When Do Babies Start to Crawl?
Once your baby starts crawling, he can further explore his world and take his first step towards getting around on his own. So when can you expect this exciting milestone?
Although it can vary, most babies start to crawl between seven and nine months. But you could have an early crawler on your hands or a late bloomer. For example, it’s not unusual for babies to start crawling closer to their first birthday.
Keep in mind, not all babies start crawling on their hands and knees. Your little one may take a different approach, such as slithering on his tummy commando style or scooting on his bottom to propel himself forward.
Don’t stress if your baby is taking an alternative approach to hands-and-knees crawling. He may transition from creeping on his tummy to crawling on all fours, or he might move directly to standing and walking. What’s important is your baby is trying to become mobile.
There is no need to rush your baby into crawling. She’ll progress to crawling naturally when she develops the coordination. But there are a few things you can do to encourage your baby’s motor skill development including crawling.
One thing you can do to help your baby learn to crawl is provide plenty of tummy time. Since doctors begin the recommendation to put babies to sleep on their back to decrease sudden infant death syndrome, tummy time has been reduced.
But starting from the time she is a month or two you can place your baby on her tummy. Make sure she is awake and alert and do tummy time for a few minutes to start. As she gains the ability to lift her head, consider increasing the amount of time she spends on her belly. Tummy time helps build your baby’s neck and back muscles, which need to be strong when you baby tries to crawl.
Once your baby is sitting up, play catch by rolling a ball back and forth to him. By reaching for the ball, your baby will strengthen his back and stomach muscles.
It’s also helpful to increase your little one’s motivation to crawl. Consider placing a favorite toy just out of his reach and see if he makes an attempt to shuffle towards it.
As your baby gets stronger, she’ll start moving from a sitting position to being on her hands and knees. She might start rocking back and forth on all fours, which helps her improve balance. Eventually, she will figure out how to push off on her knees to move forward and off she’ll go!
Now that your baby is on the move, make sure you have baby proofed to prevent her from getting hurt while she explores. In fact, you may want to get down on your hands and knees and get her vantage point to make sure you don’t miss any hazards.
Keep in mind, babies crawl on their own timeline. Some babies are high energy and may crawl at an early age while others are mellow and may crawl a bit later. By the age of one, if your baby is not making any progress towards crawling, talk to your pediatrician to make sure nothing is wrong.