Baby Crawling 101: When do Babies Crawl & 5 Tips to Encourage

Crawling is like the bridge between a baby sitting and beginning to walk. Soon after your baby learns to roll, usually by six to seven months, the little one also learns other ways and means of mobility. You can also refer to Baby Growth Char for tracking your baby’s growth. Your baby crawling is a stepping step to walking. Not all babies crawl first before walking, many are known to crawl and walk at around the same time. While some even skip crawling altogether! Ideally, babies start to crawl between eight to ten months and learn to walk by the time they’re a year old. Click here to read the perfect guide on baby development.

Stages of crawling

These are the stages, or rather postures your baby begins to assume, as your little one learns to crawl.

  • She will rock back and forth on all fours. You can either encourage this posture or when you notice here doing this, play some good upbeat music to encourage this movement.

  • She will begin moving ahead on her tummy, thrusting her body ahead.

  • She begins lunging forward while on her fours.

  • All the above three postures are like a preparation for the final result, full blown crawling!

Advantages of crawling

There are many benefits associated with crawling, as it is their first motor skill where they use both sides of their body. Unlike rolling, where the baby focused on just one side of their body, crawling involves the movement and coordination of both sides. As an exercise, crawling helps strengthen the arms and legs of the baby. Since babies use both sides of their brains for this activity, they learn coordination of all four limbs, alertness, and balance. Crawling is a great foundation for further developmental and motor skills.

What can you do to encourage crawling?

Here are a few things you can do to teach your baby to crawl:

  1. Tummy time:

    Ensure you start giving your baby plenty of tummy for the word go! As an infant you can place the baby on your lap, tummy side down, ensuring baby is awake and has ample support. Being on their tummy helps babies use their neck and arms, and strengthen the upper body. This helps bolster them to the crawling stage. Remember to always supervise your baby when the little one is on her tummy, and see that she is completely awake, and active.

  2. Do push-ups together:

    You can try lying next to your baby and do push-ups. Upon seeing you, baby may want to mimic you and try doing it herself. This will help strengthen her arms and shoulders.

  3. Teach her to balance:

    Babies are quick learners and do what they can to mimic you. Try rocking back and forth on your fours to teach her how to balance on her fours. Playing some upbeat rhythmic music might help too.

  4. Try using bait:

    Babies are good at recognising their toys. If you place her favourite toy next to her as bait, she will try to reach out to it and thus encourage her to push herself, look around, and try to grab it. This will ultimately help her gain mobility and start crawling towards it.

Measures to keep baby safe

Once your baby starts crawling, prepare to see some bumps and topples as they maneuver around the house enjoying their newfound freedom to move about. While it is an exciting and joyous moment for both you and your baby, it is important to undertake some preventive measures to ensure your baby’s safety:

  • Keeping an eye on her at all times is required. As tedious it may sound and be, it isn’t really possible to baby proof a home completely, especially once she has learnt to move around and grasp things. There is always the chance of her ripping out a power cord from the socket of pulling something dangling at the edge of the coffee table.
  • Ensure you cover baby’s knees with comfortable leggings so that she can move about without experiencing any scratches or floor burns.
  • Wearing diapers will make crawling extremely comfortable and fuss-free. Especially the pant style diapers make it a hassle-free experience, providing ease in every stride.
  • If your baby begins climbing then you have to gently place her on the floor and tell her, over and over again, that furniture is not for climbing. It may take multiple attempts, but be persistent and she will get the message. Until then, make sure all heavy furniture is anchored to wall so that she doesn’t topple over.

Once your baby has begun crawling and gains momentum, it’s just a matter of time before she stands up by herself, followed by the first steps, jumping, running and more.

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