16/09/2014 13:04 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Winter-Born Babies Crawl 5 Weeks Earlier Than Those Born In Summer


More bad news for summer-born babies I'm afraid – they are literally crawling behind their winter-born peers.

Yep, as if June, July and August kids don't have enough to contend with (you know – allegedly - lagging behind September-onwards children in the classroom), it now transpires that they're also slower to CRAWL.

Oh per-lease! EVERY baby crawls at some stage. Fact! Every baby eventually progresses to toddling, every toddler learns to walk, every walker learns to run, every runner learns to sit on their backside and play XBox and chat to their mates on Facebook for the rest of eternity.

Does it really matter when they do it as long as they do it? (I speak as the father of an August child who still hasn't learned to ride a bike at the age of seven but he'll be the next Chris Hoy one day, I'm sure).

This revelation comes from Israeli researchers who say babies born in the winter-to-spring months began crawling at an average of five weeks before their counterparts born in summer or autumn.

One theory is that winter babies might become rug-rats earlier because they'll usually start crawling in the summer months, when there's more daylight.

This means they're active for longer, wear fewer layers and spend more time on the floor on their stomachs.

The study was conducted by Dr Osnat Atun-Einy of the University of Haifa's Department of Physical Therapy and Dr Dina Cohen, Mr Moran Samuel and Professor Anat Scher of the same University's Department of Counseling and Human Development.

They looked at 47 healthy babies (um, so not very many) with typical development and used the Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS), a highly-reliable measurement which looks at which position the baby is in.

The scale has four positions: prone (on the stomach), supine (on the back), sitting and standing. Babies born in the winter - who started to crawl in the summer, started crawling at 30 weeks, while babies born in the summer - who started to crawl in the winter - started crawling at an average of 35 weeks.

In their report, the researchers said: "The difference in crawling onset of four weeks constitutes 14 per cent of a seven-month-old's life - and is significant."

However, they said the geographic location and the local climate where the study is conducted is important to understand the findings.

A seasonal effect is found in places where the differences in the home environment between summer and winter are significant i.e. those that don't have the central heating blasting away for four months of the year – like the UK! Perhaps our summer-born kids have a chance after all!