Monday, August 24, 2009

One Small Step for Man

Thank you to everyone who commented that babies learn to crawl before they learn to bring themselves to sitting. Several friends also mentioned that babies tend to spend several days rocking back and forth on their hands and knees before they figure out how to propel themselves forward. The consensus seemed to be: rock on all fours; wait a week; crawl; wait a week; come to sitting. Sounds good! To all of the people who gave us this information, LL would like to (respectfully) stick out his tongue and blow a giant wet raspberry in your face.

As an aside: did I mention that LL was blissfully late to the blowing raspberries habit? He showed no interest in it at all until he met my old undergraduate advisor, a highly respected woman with many many career awards for a lifetime of scientific research achievements; she is a past president of the major research body for my field, and is currently the Dean of a large institute at a prestigious university. She taught LL to blow raspberries when she met him at our reunion. And now I get to tell people that, at the tender age of eight months, LL learned his first life skill from an Ivy League university.

Back to our story. Rocking, then crawling, then sitting. Pfffffttt! We woke up yesterday morning to discover LL happily sitting in his crib. Yes, sitting. And looking awfully proud of himself. But he wouldn't do it outside of his crib, which made us think that he was using the bars to pull himself up. When we went to get him after his morning nap, he was once again sitting, and this time when we put him on the floor, he showed us how he could sit up all by himself. And then clap, of course. Yaaay!

Two hours later, he was crawling. I put him on the floor, and I made a gigantic tower of stacking cups several feet away, and off he went! And oh my goodness, when he knocked that tower down, he immediately sat down and gave himself the most gleeful round of applause that I have ever seen. Pure joy.

After giving him gigantic hugs and lots more cheering, S and I grabbed the phone and called all the grandparents. Through the magic of the internet, we quickly set up a three-way video conference, and they got to watch as LL practiced his crawling technique for an hour, until he was so exhausted that he almost started his afternoon nap on the floor, on his way to another pile of blocks.

By the end of the day, LL was rocking his body on all fours before taking off, like he was revving his engines before crawling away. And I spent the entire day playing over and over in my head that first crawl and the unbelievably ecstatic little boy who clapped for himself afterward. One tiny little leap for mankind, but one giant step forward for LL.

Rocking, then crawling, then sitting, with several days in between? Not in our house. Pfffffttt!


  1. Yay for LL!!! Babies all keep their own timetable and every one does things in a different order. My friend's baby learned to walk when she was 10 months old but couldn't crawl until she was over a year. It was kind of sad because when she'd fall down she couldn't get anywhere!

  2. that is so awesome! beware crawling babies, they have a knack for getting into the most interesting of places!

    As aside. Monkey totally learned to sit before crawling. I had no idea it was supposed to be in the other order!

  3. Just to be clear... there's a distinction between learning to sit (ie, be upright without falling over) and learning to get yourself to sitting (ie, pull yourself to a sitting position from lying down, without someone helping you). Babies usually learn to sit around 6 months, but don't learn how to get themselves into sitting until several months later.

    Also, I find it interesting that there is no developmental milestone for crawling. There's such a wide range of when babies do it, and so many of them skip it entirely, that it's not actually included in developmental guidelines. I just never realized until watching LL how frustrating it can be for babies when they WANT to be mobile, but haven't quite figured out how. Not that this is the last time in his life that he'll ever be frustrated or anything. :)

  4. Julian was a late raspberry learner too.

    Congrats on the crawling and sitting - two huge milestones!

    Get he'll never stop! ; )

  5. Hooray for news skillz! Sounds like he has some MAD talent, must take after his mama. :)

  6. Hooray for LL! Harry rocked for 3+ months before crawling, and most other babies we knew got themselves to sitting before they crawled. I think the milestones are all over the place and have learned to put no real stock in them.


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