Milestone Alert: The Inchworm And 4 Types Of Early Crawling Methods

Creeping vs. crawling…what’s the difference?

A few days ago Noah started getting into quadruped on his own. It wasn’t a milestone post, but it was a huge one in our book.

quadruped learning to crawl down syndrome baby

Check him out…he’s on all fours!

Why so big? Well it shows that Noah has the strength to possibly start crawling. As I was researching for this post, I learned an important thing.  In the world of physical therapy crawling is actually defined as moving forward with belly on the floor pulling with arms and pushing with legs…who knew. Creeping is defined as moving on hands and knees with stomach up, in quadruped. Thanks again Patricia Winders for teaching me more about development than my entire pediatric residency. 🙂

Moving Forward With The Inchworm

inchworming inch worm baby learning to crawl

I love this little inchworm!

Noah has been mobile for quite a while. (He even turned his crib into a learning-to-crawl exercise machine.) He gets places by scooting on his back, or his preferred way which is rolling until he hits something. I have found him under couches, across the room, and of course finding the most dangerous things in the room like outlets.

Today he found a way to keep his eye on the prize and move forward. We call it the inchworm. He gets into quadruped, falls forward and is up again. Per Patricia Winders this would be a type of crawling. I am surprised how fast he can do this, it is actually a pretty good way of moving. It also blows my mind how one day Noah is just able to do something. We had no idea this milestone was coming. The video is moments after he did this for the first time, and as you can see, he isn’t just taking one inchworm, he is going across the whole floor. In my opinion it is pretty impressive.

4 Types of Early Crawling Methods

baby inch worm crawling learning

This kid is going places! Literally.

Patricia Winders book, Gross Motors Skills in Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals, is an invaluable resource to any parent raising a child born with Down syndrome. It’s one of our top resources, and one that I find myself going back to again, and again.

In the book she states that there are 4 types of early crawling methods which parents need to recognize. Once your child determines their method she wants you to encourage that method as much as possible. The four crawling methods are below, see if any of them describe a method your child seems to be drawn to.

  1. Reach and roll: reaching with one arm, rolling over that arm, reaching with the other arm, and then rolling to that side
  2. Pull forward with both elbows at the same time
  3. Pull forward with one elbow at a time
  4. Move onto hands and knees and fall forward (Noah’s preferred method)

Our physical therapist is ecstatic that Noah is doing this. Since we know he is strong enough to stay in quadruped, I asked her why he prefers to inchworm, as it seems like it would be easier to just stay up. She believes it is the coordination of muscles to alternate sides and maintaining core strength during that transition. Shocker that it all goes back to the core 🙂

Proud Parents

happy proud baby with down syndrome

Can you see the pride dripping off his cute little face?

Noah is pretty proud of himself. His face lights up when he starts moving and gets to the object he is looking at, which most of the time is either Rick or I. We are super proud of him too. (By the way,  we mentioned the Fisher Price Snail in our top ten gift ideas post, if you don’t already have it, you should. It really is one of the best developmental motivators around!)

Did your child do any of the alternative crawling methods mentioned in the list above? Take a second to leave a comment below and tell us about it.

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  1. Niccollison says

    My son may not have DS, but he is a preemie with heart issues and developmental delay.  I learned more from your post about his crawling/creeping than I had learned from many others (which may be because our first physio appointment is this afternoon).  Thanks so much for all you share with us!!!

    • @d4037c5fe9ebecff0d32582406b27f46:disqus Thanks for sharing with us, and for your kind words about our site. How old is your son? We’d love to see a picture of him, feel free to post one here in the comments and on our Facebook page. 🙂

      Where are you guys from?

  2. Our son, Michael (19 months), started with the “Army Crawl” (still his preferred Method), but he also does a mean “Bear Crawl”, and a “Tush Scoot”… in the last 2 weeks, he has shown more and more interest in walking, and used a walker in therapy last Friday. The amount concentration and determination was evident on his face. It awesome to see our little one work so hard (and inspire our older ones to work harder). Thanks for your Blog!

  3. Donnarthurs says

    I just love, love, love the look of pride on little Noah’s face.  You are superb parents, celebrating his new accomplishment in such a way that makes his little face light up with pride.  Keep up the good work.  Noah is so lucky to have you guys for parents, and I know you guys are lucky to have him.

  4. We rolled everywhere! 

    • Oh yah…Noah likes to roll also. I need to go back and post some videos of him rolling (it was before we started this site.) How old are your children now?

  5. that was awesome, loved the proud face at the end 🙂 Louis is 8 months nearly and was also born with DS. he is starting to put his knees up to his chest and push, not moving his arms yet but trying to push none the less. Its really good following your posts as it is encouraging and give us things to look out for.

