After months of being your baby’s only mode of transportation, you’re probably keen for him to get moving by himself. One of the most amazing things about having a baby is being able to watch and share in his excitement as he masters new skills. Crawling is a milestone that will allow your baby to better explore his world. It is his first step towards independence and a reminder of how quickly time passes. Crawling will help him to develop the skills necessary for walking. It will also help him on his quest for mischief, but don’t worry too much about that.
Most babies learn to crawl between the ages of seven and 10 months old. Some babies learn sooner, however, and for others it can take a little longer. Some babies skip the crawling stage altogether, opting instead for a maverick move like the bum shuffle to help them get around at baby group.Here are five ways to encourage crawling:
- Tummy time
To be able to crawl, your baby needs muscle control and strength. He needs to be able to raise himself up, move his legs and use his tummy muscles. Tummy time is important for helping him to develop the necessary muscle strength for crawling. Make supervised tummy time a part of your daily routine to make sure he has lots of opportunities to build up these muscles and learn how to use them.
To perfect his crawling skills, your baby needs plenty of opportunities to practice moving around. This means he needs freedom to move, explore and play as much as possible. Spending time in strollers, bouncy chairs and highchairs limit the time babies have to learn valuable skills such as crawling. Of course, some time spent in these things is unavoidable, but do make an effort to provide your baby with plenty of opportunities for floor play throughout the day.
Children and babies learn best through play. You can encourage your baby to crawl by making it a game. Placing exciting looking toys slightly out of reach might tempt your baby to try and reach for them. Babies love to explore so leave the toys in sight but leave your baby to discover it for himself if he can. To begin with, place the toys just out of reach, but as your baby gets better at reaching them, move them further away.
Babies are easily spooked, so you need to make sure his crawling practice arena (aka your living room) is a safe environment for him. Avoid banged heads, trapped fingers and falling objects by baby-proofing the room long before he learns to crawl. Get down on your hands and knees and crawl around the room to identify potential dangers for crawling infants.
Your baby will master crawling in his own time. The above suggestions will provide him with ample opportunity to practice the skills needed for crawling, but it’ll still be up to him when he finally does it. Help your baby build his confidence by remaining cool, calm and collected while he’s trying to crawl. If you feel stressed, he could pick up on that. You don’t need a strict, regimented schedule of crawling lessons, just plenty of time and space to explore.
Has your baby started crawling?
Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.