We got a question asking for some ideas on how to get twins to crawl. A dad wrote to say his twins are 12 months old, and he says that they will still not crawl. He’s tried everything, including putting a toy or cookies in front of them — all kinds of bribes, but they still will not crawl. He does note that they were born at 32 weeks, but have hit every other milestone except, of course, standing and walking, etc.
“My twins aren’t crawling yet! What do I do?”
Does that sound familiar? As parents, we are constantly worried that our twins aren’t making the right amount of developmental progress at the right times.
If your twins aren’t crawling yet, what should you do?
The first step? Don’t freak out. Here are some things to keep in mind when your twins aren’t crawling yet.
All In Due Time
Your twins will find a way to get around eventually. You aren’t still sitting on the floor waiting for someone to pick you up, are you?
I didn’t think so.
Your twins will come around to crawling or jump straight to another form of locomotion soon enough.
Are they sitting up?
Before a child will crawl, they should be able to sit up unassisted. This gives them a new position from which to explore movement. Additionally, from a seated position, they can look around and see all the fun stuff at their fingertips.
If your twins aren’t sitting up by themselves, they probably aren’t ready to crawl quite yet.
(RELATED: Still looking for the right twin gear? See my Twin Baby Gear Essentials.)
Comparing to Others
How do you know when your twins should be crawling? You likely look around at other kids their age. You ask your friends with babies.
It is in our nature to seek out ways to compare what we have to what we see others doing.
Remember that every child is different and reaches milestones at different times.
This includes different times for each of your twins.
Your twins won’t start crawling at the same time. And no, it won’t be the same amount of time difference of when they were born.
Each twin, like each child in general, is different and will start crawling at his or her own pace.
When Should They Crawl?
Most children start crawling between 7 to 10 months.
Will your twins start crawling at this age? Not necessarily.
(RELATED: Still expecting twins? Will you be having two boys, two girls, or boy/girl twins? Answer these quick questions to see what several old wives’ tales claim you’ll be having….)
If your twins were born prematurely, you’ve likely already seen other delays in their development. Likewise, crawling may be delayed.
By the time your twins reach a year, they should be crawling (or something like it). If not, talk to your doctor about your concerns.
Remember tummy time when they were infants? That helps your babies develop muscle strength to better control their bodies. It also helps get them ready to crawl.
If you haven’t done tummy time in a while, try it again. Your twins may just roll out of it but that is OK.
You may also consider other incentives to help your twins crawl (like the toys or treats mentioned above). Remember to be positive in your encouragement and patient with your twins.
They Might Not Crawl
Guess what? Your twins might not crawl at all. Some babies may skip crawling altogether and go straight to standing and then walking.
At least not like you are expecting.
There are several alternatives to traditional crawling on hands and knees.
(RELATED: Check out the Dad's Guide to Twins Youtube channel for additional helpful twin tips and tricks videos.)
Your babies may discover any of these alternatives and never see the need for traditional crawling:
- Rolling over multiple times to reach their destination
- Scooting on their bottoms while staying in a seated position
- Slithering like a snake
- Doing an army man crawl using their arms to pull themselves along
Our girls, for example, never crawled in the traditional sense. They preferred the bottom scoot to rapidly get from one point to the other.
This was kind of fun to watch and definitely different from what we saw with their two older brothers, who crawled in kind of a normal fashion on their hands and knees before they started walking. Our girls got so good at scooting around on the floor that they could move at quite a fast pace.
When to Get Help for Your Twins
If your twins are not moving around at all, I’d definitely talk with your pediatrician. If your doctor is not concerned, you might just need to give it a little more time. If both you and your doctor are concerned, perhaps you should consult with an occupational therapist, or related specialist, to help get them moving.
You may need a little more patience, or you may need some additional attention from a therapist or medical professional. But don’t worry, your twins will be getting around sooner rather than later and then there will be no stopping them.
Don’t Forget Childproofing
Having your twins crawl is an exciting milestone for any parent, of course. But once they start crawling there’s no stopping them, and there’s no turning back. So maybe it’s okay that they don’t crawl right away.
You are likely anxious for your babies to reach their next milestone. However, with crawling comes a whole new set of challenges.
You’ll have mobile babies. And mobile babies are hard to contain.
Make sure you’ve got your childproofing preparations in place before your twins start crawling.
They will get into things you hadn’t imagined so at least start with this list of things to childproof in your home.
Are your twins already crawling? When did they start? Share with us in the comments below.
Picture by Donnie Ray Jones.