It’s so exciting and a moment of joy when you see your little one roll on their tummy for the first time or start to sit and then when they start crawling. Babies reaching their milestones is extremely important for the development of their motor skills. While reaching a particular milestone, your baby might do something unusual or something we’ve never seen before. An example could be the crawling milestone, where your baby does crawl, but she crawls with only one leg. This can worry any parents, and as parents, it’s some sort of a given thing that they will worry about all matters related to their child, big or small.
Most of the time, a baby crawling with only one leg is usually not a matter of concern; it’s just a starting phase where the baby is still learning to use all her muscles simultaneously to propel herself forward. Most babies who crawl with one leg are believed to crawl the traditional way soon once she gets more mobile, or they may continue with scooting or crawling with preference over one leg and start walking soon after. Although asymmetrical walking is sometimes associated with autism, it’s not the only symptom of autism. But, if things still seem very unusual or you’re very much concerned about your child’s development, then do make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician to clear off all your doubts.
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When do babies start crawling?
Crawling is an intermediate between sitting and cruising or walking. The checkmark on crawling is done when the baby is around 9 months old. Babies can start crawling as early as 6 or 7 months too. So steps towards crawling can happen anywhere when the baby is between 6 months to 10 months.
While my nephew started crawling at the age of 6 months, my son did the commando crawl when he was 8 months of age and then started crawling the classic way only when he was 9 months old. So, every baby is unique and different and will take their own time to reach a milestone on their own.
Some babies take their sweet time to start crawling and can even happen after they are 10 months old, while some babies bypass crawling altogether and jump directly to cruising and then walking. For babies who are late or are not crawling at all, doctors usually recommend exercises to help them start holding and standing up and walking.
Different ways your baby might crawl
Before having a kid, I thought that babies crawl only in one style- the classic crawl. It was only after becoming a mother that I realized that there’s not just one but multiple styles of crawling that babies adapt.
Parents or caregivers need to understand that there is no ‘incorrect’ way of crawling and that babies have their own style and stick to it as long as they are comfortable.
The different known styles of babies crawling are…
The classic crawl
This is the type of crawl that you will probably imagine when you think about babies crawling.
The classic crawl is where the baby pushes herself up from the belly, and has positioned herself on her hands and legs, and moving forward by propelling her opposite arm and leg and vice versa.
The crab crawl
The baby pushes with her arms instead of pulling. The crab crawl can get frustrating for the baby because a crab crawl sends the baby backward instead of going ahead.
The tripod crawl
The tripod crawl is where babies move forward with two hands and only one knee, while the other leg takes it easy.
If rolling is what lets your kid go about faster, then your baby will probably roll herself anywhere she wants to go.
The bear crawl
Doing the downward-facing dog yoga pose, your baby will move forward on all her fours, with her legs high in the air, unbent.
The leapfrog crawl
In this method, your baby gets on all her fours, and like a frog she thrusts herself forward.
The belly/commando crawl
This is what my son used to do. He would move forward by dragging his body with the help of his arms and elbows and would move around without lifting his body up.
The bottom scooter
This type of crawl might be the funniest and cute to watch, where the baby scoots around on her bottom while using her arms to move forward.
There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ position when it comes to crawling. As much as a baby is unique from one another, so is their adaption of crawling styles.
Is crawling with one leg a sign of Autism?
Asymmetrical crawling is sometimes considered normal and a part of their learning on how to crawl, but doctors also suggest that babies crawling with one leg are associated with autism. However, little research is done on it.
The above statement means that if your baby’s crawl is asymmetrical, it might mean that she prefers one side of the body over the other, or one side of the body is stronger. The other side is weaker, so she uses one side of the body more than the other.
If this is the case, then it is not just with crawling, even while playing, where normal babies use both sides of their body, both or alternate hands to play, autistic babies may show a preference of their hand, playing with or grabbing toys with only one hand.
But babies crawling with only one leg don’t point to autism, as this is not the only symptom of babies who are autistic. Parents need to remember that often times than not parents over-analyze their babies. If your baby does something different from the conventional, don’t automatically assume there’s something wrong with your baby.
The best thing you, as parents, can do for the peace of your mind and of your house is to be well informed and make an informed decision. For this, relying only on the internet is not only the plausible answer, but talk to a professional, consult your child’s doctor, or even get a second opinion before going down the hole of utter worry.
Signs of Autism
The baby isn’t crawling, or crawling with only one leg is not the only sign of autism. Many early signs indicate if your baby is autistic, like…
- She doesn’t smile at people.
- She doesn’t follow her eyes at moving objects or her caregivers.
- She doesn’t keep eye contact or makes minimal eye contact.
- She doesn’t babble.
- Even at the age of 7 months, she doesn’t laugh or squeal.
- She doesn’t try to reach for her toys.
- She seems disinterested in games like peekaboo.
So in conclusion, I would like to say is let your child be the way she is. Don’t try to mold her or force her to do something that you had imagined in your mind.
What’s more important is that your child is mobile, be it in any unique way. Your child may adopt any style of crawling I stated before, or she might even invent one of her own, but whatever it is, give her some time to learn how things work.
This doesn’t also mean that you shut away all your worries in a box and throw away its keys. Trust your instincts; don’t go over by what the internet says. If you feel that something’s not right with your child, then it’s essential to talk to your child’s pediatrician and not be shy of how silly your concern might be. No concern is big or small when it comes to your baby.
Please record your baby’s behavior that you’re worried about over a couple of days, and show the notes to your baby’s pediatrician, to help them better diagnose the baby.
But, all in all, be relaxed and calm. Share your comments or questions below, talk to you soon!
Located in India and a mother to a joyfully mischievous son, Kelin is the wife of the world’s most patient man and a busy homemaker. When she’s not busy cooking and running after her kid, you can find her in a corner reading, or penning down words on her laptop. She believes the world will always try to instil ‘mom guilt’ in new mothers, but she goes by the maxim ‘a mother knows best’.