My 8 month old refuses to crawl and only wants to "walk" - can this damage her spine?
My 8 month old daughter refuses to crawl and always wants to stand and "practice" walk. I am concerned though that this could damage her spine? Please advise
The priority before walking is always crawling as this not only prepares the body to have the strength and stability to walk, but also prepares the body for later life such as coordination and upper limb (arm) strength to help with fine motor tasks such as writing and ball skills. To encourage crawling, when your baby is sitting, you can put toys on the floor just out of reach so that your baby has to reach out to them, she will use one hand to support and one hand to reach. This will start to strengthen the shoulder muscles and also make moves towards the crawling hands and knees position. Another way to encourage crawling is to put your baby on her tummy as much as possible.
With regards to standing and walking damaging the spine, this is not a risk unless the baby has another predisposing problem. It is natural for children to want to practise these things and they are ways of the body naturally preparing itself and strengthening the legs for when the baby does walk. However, given your baby's age, I would recommend that you do it with her when she wants but not to make the suggestion yourself.