17:56 PM

Baby scooting instead of crawling: Is this normal?

Care.com discusses normal baby scooting and crawling behavior with experts including Susan Petroski-Randolph MSOT, pediatric occupational therapist at HSS, and Magdalena Oledzka PT, PhD, DPT, MBA, PCS, c/NDT, pediatric physical therapist at HSS.

Oledzka explained, “Some kids will have both hands free and just do this kind of pelvic thrust, forward and back, to move their butts on the floor. Some babies use one hand, some use two and some don’t use hands at all. Asymmetrical scooting may be more concerning as it may indicate asymmetrical strength and a preference to use one side of the body — so it definitely should be discussed with a pediatrician to rule out possible underlying conditions.”

She added, “Babies can scoot in all directions, but most of the time they will be scooting forward towards the toy, caregiver and object they are interested in.”

“From my perspective as a pediatric physical therapist, I see the baby who is starting to choose butt scooting versus reciprocal crawling [on hands and knees] as a sign of weakness in the core, a little bit of a delay in the development of more mature skills in the trunk,” cited Oledzka.

According to Petroski-Randolph, “When they are crawling on hands and knees, they’re strengthening their shoulders, their arms. They’re weight bearing into open hands, which helps develop the arches of the hands. It helps stretch out the ligaments of the hands into their full open position.”

“We’re seeing a lot of babies being put in walkers and exersaucers and play gyms where they are not getting that tummy time, and that often impacts whether or not they crawl as well,” noted Petroski-Randolph.

Petroski-Randolph explained, “Parents of babies who bottom scoot for a few weeks and then transition to reciprocal crawling have no reasons for concern. Parents of babies who pull to stand, cruise and take their first step in the timely manner — by 15 months — have no reasons for concern. Infants who choose scooting as their only mode of mobility and show motor delays, such as not pulling to stand, standing or taking steps, are the babies that come to see us.”

Read the full article at Care.com.