    • Thanks, it’s good getting to know your story also. Feel free to post a picture below (and on our Facebook page)…we enjoy meeting families! 

      Where are you guys from by the way?

      • We  live in the UK,we started OT yesterday and it was a bit of an eye opener how hard they worked my little man. It was good  though knowing he will get really good support.

  6. Gillybirchall1 says

    Our son is still doing the backwards slide and the speed roll (17 months with DS ) he also has a standing frame to build his leg strength 🙂 reassuring to know that kids the world over find outlets fun!

  7. maddison jacobs says

    omg another one that i just cant like cuss i loveeeeeeeeeeeeee it lil inch worm noah way to go lil man u will be walking soon  n driving daddy n mommy crazy running to get you on video way to go lil man. that deserves more choc pudding.

  8.   Enjoy this time-he sure is!  Before you know it he’ll be cruising/walking and watch out world!  🙂

  9. Kbcooper510 says

    Awesome! Love sharing milestones and helping others celebrate theirs. It’s a joyous occasion and like you said, our kids all reach their milestones at different times and in different order – just like all other kids. Way to go Noah on all your milestones!

  10. Congrats Noah! How exciting for everyone.  How old is Noah?

  11. Paula A Young says

    My brother, Russell, will be a 40-year old man later this year.  He has Down’s.  I remember very well watching him play with his toys when he was quite young.  His favourite thing was to take all the blocks, stacking rings, etc. and throw them one by one to the other side of the living room and, if possible, through the door to the dining room.  Once they were all scattered over there he’d roll and roll until he got to them, and then start throwing them all back to where he’d just been!  This going back and forth with his toys could keep him occupied for a very long time.  It was a lot of fun to watch him and sometimes I would help him get the toys over there (I would have been 11 yrs or so).   : )

  12. My Gran-Son is 4 with DS and he was a Commando crawler at first how quickly he went to all four crawling which he remained with transit till 6 months ago how proud and smart he shows everyone everyday…. I do enjoy sharing Noah’s adventures in his daily life he warms my heart God Bless…..

  13. Tiffany Wilson says

    So friggin’ cute!! Is it sad that I was getting excited watching?lol

  14. Lschoedel112 says

    My son Jacob was doing that and rolling to get around, but now he is crawling and very good at it he never sits still he just wants to explore the house. We have to start teaching him how to slide down the steps.

  15. Gretchen Mather says

    He is SOOO close to popping up on all fours too!!! What a man. This is a huge milestone! YAYYYYYY.  This next year is going to be sooo fun for you guys.  

  16. Wow thats brilliant!Leah is learning to crawl.she has great strength in her upper arms but is not quiet there with the back end of her!That inch worm crawl would certainly help her to get moving!Think we were too hung up on getting her stomach off the ground.Great help and well done Noah..xx

  17. Jami Adams says

    Oh my goodness. That video is adorable of Noah scooting across the floor. He is precious. Here is a picture of Jake before church last Sunday wearing his fancy duds that his “Aunt Mimi” mailed to him.

  18. Jami Adams says

    Oh yea. I forgot to mention that Jake is rolling from back to front and reaching for toys. He is 7 weeks so I think he is doing well so far.  He was diagnosed with trisomy, but mosaicism is suspected.  DS wasn’t suspected when he was delivered. They decided to do a chromosomal analysis because he was having feeding issues. We were completely shocked and so new to this, but I so love hearing about Noah. It is so encouraging to see you celebrate his life and cuteness every single day.

  19. Love, love, love the pics of your Noah & your blog. My son Elijah is 4 years old and still needing to strengthen his core. Elijah never really crawled…he commando crawled and transitioned into scooching on his behind for a long time. He used a walker for bit and then walked at age 3. He still needs help climbing stairs but has taken flight with his running as of late and getting better at jumping!

  20. Tracylisa says

    My baby is nearly 1 can’t crawl yet but puts his head down on the ground when trying

  21. Vanessa and Scott says

    Wow Abbie!  That is really something else.  I think that is possibly the cutest video of Noah yet!  I was so happy, grinning ear to ear and cheering him on as well!  What a cutie patootie!  
    It’s good to see what we have in store for us.  I guess now that things are starting to settle down, I should pull out my DS books and catch up with you guys – or just keep reading your blogs!  They are both great resources! 
    I can’t wait to show this to Scott.

  22. Hi thanks for this blog its very helpful information. Well my son is 20 months with down syndrome now he is not crawling on his knees but is frog walking I am really confused that is it a right way to crawl. I have tried but he is just not able to crawl on his knees. Can you help me.

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