Why do babies learn to crawl before they learn to walk?

Babies walk or dance before they crawl actually, well sort of, you’ll see.

Babies are amazing little creatures, they are very different from adults and should be treated as such. They aren’t born as blank slates though, a lot of things are innate, a lot of things are learned. And boy can they learn, not just by watching others do things but also by experimenting. There’s a reason why early developmental psychologists called them little scientists. They will form strategies on their own, test them out, and choose the best one.

We’ll focus on walking for now.

New-borns come fully equipped with a stepping reflex. If you happen to have a newborn at your disposal you can try it out (but support the head!). By dragging them a bit over a surface, the feeling of their feet/soles touching will initiate a stepping reflex, it looks like they’re walking. Don’t let go though, they are definitely not ready to stand on their own yet and will fall down.

The reflex tends to be present for the first 2 months, sometimes returning right before they start to walk. It’s thought that the reflex helps to train the muscles and motor nerves. The reason why is disappears is thought to be because the legs become too heavy, the muscles grow faster than their strength. Basically, they become too chubby and the reflex doesn’t work anymore.

In a way, they are born with the ability to walk or dance (differs a bit from baby to baby), but then lose it again because they grow so fast.

There are a lot more interesting and fun baby reflexes, like swimming and grasping, but that’s for another answer.

That brings us to toddlers and locomotion. Many parents will attest they looked forward to their baby being able to move on their own, and as soon as they did they missed the times the little bugger would stay put.

Infants can be very motivated, which is where the little scientist pops up. having toys or anything interesting looking sitting around is very tempting. Kids love touching things, they explore, and they really want to go there… but how…

Should they wait for the big person to either bring them there or bring the shiny to them? no, of course not! they can move now, so off they go!

They will experiment and explore a lot of different ways of getting around. A very popular one is scooting. They are laying there, they’re good at that, but they want to be elsewhere. Almost all children will solve this conundrum by pulling or pushing themselves using their hands. Scooting or shuffling across the floor. A popular and funny variation is scooting on their bum. If they can sit, they’ll prefer to sit and just use their arms and legs to push themselves around.

It’s not uncommon for children to be in this stage until they learn how to walk. It really is a matter of what works best for them.

Crawling is merely a more advanced version of scooting. Their legs become stronger and they are able to control them better. They will happen upon crawling by trial and error and find that it can bring them from A-to-B faster than scooting.

The logic is simple to follow. I want to go over there, crawling works best, so crawling it is.

Strategy use is very common in children, you see it in many aspects. They will try out new things, compare it to old things, and decide on whatever works best. In the case of crawling it’s mostly about speed. But as I said before, not all kids crawl. For some scooting works best, and they’ll use it until they learn how to walk.

It’s also not strange to see them use different strategies, sometimes crawling, sometimes scooting. Usually this occurs when they are learning and experimenting with new strategies.

Children don’t need examples to learn, they are very capable on their own. They will try and discover things like the small scientists they are.

Crawling is one of those things. They don’t need to see it, they discover it, realize it works better than what they had before, and start using it more and more until something better (like walking) comes along.

This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.

And what do you think about that? Do you have any interesting facts to share? If so, tell us in the comments below, please!

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What are your thoughts on this subject?
Tina Marie Haddad Rhodes
All my kids crawled early and my son walked at seven months without holding on. He has been on the go every sense….
Nov 29, 2022 8:28PM
Nancy Buckley Jannino
Nancy Mueller, My son did the same thing!
Mar 4, 2022 7:04PM
Krishna Chandra Singh Sanger
I was working in Nigeria (Borno state) from 1981 till 1984 end. I never saw a local baby crawl, however they would walk on all fours with their hips held high.
Jan 16, 2022 11:13AM
Nancy Mueller
My daughter got herself from one end of the room to the other before she was 4 months old. She rolled.
Aug 21, 2021 5:18PM
Sean Case
I watched when my son was 6 months old & he pulled himself up with the coffee table , placed his hands on top & walked from 1 end to the other! He ran out of tabletop so he received his first lesson on gravity!! 😁
Apr 28, 2020 11:05AM
When you think of all the things a baby learns before the age of two...they certainly are geniuses.
Jul 2, 2019 5:01PM
Phyllis Embury-Chapman
It seemed to take forever for our grandson to get his knees up under him. He commando crawled using mainly his arms for the longest time. Then if he spit up, as babies are want to do, he would then pull himself over it and wipe it up...we called him our "swiffer" baby!
May 16, 2019 1:01PM
Oh Quiz Folks, did you do this for mommy to relive their little ones again! Thank you. I love this trivia because we have all been there-babies.
Mar 24, 2019 12:49AM
My eldest didn't crawl. He immediately walk at exactly one year old.
Mar 18, 2019 7:13PM
Eileen Dunn
Babies are fascinating to watch. My daughter was crawling at 4 and a half months,but then not interested in walking for quite a long time as she could move quickly,
Mar 17, 2019 1:14PM
Arlene Joan Rivera
My grandkids pulled themselves up and pushed baskets to get where they wanted to be. Just move the furniture was their idea of getting from place to place.
Mar 13, 2019 5:31PM
hector tubens
Great info!!!
Mar 12, 2019 4:42PM
Michael J. Fahey
my youngest grandson rolled side to side---never really crawled
Feb 27, 2019 8:59AM
Anne Roberts
My granddaughter first literally walked on her knees and to us it lasted so long we thought she would never walk on her feet I have in my lifetime witnessing hundreds of babies development and only this once observing a baby utilising her knees to walk for possibly three months or more The odd thing was she actually stept one knee at a time just like a walk
Feb 25, 2019 1:14AM
My oldest never crawled
Feb 23, 2019 8:13PM

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