Your Crawling Baby

Learning to crawl is one of the most important things your baby must do. Crawling allows the baby to explore his surroundings and thereby stimulate his senses and mind. Crawling kick-starts your baby into learning more rapidly, as he can satisfy curiosities that he has and allows him to manipulate objects while investigating the environment. It also develops physical coordination and strength.

When Should My Baby Be Crawling By?
A baby generally learns to crawl in the 6-10 month range. During this period your baby may develop alternate methods of movement, such as slithering, rolling, or shuffling around on its bum. These methods are ok, however they will not provide as much muscle development as traditional crawling. It's also possible that the baby skips crawling altogether and stands up to try and walk. Your baby should begin learning to crawl shortly after she learns to sit upright. Some babies even start off by crawling backwards!

How Can I Encourage My Baby To Crawl?
One common method to encourage baby crawling is to place interesting or desirable things just beyond its reach. Interesting things can be anything from toys, food, to a person such as a parent. The presence of a desirable object should hopefully encourage the baby to attempt to move closer to it. If the baby has trouble doing so, there are a few things you can try to encourage the physical motions of crawling:

  • place your baby on its stomach on the floor and hold it up by its elbows, to encourage her to put some weight on them
  • you can try putting a "roller" under your baby to help support her while she learns the mechanics of crawling. A "roller" can be any soft cylindrical shaped object that can be placed under your baby's torso in order to provide support. A simple roller that you can use would be a rolled up towel. Ensure that it is the right height so that it enables the baby to crawl on her elbows.
  • if your baby has a hard time lifting his head while on his stomach, try to encourage him by making playful gestures and speaking to him while in front of him

If year baby makes is over 12 months old and still not crawling in some way, then a doctor should be consulted.