Dragging leg when crawling

My almost 1yr daughter just started crawling in the last 2.5wks. She drags her left leg while crawling to The point she is having discoloration to the skin. Her right leg is also flared out(not sure if this is correct way to describe it or not). I’ve tried to put her on all fours for crawling but she goes back to dragging her leg.

In the last 6mths, I’ve learned my 4yr old son has retained reflexes from not crawling. Since my daughter was born, I’ve worried about one leg being shorter. Then at 2 Mth appointment, she didn’t have a ‘stepping reflex’. we were told to put her in a jumper which we did until my oldest started OT and the OT recommended getting my daughter a PT eval. We’ve tried to Get her a PT eval for last 4 Months but our doctor said she was fine and only needed a referral if she didn’t crawl by age 1. Now everything is closed and her crawling seems to be hurting her skin.

I’ve tried having her play on a couch cushion angled at 45 degrees. I’ve taken two legs off her music table so it’s angled for her to play. We encouraged her to side sit. All these I found via IG and You Tube but I feel she may need something more.

Any help or exercise recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I’ve tried to post a photo of her crawling position but we don’t have the best internet service so I’m not sure if it uploaded or not.

The photo didn’t post. If you are able to get it on, that would be great to have a better idea. I’m sorry that your doctor didn’t refer you to PT. If you are not part of an HMO most states have direct access so you can get at least an evaluation completed. I know now is challenging but a lot of places are doing virtual PT. Depending on what state you are in I can try to find a place for you. Or, several places are doing consults to give exercise ideas virtually. We are also doing a parents group every Wednesday at 10:30am PST that you are more than welcome to join to ask questions.

The jumper wouldn’t be my first recommendation to use. Do you have access to stairs? Stairs are a great way to work on crawling. I have video that I was planning on posting on IG this weekend but I can try to get it up sooner. Also, high kneeling at support surfaces are good for spending time on knees, strengthening the core, and weight bearing through arms. You can adjust the height to make it more and more like the crawling position. Here is a post I did about it. https://www.instagram.com/p/B-lK9GwBYsh/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link.

Let me know if that makes sense, or if you are able to share a photo so I can offer more ideas because I am having a hard time picturing exactly what you are describing!

Thank you so much for your reply and recommendations. We have an HMO insurance in Georgia. I was told the last time I check, that I had to have a referral in order to be seen and the appointment be paid for.

I uploaded a photo. She tucks her left leg under her and has her right leg flared out. She moves via her arms and right leg then drags the left leg under her. I feel like her spine and hips are constantly twisted and I am worried if it is causing damaged or effecting her alignment. I try to stop her and put her on all fours, she will take a few crawls but then goes back to this.

Thanks! Yea, with an HMO you will need the referral for insurance to pay. Just a few ideas I had, you could try a product called hip helpers (hiphelpers.com) which can help keep her legs together and make it harder for the position she is in. As I mentioned you can also try the stairs. I found the highlight on my instagram Crawling up stairs
You could also try having her crawl across a crash pad (or a big soft pile of pillows) and see what she does with that. Crawling over legs and other pillows as obstacles could also help promote the crawling position. Also the high kneeling like I shared before. Let me how those work!

Hello @Mslewis0611, pediatric PT here. I completely agree with what Stacy has to say. I wouldn’t say that a jumper is best for her. For littles who have a one-legged crawl, we want to make sure that their hips are okay. It’s good that she can take a few crawl steps on both her knees! I love high kneeling activities and knee walking! If you have a push toy, diaper box, toy box, storage container, etc. she can push that around while walking on her knees. Like @Starfishtherapies mentioned, crawling over stairs is also helpful! Here’s an example: Knee walking, kneeling

I did a series on bunny hopping on my Instagram page, so maybe some of those strategies may be helpful. Bunny Hopping

Lastly, Amazon has some great options for knee pads for toddlers, if you’re concerned about injury to her knee. Here’s one I like: Knee pads

Hopefully, you’re able to see a healthcare professional for your concerns! Lots of PTs are offering Telehealth.

Hello! Peds PT here! I agree with all the recommendations my fellow PTs have given. Crawling over pillows or your leg works great as does crawling through a tunnel. Crawling with guided alternating resistance at the feet helps with the crawling pattern as well. I also want to add that playing while maintaining the hands and knees position is also great. It encourages your little one to weight shift while reaching for toys placed in front of them and this will build their strength as well as even out any strength imbalances on each side. Check out this activity: https://www.instagram.com/p/B8CB0I3BfCM/?igshid=ucgnjz0van63