Watching your baby learn new skills is one of the fun aspects of parenting.
As babies develop they become more mobile.
What Age Do Babies Start to Crawl?
Many babies will learn to crawl between 7 months and 10 months of age.
Some babies will crawl as early as 6 months old. While some babies will skip crawling all together.
When Should My Baby Crawl?
Most babies will begin crawling sometime between learning how to sit unsupported and beginning to walk.
Your baby is likely to begin crawling after they have learned to roll over and are able to sit up without help.
Once your baby is sitting upright on their own, you may begin to see them get on all fours.
Signs Baby is Ready to Crawl
Your baby may show signs that they are going to begin crawling soon.
Gets Up on All Fours
As babies gain muscle strength, many will get up on all fours to test their strength and balance.
Rocking Back and Forth
Many babies will start practicing holding themselves up on all fours, before they begin crawling.
Once on all fours your baby may begin to rock back and forth.
Some babies rock slowly. Other babies may rock quickly. This can be dependent on your baby’s personality.
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How to Help Baby Crawl
There are a few things you can do to help encourage your baby to crawl.
Provide Plenty of Tummy Time
The first step to helping your baby crawl starts with tummy time.
When your baby spends time on their belly they develop strength in the muscles in their neck, shoulders, arms, back, and torso. These muscles are necessary for crawling.
Tummy time should be started early with your baby and provided often. You can learn tips on how to make tummy time easier with activities to make it fun, in this post.
Encourage Baby to Reach for Toys
Another way you can help to encourage your baby to crawl is through the use of toys.
You can place your baby’s toys just slightly out of their reach when they are playing on the floor. Your baby may feel motivated to try going mobile to get to their toy.
Provide Your Baby with A Safe Space to Move
Your baby may enjoy having a safe play space. Some babies feel encouraged to move when they are in their comfortable space.
Alternative Types of Crawling
Many parents are familiar with crawling on all fours, with alternating hand and knee forward movements. However, some babies never crawl on all fours. These babies may use an alternative method for mobility. Other babies use an alternative type of crawl before they learn to crawl on all fours.
Some baby’s army crawl before moving onto regular classic crawling.
Army crawling is when the belly is dragged across the floor, instead of raised up from the ground. Babies will reach forward with one hand while bending the knee of their leg and drag their belly.
This type of crawl may also be called “belly crawl” or “commando crawl”.
Babies that scoot will keep their bottom on the floor and use their arms to move forward.
Some babies will begin scooting by moving backwards, until they figure out how to propel themselves forward.
Babies that bear crawl will get up on all fours, but keep their elbows and knees straight.
Some babies practice bear crawling out of curiosity or to make their parents laugh.
Backward crawling, though similar to a classic crawl, is when the baby moves backward, instead of forward.
Babies may begin backward crawling before they figure out how to move forward crawling.
While other babies may figure out how to move backwards after they learn to move forwards.
How to Keep Your Crawling Baby Safe
Once your baby is crawling it is important to keep them safe.
Baby Proof the Home
Once you notice your baby is making steps towards becoming mobile, it is important to baby proof your home.
This will include outlet plug covers, electrical cords, cabinet locks, baby gates, and more. If you have a staircase in your home it is especially important to place gates at the landings. These gates should remain closed unless you are closely watching your baby climb up and down the steps.
You can use leggings to protect your baby’s knees while crawling. Traditional leggings, like these, are an option.
There are also fashionable pull-on leg warmers that don’t require removal for diaper changes.
Teach Them Safety
Once your baby is crawling you will need to teach them how to be safe.
If your home has any steps, you need to teach your baby how to maneuver the steps. Babies typically figure out how to crawl up steps pretty quickly. However, they almost always need guidance on how turn themselves around backwards to go safely down the steps.
Some babies will crawl in places that they shouldn’t. This includes climbing on chairs, tables, and couches. You will need to remove your baby and remind them that they are not supposed to climb up on to furniture.
What to Do if Your Baby Doesn’t Crawl
If your baby doesn’t crawl it may be okay. If you notice that your baby is not making any progress in moving to become mobile you will want to alert your baby’s healthcare provider.
Your baby’s healthcare provider will ask you questions about your baby’s development and assess their motor strength to determine if further evaluation is necessary.
Not all babies will crawl. It is perfectly okay if your baby doesn’t crawl. However, you will want to monitor that your baby continues to meet their other physical developmental milestones.
Is your baby already crawling? When did they begin to crawl? Did you do anything to help encourage them to crawl?
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