My Friend's Son Has a Weird Crawl

My friend’s son, “Ozzy,” turned one yesterday. One of the fun things we adults did at his birthday party was chuckle at the way Ozzy crawls. He keeps his left knee bent as if sitting criss-cross-applesauce (or whatever parents are calling it these days; what we called it in my day is probably inappropriate on this message board), and shimmies along using his right leg, and his arms. It’s as if his left knee is injured or defective.

But his left knee seems to be fine when Ozzy stands, climbs, or takes a few steps. Only when he’s crawling does his left knee go bad.

Should my son be mentioning this to Ozzy’s pediatrician?


Is he ‘crawling’ or is he sitting up when he’s doing this? If he’s sitting up, it’s pretty normal for kids to scoot across the floor at some point before they start walking.

They should definitely get this checked.

Babies do whatever works for them to get about. My elder daughter could scoot around rapidly on her belly when she was quite small. My younger was never able to get the hang of this, and the only way she could change her position (on the floor, bed or whatever), for quite some time, was to, as it were, fall over (from a sitting position), roll in some more or less random direction, and get herself into a sitting position again. Both of them then went through a very brief period of crawling on all fours before transitioning to walking. They both turned out fine.

This kid is just doing what he has discovered works for him, and he may simply not have happened to have hit upon the “better” method of crawling. He will not be crawling at all for much longer anyway, however, so as long as his walking seems normal I do not think there is anything to worry about.

Hell I was born in the 80s and my kindergarden and up teachers called it sitting indian style.

Also, he’s one, he’s pretty much done crawling anyways. He’ll probably be walking almost exclusively within a month. It’s hard to say without seeing it (and knowing some background like how long it’s been going on for or if he has a bruise on his knee etc) but I probably wouldn’t worry about it given that he’s walking and standing fine.

Should they mention it? Sure. That’s what their pediatrician and the regular check ups are for! Is it very very very likely perfectly normal? Yes. All sorts of mobility variations out there in the under 15 month set. (My favorite are the tush scooters!)

What I was going to say.^

Sometimes babies, like cats, is weird. My daughter was a barrel roller for a bit. First time I lost her under the couch, actually, was because she rolled under there while I was in the bathroom. Then she started using it as locomotion. Eventually I had to stuff pillows under the couch so she couldn’t hide under there!

She had weekly PT visits and regular pediatrician visits to monitor her development anyhow, so I wasn’t too worried. They thought it was hilarious and strange, but also didn’t act like she was the only baby ever to do that. She walked in due course without any problems.

Moderator Action

This is more of an advice/opinion thing than a factual question, so let’s move it to IMHO.

Moving thread from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion.

My cousin used to do that when she was an infant. Her dad would stick a dish towel down the back of her jumper and stand behind her, doing his Hunchback of Notre Dame impression.

I do Baby Storytimes at my library, so I see 40 or 50 babies aged birth to one every week. Babies have all different weird styles of crawling. Sure, check it out with the doctor, but it’s not something I’d lose sleep over. As long as he starts cruising and walking soon it’s nothing. My son went from crawling to walking on his knees before he started walking proper on his feet. Most babies will spend a very short time crawling. Once they get the mobility bug, they get up on their feet and go. Then true parental exhastion begins.

When The Kiddo was small, he never crawled in the ‘traditional’ sense: on hands and knees. He ‘army crawled’, using his elbows and his feet, with his legs extended out behind him. Despite his unconventional stance, he could scoot around faster than any of his friends doing it the ‘old-fashioned’ way. I suppose we may have mentioned it to his doctor at some point, but I doubt it as I don’t recall ever being anything but amused by it, as there were no other signs that he was anything other than ‘normal’.

He’s made it to 15 now, with full use of all his limbs :slight_smile:

People always say this–that walking is when it gets hard–but I found walking made everything easy. My son crawled for a long time–from 7 month to about 13–and that was, IMHO, pretty much the worst of both worlds. A good crawler is FAST, so you get all the hassles of mobility, but none of the advantages: once my son could walk, I could take him out of the cars seat and put him on his feet while I pulled the groceries out of the trunk; I could take him out of his stroller and let him toddle around the park while I sat and watched; I could give him something to give to his papa across the room, which is a fantastic amuse-the-baby game. Walking, for me, was a huge advantage over crawling.

I mention this only so if any parents of crawling babies are reading this, they don’t get too depressed.

Oh my wife and I weren’t ever depressed. We loved raising our son. But we were often exhausted. He’s 20 now, and I have nothing but warm memories of his early childhood. It’s not until I watch some of our old video tapes (and see our haggard faces) that I remember what a lot of work it was. But it’s rewarding work. The thing about raising a very young child is nothing lasts long. That cute thing he does today? He will have outgrown it next week. So mark your memories well.

The Nephew used to get stuck with his right foot under the left leg, he needed someone to come unstick him. A lot of the time he crawled three-legged, keeping the right leg folded all the time. His mother was The Most Worried Woman In The World (and a doctor, so she has a lot more information on the field of “things which can go wrong” than the rest of us) and, once she’d determined that his leg was otherwise fine, she didn’t worry.

He’s now 8 and according to my mother’s report from yesterday, his swimming teacher is trying to convince the Proud Parents to get him into competition swimming. You need strong legs for that.

Babies will do anything to get mobile. I crawled backwards for quite awhile! Unless he’s not using both legs properly at all, or showing other left-side weakness, it’s probably nothing. If nervous, mention it at the next regular checkup, but other than that I wouldn’t worry about it.

Kids are funny. My grand daughter went through a stage where she dragged herself using only her arms. She looked like a wounded soldier or something. It cracked me up.

But she is just fine. And has only one speed. Running…

My son always dragged one leg back when he was scooting on his belly (commando-style pre-crawling). He’s crawling now, with little disparity between his limbs, and he’s cruising along the furniture while standing, with no leg problems.

Our daughter did something similar to the OPs description, I think. One leg was behind her, one crossed in front, and one arm on the floor. She’d reach out with the down arm, slap it down, and drag-with-the-arm/scoot-with-the-back-leg. slap drag slap drag Hilarious to watch, and she could go very fast while keeping one arm free to hold whatever toy was currently her favorite (or a sippy cup). She never did the “standard” crawl.

We asked her doc about it. Other than checking her for hip issues (negative), he didn’t worry about it.

She’s 18 now and perfectly normal.