Experienced crawlers avoid real and water drop-offs, even when they are walking [dataset]

Author Identifiers

Carolina Burnay


Publication Date


Document Type




School or Research Centre

School of Exercise and Health Sciences


The behaviour of 25 infants was analysed on the Real Cliff / Water Cliff apparatus using a longitudinal study design. Infants were tested as experienced crawlers (T1), novice walkers (T2), and as experienced walkers (T3). The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of crawling experience on walking infants’ avoidance of falling on the real and the water cliffs and to confirm the results of a previous cross-sectional study [Burnay et al. (2021) The effect of specific locomotor experiences on infants’ avoidance behaviour on real and water cliffs] where crawling experience, and not walking experience, was linked to walking infants’ avoidance behaviour, suggesting that newly walking infants who have been experienced crawlers avoid falling from real and water cliffs more consistently then walking infants that did not have enough crawling experience.

The RC/WC apparatus consists of a 200 x 120 x 75cm platform with a real cliff at one end and a water cliff at the opposite end. Climbing equipment was used to ensure infant’s safety. In each visit to the laboratory, infants were tested once on the real cliff and once on the water cliff, with randomized trial order. The experimenter placed the infants close to the opposite edge of the platform. The trials ended: (a) after 180s, if the infant had moved from the starting position but had not reached the platform edge; (b) 150s after the infant reached the platform edge; (c) when the infant fell off or descended from the platform edge; (d) when the infant started showing signs of distress or fussiness. If the infant showed signs of distress or fussiness during the first 60s of the trial and was not able to be calmed down, the test was ended and the infant was excluded from subsequent analyses. If the infant showed signs of distress or fussiness after 60s of reaching the edge, the test was ended, and the infant was coded as an avoider. Infants were free to move around and explore the platform while their mothers were calling them. Infants were code for: Avoidance behaviour: Infants who fell from the platform were coded as “fell”. Infants who stayed on the platform until the end of the trial were coded as “avoided” and infants who adapted their behaviour by turning around, laying their bellies on the platform and safely descending feet first, were coded “descended”. For the propose of statistical analysis, infants who avoided (by staying in the platform until the end of the trial) and those who safely descended from the platform were analysed together as avoiding’ infants.

Additional Information

This dataset was originally published at:






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Data description: Sex – 1: male; 2: female T1 – test one: first test (baby tested as experienced crawler) T2 – test two: second test (baby tested as new walker) T3 – test three: first test (baby tested as experienced walker) Age – baby’s age at trial day BellyCrawlingExp – belly-crawling experience: since belly-crawling onset day until hands-and-knees onset day. CrawlingExp – crawling experience: since the hands-and-knees onset day until the trial day (for crawlers) or until walking onset day (for walkers). CruisingExp – cruising experience: since cruising onset day until test day (for crawlers) or walking onset day (for walkers). WalkingExp – walking experience: since walking onset day util trial day. TotalLocExp – total self-produced locomotor experience: since the onset day of the first self-produced locomotor strategy (belly-crawling, hands-and-knees crawling, cruising or walking) until the trial day. RCb –behaviors on real cliff - 1: fell; 2: avoided; 3: safely descended WCb – behaviors on water cliff - 1: fell; 2: avoided; 3: safely descended Time.between.T1.T2 – time between first and second trials. Time.between.T2.T3 – time between second and third trials.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License.