With more parents placing infants on their backs to sleep, in accordance with doctor recommendations for preventing SIDS, more babies are skipping crawling. Some experts believe the bilateral integration of crawling is important to developing strength, motor skills and neural connections. Because both sides of the body must work together during crawling, this engages both sides of the brain. There are no long-term studies at this time showing a negative effect of skipping this stage, however. So, although crawling is an important developmental milestone, parents should not worry if their baby skips this step.