The time when a baby starts crawling is exciting time – it’s their first method of getting around on their own! It’s a very important milestone, because crawling will help your baby develop the muscles which will help him eventually walk on his own. You might have some questions or concerns about your baby related to his crawling, and hopefully this article will help give you the answers you’re looking for.
When Do Babies First Start to Crawl?
The average baby will begin to crawl when they’re around 7 – 10 months of age. Now, this isn’t set in stone: your baby might start to crawl earlier than that. It also doesn’t mean that your baby will crawl the way you’re thinking of, on their hands and knees. Your baby might prefer a different way of getting around, like shuffling on their bum, rolling around, or any other similar method. You shouldn’t be concerned with how your baby starts to get around; the important thing is that they’re getting around on their own.
Some babies never “crawl” on their hands or knees at all, and that’s fine! As long as they’re moving around some way, there’s no real reason to be concerned.
Things To Know When Your Baby Starts to Crawl
When your baby starts to crawl, it’s important that you make sure that they will be able to do so safely. Baby proofing your home, removing hazards and making sure everything is safe is very important. You’ll want to block off rooms of the home you don’t want your baby getting into as well as making sure that they won’t fall down any stairs. The best way to do this is with a baby gate, and you might want to read our guide on choosing the best baby gate for this purpose.
When your baby starts to crawl, you’ll want to give them lots of tummy time. This is simply placing your baby on his or her tummy for several minutes per day, giving them the opportunity to develop the muscles used in crawling as well as encourage them to crawl. Tummy time will also help prevent them from developing a flat spot on the back of their head, which can sometimes be the product of laying on their back for a long time.
Encouraging Your Baby to Crawl
The best and easiest way to encourage your baby to crawl is to place one of his favorite toys on the floor in front of him, just out of reach. You can also use things like pillows and cushions to create something of an “obstacle course” to navigate, which will help them develop speed and confidence. Be sure to never leave them alone if you do this, though, as the pillows and cushions could pose a safety hazard if they got stuck under one.
If your baby doesn’t seem to like it on their stomach, that’s not abnormal. Just try to give them lots of encouragement, and continue to use the method of placing toys in front of them. Eventually, it still start to help.
Things That Can Help
If you want to give your baby a little help in learning to crawl, there are a few other things you can do.
- When your baby is on the floor, help them get onto all fours if they are able to. A small pillow, baby blanket or rolled up towel under their tummy can help support them – it will also let them rock back and forth, teaching balancing skills that will help in crawling.
- You can also try putting a towel under their tummy, and pulling up on it gently until they’re up on all fours. You can then let them practice being in this position, as well as rocking back and forth. This is also a good way to help them support themselves when they learn to crawl on all fours.
After Your Baby Can Crawl
After your baby is crawling, the next step will be learning to walk! They’ll begin using anything in sight in an attempt to pull themselves up—whether that be a coffee table, the sofa, or grandma’s leg!
Once your baby learns to balance on their legs, they’ll start cruising—using objects around the room to hold onto while getting around. It won’t be long before after that before they’re walking on their own!
My Baby Hasn’t Started Crawling Yet – Should I Be Worried?
If you’re concerned that your baby hasn’t started crawling yet, it might not be totally abnormal. Keep in mind that premature babies sometimes develop slower than most, especially when it comes to crawling and walking. However, you might consider talking to your child’s doctor if they’ve reached 12 months of age and:
- Hasn’t shown an interest in crawling, nor rolling around or any other method of getting around, even after encouragement.
- Seems to have a lack of coordination in their arms and legs, moreso than would be normal.
It’s not a huge concern if your baby hasn’t started to crawl, but it’s probably something you’ll want to bring up with your doctor, just to be sure that everything is okay.