on her stomach will try to lift her head when she
wakes up, which strengthens muscles used in crawling. It is not a very big
step (no pun intended) to wiggling around, and then to crawling. But when
babies are put to sleep on the stomach they have to learn how to roll
before they can even get in position to crawl. Since many are barricaded
with rolled towels to keep them on their backs, this further inhibits what
has been a usual path toward crawling.
Does this matter? I have no idea, although when my own kids were tiny 20
and more years ago there was much talk about how crawling was essential for
normal development of the brain. Anyone doing any studies.
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