When Do Babies Crawl

When Do Babies Crawl? Steps Toward Crawling

Between six and ten months old, most babies are really starting to move.  At first they may get up on all fours and rock back and forth—like a rocket at countdown, waiting to take off.  But unlike a rocket ship, little ones might stay in “countdown” mode for a weeks before they are ready to start moving.  The process of learning to crawl is actually pretty complex.  Babies need to coordinate the movement of their arms and legs, and develop the muscle strength in their arms, shoulders, and legs to support their weight.

when do babies crawl

A baby’s first jump forward might actually be a scoot backward.  As babies figure out how to do that arm-leg-arm-leg crawling movement, they sometimes go backward first, and then learn how to crawl forward.  So, for a while, babies might cry in frustration as they somehow finds themselves scooting away from the very object or person they are so determined to reach.

The process of learning to crawl differs among babies as they work out a way to move that is unique to them.  Read more about the different ways babies learn to move below.


 

  • The “I’ll Have the Usual”:  This is the classic crawl—alternating hand on one side and knee on the other to go, go, go.

  • The “Crab”—Just like at the beach, the “crab” bends one knee and extends the opposite leg to scoot forward.

  • The “Commando”—Look out, this crawler lies flat on her belly and drags herself forward using her arms.

  • The “Rolling Wonder”—

  • The “Take It in Stride” Kid—Some children skip crawling and go right to walking. 

There’s no right or wrong way to crawl.  As long as a baby is making progress in his ability to use his body to get around, that’s what is important.



When Should I Worry?

As with most developmental milestones, it is “normal” for crawling to happen at any point across a fairly wide span of time—anywhere from 6 to 10 months of age.  (Remember, some children skip crawling altogether!)  Also, if a child is a bit bigger or heavier than is typical for his age, he may crawl later as it is more challenging for babies to push up onto all fours and move their extra body weight.  Babies who were born prematurely may also crawl later.

In most cases, there is nothing physically wrong with babies who are slow to crawl.  They may just be busy working on other skills that are more interesting to them, like learning to use their hands to figure out how objects work.  They may prefer to sit and explore the world visually or by touch (with their hands), instead of exploring through movement.  Remember, babies, like adults, have different preferences and interests.

However, It is a good idea to contact your child’s health care provider if:

  • You notice that your child is using only one side of her body to crawl (she pushes off with only one arm or drags one side of her body as she scoots across the floor); or
  • Your baby is not making forward progress in using her body to get around.



How to Support Your Baby’s Crawling Skills

  • Give your baby plenty of tummy time, starting from birth.  By playing on their bellies, babies develop the muscle strength in their shoulders, arms, back and trunk (torso) that helps them learn to crawl.
  • Encourage your baby to reach for and move toward the toys and objects she is interested in.  Lay interesting toys at just a short distance from your almost-crawler.  See if she is able to move herself toward these objects.
  • Make sure your baby has space to explore that is safe and supervised.
  • Place the palms of your hands behind your child’s feet when he is on all fours.  This stabilizes him and gives him something to “push off” from when he is just learning to crawl.

when do babies crawl

Things to Avoid

  • Baby walkers.  Not only are they potentially dangerous, they limit  practice time on the floor learning to crawl.  Walkers can also hamper muscle development.
  • Spending lots of time in baby seats and baby carriers.  Babies learn how to crawl, and later pull up to stand and then walk, when they have plenty of time each day to play, move, and explore.
  • Pushing your child to learn to crawl.  Pressing a child to develop a skill he isn’t ready for can actually slow the learning process.



Crawling Means Child-Proofing


Now that your baby is crawling, she will soon be pulling up as she prepares to walk.  This means she will be able to get to get her hands on objects that had previously been unreachable and are potentially dangerous.

And remember, even though babies are moving around fairly well on their own, they still aren’t able to follow rules about what to touch or not to touch.  So it is very important to make sure your home is child-proofed so that your baby has a safe place to play and explore.

Take a walk through (or better yet, a crawl-through) your home and see what potential hazards may be at your baby’s level.  Some obvious things to be aware of include:



  • Electrical outlets

  • Electrical cords

  • Baby gates on all stairs—top and bottom

  • Toilet seat locks

  • Plant stands (as well as other “tippy” tables)

  • Houseplants within baby’s reach

  • Poisonous home cleaning supplies within baby’s reach

  • Sharp corners on coffee tables and end tables

  • Fragile knick-knacks that can be grabbed or knocked over

By making your baby’s environment as safe as possible, you are creating the perfect space to support her growing skills and healthy development.

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When Do Babies Start Crawling?

