Crawling is your little one’s first method of getting around on their own, and their first step (or move) towards independence. They’ll start on their hands and knees, learning to balance, and then they’ll figure out how to move around. Once they master crawling, they’ll be able to explore the world around them without relying on you. It’s always exciting when your baby learns a new skill!
When do babies start crawling?
Most babies master crawling when they are aged between 7 and 10 months old. As with all milestones, some start earlier, and others start later. Some babies skip the crawling stage altogether, and move straight onto pulling themselves up using the furniture. Some babies choose to bum shuffle (scooting around on their bottom), roll or slither army style across the room. Your baby will find their own way of crawling!
Don’t worry about their style – it’s getting mobile that’s important, no matter how your baby does it!
How will they learn?
You’ll be pleased to know that you don’t need to start moving around the house on your hands and knees to encourage your baby to perfect their crawling skills. Your baby will learn to crawl naturally, as they develop the strength and coordination to be on the move.
Your little one will need to be a pro at sitting up before they start to crawl. This requires muscle strength to stay upright, and move into a sitting position. Then they will discover that they can stay in position on all fours, and rock to and fro. At some point, they will push off from their knees, and start moving.
Tips to help your baby crawl
From the start, long before your baby’s ready to crawl, give them plenty of tummy time. Placing your baby on their tummy for several minutes a few times a day while they are awake and alert will help to develop the muscles that they need to crawl.
Try to limit the amount of time your baby spends in a car seat, buggy or bouncer. Babies need time to move and explore in order to master new skills like crawling, so giving them the freedom to do this is important.
Incentives to move
The best way to encourage crawling – as with reaching and grabbing – is to place toys and other desirable objects (even yourself) just beyond your baby’s reach. As your little one gains gets better at crawling you can also use pillows, boxes, and cushions to create obstacle course for them to negotiate. This will help improve their confidence, speed, and agility. Just don’t leave them alone- supervision is essential at all times!