It’s your prerogative as a milestone-obsessed modern parent to be sitting on a play mat right now, reading this with one eye while keeping the other firmly fixed on your tummy-bound kid and wondering, “When do babies crawl?” Their first crawl would make a helluva Vine, after all. There are just 2 problems with that thought: First, kiddo couldn’t give a diaper load about your followers. Second, there’s a solid chance you’ll never capture that moment on film, because they might skip crawling altogether and go straight to walking.
Before you freak out that not crawling will somehow damage your kid’s development, here are 2 more things you should know: One, there’s no science anywhere supporting that notion, despite its widespread acceptance among old wives who tell such tales. Two, walking shots always get more likes than crawling, anyway. Crawling was included in the first child development charts ever, drafted 100 years ago, and just sort of stayed there like a kid on their tummy. Parents are now convinced that it’s key to physical, mental, and emotional development. You know who’s not convinced? Your old pals at the American Academy of Pediatrics. And science.
Science is, however, quite sure that plenty of kids prefer to stick with scooting, or just kind of up and walking one day because they’re show-offs like that — and they turn out fine. Yes, crawling will encourage muscular and motor development and expose your kid to new stimuli, but so will other things.
None of that is meant to suggest that you should forgo tummy time (that actually is important) or stop encouraging your kid’s development. It’s just a reminder that their athletic future is not foretold in how they get from their knees to their feet. Which is the most important thing to remember, because everyone knows their first homer will get even more likes than their first steps.