When Do Babies Start CrawlingCrawling is the next step in the development of a child that comes after he starts sitting up. Mostly a child starts walking after he is able to crawl. It is the baby’s first attempt towards gaining some kind of independence and moving about without anyone’s help. Traditionally, the baby will first figure out how to balance himself on his knees and hands when starting to crawl and then get to the stage of moving using his knees. This whole exercise is going to help him in building up the muscles that will eventually be used in walking.

So, you might have question in your mind about the age at which babies are most likely to begin crawling and how can they learn to crawl and what part you can play in helping them. This article will attempt to answer all of these questions.


When Do Babies Start Crawling?

Most babies start crawling when they become 7 months old. However, some babies don’t begin crawling until they reach the age of 10 months. Besides crawling, babies tend to adopt new methods of movement which include rolling, scooting and slithering.

The style adopted by the baby for movement is not important. At this stage of his life, mobility is the main concern and if he is trying to move about on his own then it is a good sign. Crawling is not something that every baby is going to do. Some young ones start standing and walking without going through the crawling phase.


When Should I Be Concerned?

If your baby has not shown any signs of developing movement skills and does not even want to move around using his legs and arms even when he has reached the age of 12 months then it is high time for you to consult your physician. However, do keep in mind that certain babies develop at a later stage than others and it might only be a matter of time before he starts crawling. Moreover, premature babies are also unlikely to start crawling quickly and might develop these skills a little later than other babies.

How Do Babies Learn to Crawl?

Now that we’ve expalined when do babies start crawling, here comes how the crawling develops in your baby:

Timeline

Descriptions

6-7 months

Before starting to crawl, the baby has to strengthen his tummy muscles. When he reaches the age of 6 months, he is going to start pulling himself up on his forearms. These mini push-ups are going to strengthen his walking muscles. In first few days he might only be able to push himself up on his arms, but soon he will start pushing himself forward using his arms just like a commando. Later on he will start getting up on his knees and arms and crawl more easily.

8-10 months

When the baby reaches the age of 8 months, his muscles should have become strong enough to support his weight and he will start squatting. He will learn that moving about on all fours is better than commando-crawling. At this stage of life, babies start realizing that gaining mobility is easy, he just has to push off with his knees and this will improve his ability to move around the house with ease. Crawling backwards can also develop at this stage.

One year

By the time the baby becomes a year old, he becomes so confident in crawling that he wants to even climb stairs.

How Can You Help Babies Learn to Crawl?

If you want your baby to start crawling at an earlier stage then you should try to encourage him to lie on his tummy. Babies that lie on their tummies start crawling much earlier than other babies. Below are more tricks to help your baby learn to crawl:

Tricks

Description

Encourage tummy time

To encourage your baby to start crawling, you should try to help him in strengthening the muscles of his legs and arms. You can do this by laying him on his tummy as soon as he reaches the age of three months. Get your baby to push up as this would help him in gaining the muscle strength required for crawling.

Use toys to encourage crawling

Lying on the tummy is not a thing that your baby is going to enjoy. In order to encourage him to crawl while lying on his tummy, try to put toys in front of him and ask him to come and get it by crawling towards it.

Set obstacles in the process

You can make crawling fun for your baby by putting obstacles in his way. Encourage him to cross the lounge in which you have put pillows and cushions by negotiating these obstacles. Remain close to your baby while he is doing this so that he may not run into any trouble.

Allow him to crawl constantly

If your baby starts crawling then he will want to do it all the time. Don’t stop him from crawling once he starts as it will provide good exercise for him and will also offer him the chance to gain the muscle strength required for walking in future.

Precautions and Warnings on Babies’ Crawling



1. Take Protective Measures

When a baby starts crawling, it is highly likely that he is going to want to explore more and might get in to a lot of trouble. To avoid this, make sure that you have the necessary protective measures set up in your house like stair gates to keep him safe.

2. Forbid Climbing the Stairs

Nothing seems more attractive to a crawling child then stairs. He would want to climb them as soon as he begins crawling. However, it is best to stop him from attempting to climb them at this tender age as he may hurt himself while doing so.
When the baby begins crawling, he would want to get out of his cot as soon as he wakes up. To stop him from jumping out of his cot and falling down, keep his cot clean of any toys that he may use for getting out of the cot.

3. Let Him Go Barefoot

Don’t buy shoes for the baby when he starts crawling. He won’t need them until he becomes able to walk confidently on his own.

Going barefoot is better for the baby when he begins crawling because it will help him in strengthening the muscles of his leg and the arches of his feet. He will also learn to balance himself if he is allowed to walk barefoot in the house.

4. Keep the Surface Clean

When your baby begins to crawl, it is best to keep the area in which he would be crawling as clean as possible. Anything lying on the ground is most likely going to be put by the baby in his mouth. So, vacuum the entire floor before letting your baby lose on it.


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