Is Crawling Important?

A baby is born with approximately 100 billion neurons and during their everyday activities the synapses are developed. Activity, interaction and movement are like food for an infant’s brain, helping it to develop.

Not all babies crawl. Some babies will shuffle on their bottoms or commando crawl to help them get from a to b.

The Au people of Papua, New Guinea have babies which don’t crawl. They move around on their bottoms, propelling themselves with their hands.  Tracer, associate professor of anthropology and director of the Program in Health and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado at Denver has carried out research among the Au people. Among the Au people, Tracer found babies in their first year of life were carried during 90 percent of their waking hours, usually by a mother, father or sibling.

In Bali, babies are not allowed to touch the ground until they are over 7 months. There is no record of any developmental difference between Balinese, the Au People of Papua New Guinea and Western babies who crawled earlier.

Baby Yoga


Published studies on the value of crawling have given mixed results. A 1991 study by Temple University researchers found that children who didn’t crawl were later deficient on specific tests of motor development. But a 1989 study at the University of Padua, Italy, found crawlers were actually more likely to have delayed motor development.

Research demonstrates that it is not important if a baby crawls or not. It is important to observe that a baby’s movements are balanced on both sides and it is important that a baby can move from one point to another.