My son is 10 months old belly crawls, rolls freely and leans on his side on one hand. Lately he started rocking and lifting up his belly a little. How should we encourage him to shift to crawling on hands and knees and later to sit? I’ll mention that his crawling is somewhat slow and a little clumsy and that he doesn’t tend to crawl long distances. (His weight is average for his age.)

Answer:
Since you didn’t specify details about his development until today and about the manner he crawls, I can only estimate that the reason for him not getting up on hands and knees is connected to low muscle tone. I’ll give you some exercises to encourage getting up on hands and knees, and in case you have additional questions regarding the exercises I’m at your disposal. 1. Lay the baby on his belly. Hold his calves and provide light pressure onto the mattress/rug. See that the baby straightens his elbows, lift his pelvis and stands on hands and knees. 2. Should there be difficulty with the previous exercise, and the baby doesn’t lift his pelvis, lean over him and gradually lift his pelvis upwards. By guiding the movement the baby will learn on his own to push with the hands, the knees and transition to hands and knees. 3. On a fitness ball on the belly move the baby forwards backwards to the right and to the left. With the motion forwards you should accelerate slightly and quick movements that will encourage the baby to straighten his elbows and erect his back. 4. On the ball on the belly. Parent holding on to the calves. Press the calves towards the ball and tilt the ball slightly toward the parent (standing behind the baby). That way the baby will shift weight from the hands to the knees and transition to hands and knees. 5. Later, when the baby gets up on hands and knees, on the ball, bounce in place. Move with little motions upwards downwards, forwards and backwards. I’ll be happy to hear how things go, more details etc. Tali Tzamir Levy, First Step center.