You can get charts telling you what your baby ought to be doing at five months, seven months, nine months, and they’re all just averages, which is to say wrong. There are two things you need to know about babies: First, they’re all different. Second, the first paragraph in Dr. Spock: You know more than you think you do, which is to say, a few months into your child’s life, you are now the world’s leading expert on this small and unformed, but doing the best she or he can with what she or he has, person, and don’t you forget it.
Anyhow, our girl could sit up confidently way ahead of what the charts said; per the charts she should have been crawling or rolling or otherwise mobile by now, but she just wasn’t interested. And her parents were co-conspirators; the great thing about a pre-crawling baby is that you can put her down on the floor and go and do what you need to do and when you come back, well, there she is.
Things changed; she’s noticed that there’s a horizon, even if it’s only what you can’t see behind the foot-stool. Starting from sitting up, the first step is a lunge aimed right (or left); then you have to extract the left (or right) leg from underneath you. That accomplished, you’re face-down and, you may well ask, what’s next?
At this point, I should observe that all the best parents’ references now recommend “tummy time”. Because in our SIDS-aware age, babies all sleep on their backs exclusively, to the extent that they have bald spots where the hair wears off.
Thus “tummy time” to develop neck strength. My little daughter and I are unconvinced; I because her neck is plenty strong, she because she hates being face-down.
But there’s no other way to learn to crawl. She’s tried a whole bunch of different twists and turns, none of which have yet worked. Until you watch a miniature human working through all the permutations of wiggling torso and arms and legs, very few of which lead anywhere, you can’t possibly appreciate how different we are from the other animals that learn how to stand in hours not months.
But anyhow, Lauren’s putting the folding gates in place blocking off the staircases, because when a human being, no matter how small, decides to go mobile, you know it won’t take long.