Babies crawl before they sit up

When do babies sit, crawl, walk?

The parents of the 2500 babies currently participating in the study also provided additional information, for example about birth weight, breastfeeding months, place of birth, the parents' school-leaving certificate or the number of siblings. "We want to investigate to what extent factors like these influence motor development," says Krombholz. So far, for example, it has been suspected that breastfed children have a slight developmental advantage over those who are not breastfed. However, the study has not yet been able to confirm this in a statistically significant manner. "This is also due to our sample, which is unfortunately still too small," explains Krombholz. "We need even more participants so that we can show such tendencies with certainty." Parents can therefore continue to register.

Baby courses do not give you a head start in development

When a child takes their first steps also tends to depend on whether they grow up alone in a family or have siblings: Babies with a brother or sister start walking a little earlier. Other factors, such as being carried in a sling or the baby carrier, had no influence. "That surprised me personally," says Krombholz. It turns out that even support measures of any kind by parents, such as special baby courses, do not influence the speed of motor development. Other factors such as the age of the mother or care outside the family also seem to have no influence. "That means that motor development seems to be largely genetically determined, at least in babies," concludes Krombholz. "Parents obviously cannot encourage them - at most they can hinder them by restricting the freedom of movement too much."

The expert recommends giving the baby space that encourages movement. For example, if he sits in the seesaw or baby seat all day, this hinders his urge to move. "It is better for a child when it can repeatedly lie on a blanket and kick," says Krombholz.

Birth weight and gender have a slight influence

The scientists were also able to establish a slight but insignificant connection between birth weight and head lifting: the higher a baby's weight was at birth, the faster it could lift its head for the first time and hold it on its forearms for three seconds. On the other hand, a higher birth weight tends to have an adverse effect on the seal: the heavier a child was, the later it crawled.

"Interestingly, gender also seems to influence the ability to sit independently," explains Krombholz. Girls do this a month earlier than boys on average. In general, girls are a little faster in development than boys, but apart from sitting, the difference is not statistically significant.

Data collection should be completed by the end of 2020. Heinz Krombholz is excited about the final results and will compare them with those from international studies.