Tiny Travelers: 9 Different Crawl Styles & What They Say About Your Baby
Baby crawling is probably the most basic form of locomotion. It’s a big breakthrough in muscular and motor development and being able to move from one place to another will also boost your baby’s confidence and help her to become more independent.
NYC pediatrician and author, Michel Cohen, reminds us babies’ crawling styles are the same. “The are many ways for an infant to crawl…or not at all.” And while some child development experts believe that crawling is an integral part of development, others, like Cohen, believe that “if all other aspects of development are on par, there’s no need to worry if our baby does not learn this optional mode of locomotion.” If your infant decides to crawl, here is a guide to interpret her own personal style.
Classic Hands & Knees or Cross Crawl
Standing on flat palms and knees, your baby moves one hand and the opposite knee and then alternates. A traditionalist, your baby is moving through milestones in a textbook way. The alternate use of limbs is setting up neural pathways to work in an efficient manner.
The mechanics of this are the same as the classic, except the infant keeps her arms and legs straight, looking like a bear. This is one of the baby crawling styles that shows great strength in the arms and legs and perhaps the intention to soon stand up on two legs.
Belly or Commando Crawl
Baby propels himself forward but keeps his belly on the ground. Enjoying the feeling of being grounded, your little one both wants to move around and be well rooted. He is still developing the core strength to lift his belly and may switch to a classic crawling style after a while.
Like your puppy when she has an itchy butt, your baby sits on her rear and uses her arms to propel herself forward. A personable infant, she doesn’t want to miss out on anything. This way, she can still be part of the conversation even while she moves around.
Babies crawling backward or sideways when they crawl are said to be doing a crab crawl. This is sometimes a phase until your baby learns to move forward or simply he has his own way of doing things.
Babies who get from one place to another by rolling rather than using arms and legs seem to have a need for speed. They can certainly move very fast this way, but fine navigation and turning radius are sacrificed for sheer velocity.
If your baby crawling is distinctly stronger on one side than the other, her crawl may be a little lopsided. Over time, the discrepancy may even out.
Some babies are not just interested in moving but they also want to bring their stuff with them. They will develop baby crawling styles with one palm open and the other gripping whatever object they cannot bring themselves to leave behind.
Not At All
Some babies don’t crawl at all and move straight to sitting and walking. Some time ago, it was thought that crawling was essential to a child’s development but more and more evidence has been gathered that crawling is optional.