Q&A: 12 Month Old Not Crawling or Standing

CME WebsitesChild Development, Crawling, Infants 3 - 12 Months

blockquote_bgMy granddaughter is 12 months old; she is not crawling, standing nor pulling up to walk around the furniture yet; she does not talk; she just makes a little crowing by the mouth. I also notice that she sits up now, but for about 5 minutes and then she reaches her arms up for her mommy or me to pick her up. It seems to me that maybe her back hurts her when she sits up on her on for awhile. Should I be concern about her cognitive and physical development?

She is now seeing a physical therapist and occupational therapist. It appears to me that they seems to have no understanding of the condition that my granddaughter is in. Asking her pediatrician for more tests that may find some factor is like asking for a needle in the hay stack. I do not understand when you have concerned parents that are with their children 24 hours a day and you bring your child in to their doctor and he/she tells you it may not be a concern yet to worry about your child’s motor development it seems that you should maybe, just maybe, consult another doctor.

If your granddaughter has started to receive physical and occupational therapy through early intervention services, then this is indeed what I would recommend to help her develop her muscle strength and coordination needed for sitting, crawling and walking. I would speak to her physical therapist and occupational therapist to see if they feel there are any underlying concerns that would warrant further medical testing. Most therapists will not hesitate to tell you to seek medical advice if they feel it is needed. However, some babies just have weaker muscles than others, and some children are born with what is called low muscle tone, which makes it more difficult for them to move their bodies against gravity and so completing some gross motor skills such as sitting, crawling and walking are much more difficult for them.

Most children do every well with therapy, but do not expect results overnight…give her therapists at least 3+ months to work with her and your family. They should be teaching her Mom and you exercises and ways to play with her that will help her develop these skills. If you feel she is in pain or that there may be some physical/medical reason that she is not able to do these tasks, then indeed consult her pediatrician or a developmental pediatrician or even a orthopedist or neurologist to rule out medical concerns. In regard to her speech, it is ok that she is not saying true words yet, but she should be babbling a good variety of consonant-vowel sounds like “dadada” “bababa” “mamama” etc and using variations in pitch in her voice. She should also be gesturing or pointing (such as lift arms to be picked up like you mentioned) to get her wants and needs met. If your current services are through early intervention you may also wish to ask for developmental (special instruction) services or speech therapy services to address her language concerns.