How exciting! Your baby has started crawling, which means he or she will soon be mobile, exploring his or her environment, and learning new things. However, as your baby crawls, it’s important to help him or her learn to do so safely – to keep the baby safe when learning how to crawl. Here are some tips on how to get your baby crawling.
Early Baby Movements
A baby usually begins crawling when they are between 7 and 14 months old. By nine months, most babies are pretty good at moving around, but getting them to crawl is another story! Babies tend to start crawling when they’re physically able, but that isn’t always how it goes. Some babies are ready right away, while others take a bit longer. There’s nothing you can do to force your baby into crawling before they want (and know) how; it just doesn’t work that way. The important thing is that you don’t stress about whether or not your baby is able to do something at a specific time.
Starting Them Young
Babies love to mimic their parents, so don’t be surprised if yours seems particularly interested in what you’re doing. Before you get down on all fours and start baby crawling around, however, make sure your baby is ready for it. Researchers have found that babies typically develop their crawling skills somewhere between 6 months and 10 months of age; some might go as far as 13 months. During that time, they’ll explore a variety of motor skills – from sitting to standing and walking – before taking those first steps. Make sure your little one is having fun and comfortable during his exploration phase by setting up an environment filled with age-appropriate toys and distractions.
Set Up The Right Environment
Babies crawl when they’re ready, but you can help them along by setting up an environment that makes it safe and fun. Babies between 8 and 15 months learn motor skills quickly, and mastering baby crawling is an important milestone in physical development. You’ll want a safe space with no hazards or sharp edges, like cords or large pieces of furniture. If your baby hasn’t learned how to crawl yet (or if he’s past his learning window), you may need to consult with a pediatrician to rule out any issues. You also might consider installing childproof gates around doorways; although they won’t prevent your baby from moving horizontally across floor space, they will keep him confined so he’s less likely to venture into unsafe areas of your home.
Give Them Practice Time
Babies are born with instinctive behaviors. Newborns cry, grasp, and have a startle reflex; they even have a hard time tolerating loud noises. All of these reactions are their way of interacting with their surroundings. To help your baby develop baby crawling skills, give them as much practice time as possible. Place them on soft surfaces like pillows or blankets that allow for freedom of movement; any toys should be within reach but just out of sight—this will encourage your baby to move around in search of what’s missing. This might feel like wasted time if you’re eager for baby crawling, but remember Baby steps! Take it easy and be patient; soon enough you’ll see those little limbs go!
Encourage Your Baby To Play With Their Hands Elevated
Babies love exploring with their hands. Encourage them by giving them toys that are easy for them to grasp, but positioned high enough that they have to stretch for them. If you want your baby to crawl sooner rather than later, be sure to provide lots of opportunities for him or her to play with their hands elevated and at different heights throughout the day. A toy like The Three R’s: Ring Rattle & Roll from Lamaze is great because it has three different textures and colors (and music!) which will help keep your baby engaged and give him or her new ways to explore his or her world.
Lift Your Baby Off The Floor
Baby crawling starts during your baby’s first year when your baby begins practicing his physical coordination. The muscles in his legs will begin to strengthen and he will learn how to move those limbs around. While you can encourage his learning, it is never too early or too late for a baby who is ready and eager to crawl. Baby crawling is an important stage of development that prepares him for other milestones down the road! Here are some tips and tricks for encouraging your infant’s ability to get around.
Let Your Baby Play In Front Of A Mirror
Babies learn by imitation, so if you have a baby who’s interested in what they see in front of them, let them crawl around in front of a mirror and take it all in. It may help them learn how to crawl faster. Mirror time could also lead your baby into new areas and encourage them to explore their world even more. If you don’t have a mirror handy, try hanging some colorful cards on your walls or doors for the baby to look at when crawling. This can give them more material to play with during crawls that may inspire additional mobility development.
Use Toys To Encourage Crawling
Sometimes babies just need a little encouragement to start crawling. You can use toys and move them back and forth across your baby’s line of vision (just make sure you keep a close eye so he doesn’t pull them down onto his face). It helps to put several safe toys within arm’s reach in order for him to have something more interesting than watching you stand still, even if he doesn’t crawl after it. Start by placing a toy at first, then repeat with another toy until your baby starts crawling after one of them. As soon as he touches it, pick up that one and drop another toy closer toward him so he crawls for that one instead.
Hold Your Baby In A Crawling Position
Whenever you hold your baby in a crawling position, you simulate a crawling experience. Put your baby on her tummy and lift her onto all fours. Make sure that you keep her back supported so she can’t arch it while lying down. As she rests comfortably on all fours, support her hips with one hand and move her arms back with your other hand. Hold them there for 15-20 seconds, then pull them out gently without tilting or arching your baby’s spine as she moves back into the crawling position. Repeat as necessary until your baby gains enough strength to crawl when you stop holding her up in that position. Remember: don’t force anything; if it doesn’t work at first, give it time and try again later!
Crawl With Your Baby
If you’re eager for your baby to crawl, try crawling with him/her—it may not work right away, but when babies see their parents doing something new and fun they want to mimic it. If your baby wants a toy he can’t reach while you’re at his level, encourage him to crawl over and take it. It sounds silly, but that curiosity is what will get him going. After all, practice makes perfect! With enough time spent focusing on getting from point A to point B, we know he’ll get there in no time. Just remember: cuddles are important too! When children feel loved and secure, they’re more willing to explore and even risk looking silly.
Don’t Make Your Baby Work Too Hard
Keep in mind that your baby will learn how to crawl faster and more efficiently if he or she doesn’t have a lot of other things going on. So, while you might want to spend every waking moment sitting your baby upright, watching her try (and fail) to crawl over and over again, is actually making it harder for her. Instead, give her plenty of opportunities for unstructured playtime—where she can roll around, practice sitting up without support, grab toys close by—and let her rest whenever she needs it. This way, when she does finally attempt to make her first crawling attempts (which might not be until 8 months or later), chances are good that she’ll get it right away.
Give Your Baby A Massage
Babies that are massaged from as early as 3 months develop stronger connections between their motor and sensory neurons, meaning they’re more likely to be coordinated when they start learning how to crawl. Massaging your baby will also help her sleep better, learn faster, eat better, have a higher IQ, and even help prevent colic. So get those fingers and thumbs ready! In addition to giving your little one a massage each day during diaper changes (including her toes), you can try.
Babies might seem like they’re taking their sweet time learning how to crawl, but they are actually one of the most mobile and agile toddlers out there. You don’t have to worry about your little one accidentally breaking a bone or suffering an injury, as babies generally have excellent coordination. Still, it’s a good idea to lay down some ground rules for when it’s safe and not safe for them to practice crawling. For example, you might want to keep a set of items nearby that your baby is never allowed near—like medications or household cleaners—in case he somehow gains access.