When Do Babies Crawl? 7 Tips To Get Crawling

When Do Babies Crawl? 7 Tips To Get Crawling

When Do Babies Crawl?

Crawling is one of the first major steps in your child’s journey to independence, so it’s no surprise so many parents are keen to know “when do babies crawl?”

Once she masters crawling, she’ll be able to explore the world around her without relying on you to pick her up.

You might be keen for her to start crawling, so you can enjoy the next stage of her development together.

It’s always exciting when your child learns a new skill.

So, when do babies crawl? Read on to find out!

When Do Babies Crawl For The First Time?

Most babies master crawling when they are aged between 7 and 10 months old. Some start earlier than that, and others start later. Some babies skip the crawling stage altogether, and move straight onto pulling themselves up using the furniture. Some babies choose to bottom shuffle, roll or slither army commando style across the room, not all babies crawl in the same way.

Some babies seem to learn to crawl over night, but for most it takes a bit of practice. You should expect your baby to be good at crawling by her first birthday.

How Will My Baby Learn To Crawl?

You’ll be pleased to hear that you don’t need to start moving around the house on your hands and knees to encourage your baby to perfect her crawling skills. Your baby will learn to crawl naturally, as she develops the strength and coordination to become mobile.

One small study found that babies born in the winter started crawling sooner than babies born in the summer. Why could this be? The researchers say, “The season influences the babies’ experiences in a number of ways, including layers of clothing that are worn; the opportunities babies are given to spend on the floor on their stomachs, and the hours of activity and daylight. Awareness of the seasonal effect is important so that parents will give their babies proper movement and development opportunities in the winter as well.”

But firstly, your baby will need to master sitting unaided. This requires muscle strength to stay upright, and move into a sitting position. Then she will discover that she can stay in position on all fours, and rock to and fro. At some point, she will push off from her knees, and become mobile.

Once she starts moving, it may take her a few weeks to perfect her crawling style, as she learns how to move each of her limbs where she wants, when she wants. Some babies crawl backwards for the first few weeks, as they try to work out how to get around.

7 Tips To Help Your Baby Get Crawling

Babies need to build up their muscle strength before they are able to start crawling. Since 1994, parents have been advised to put babies to sleep on their backs, instead of on their tummies, to reduce the rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). While this has been very effective, some experts believe it has caused some babies to reach physical milestones later.

Spending less time on their tummies, means some babies take longer to develop the strength to hold their bodies up. There are a number of things you can do to help your baby pump some iron:

Crawling Tip #1: Tummy Time

Spending time on her tummy is important for helping your baby to develop the strength to move her body and hold herself up. If your baby cries when you place her on her tummy on the floor, try lying her on your tummy instead. This way, she can still see you and feel safe, but will also be working her muscles. Each time she lifts her head to look at you, she’ll be doing a mini work out. Find out more about tummy time.

Crawling Tip #2: Wrap It Up

Being carried around may not sound like the most effective way of building muscle, but as babies shuffle to reposition themselves in wraps and slings, they are strengthening their muscles. As they lift their head out of the slings to see what’s going on, they are improving their neck muscle strength.

Crawling Tip #3: Make It Fun

if your baby is having tummy time on a play mat, entertain her with toys to keep her happy. Dangling toys in front of her, singing and keeping your face close to hers, are all great ways to keep your baby happy during tummy time.

Crawling Tip #4: Moving Toys

A couple of toys that move may help to encourage your baby to start crawling. Trains, cars and balls are all great toys that may travel out of baby’s reach as she plays with them.

Crawling Tip #5: Time Limits

Try to limit the amount of time your baby spends in a car seat, pram or bouncer. Babies need time to move and explore in order to master new skills, so give them the freedom to do this.

Crawling Tip #6: Use A Tunnel

There are lots of play tunnels and tents on the market. If you like, get down on all fours and play peekaboo or chase baby around to encourage her.

Crawling Tip #7: No Stress Approach

While you may be desperate to see your baby take her first few shuffles towards freedom, try not to get hung up on it. Don’t compare her to other babies, or push her to crawl when she isn’t ready. Just wait, have fun and support her as she develops this new and exciting skill.

See the results of our BellyBelly Forum poll, where we asked members when their baby started crawling.

My Baby Is Crawling, What Now?

Now that your baby is on the move (or ideally, just before), you need to think about childproofing your home. One of the best ways to do this, is to get down on all fours and crawl about yourself. What can you see that might be dangerous to a baby? Dangling wires, sharp corners and cupboard doors are all things that you should look out for. If your baby has access to your stairs, you may want to put in a stairgate now to stop her getting into danger. By safeguarding your home, you can allow your baby to explore her environment (with supervision).

You’ll need to be stringent about keeping your floors clean now that you have a little adventurer in the house. Remember, babies put pretty much anything in their mouth, and this will include food crumbs, pebbles, and loose change from under the sofa.

When To Worry

Your baby probably hasn’t read this article, so doesn’t know when she should learn to crawl. She may do it sooner, later or at the same time as other babies. If your baby hasn’t become mobile (this could be crawling, shuffling or rolling) by her first birthday, you should contact your healthcare provider. If you notice that your baby is only using one side of her body to move around with (for example, by dragging herself around using just one arm), you should contact your healthcare provider.

When Did Your Baby Start Crawling?

In the comment box below, share with us when your baby started crawling!

 
Last Updated: November 28, 2015

CONTRIBUTOR

Fiona Peacock is a writer, researcher and lover of all things to do with pregnancy, birth and motherhood (apart from the lack of sleep). She is a home birth advocate, passionate about gentle parenting and is also really tired.


46 comments

  1. My baby Is 6 month old. She did the initial stage of crawling at her 5 month. But now she didn’t do any thing. If I leave her in the floor just lying not trying to turn her body. This is not too late but my doubt is she did and stopped turning her body. Will she turn and will do crawling. So what will be the problem.

  2. My 6 month old son has been crawling since he’s been 5 months now he is attempting to walk he knows how to pull he self up onto counhes and stand is my baby moving to fast

  3. My baby is making no sign of crawling at 6 months…is she just slow or is it because of some medical reasons. Please answer a Desperate new mother!

    1. My first kid (11 years old now) started crawling later. She didn’t do any of the practice movements or anything, and, of course, I was worried when she was 6 months old. But then, at 9 months old she started dashing around on all fours, only to start walking at 10 months. I guess she was developing in other ways first. It may be that your baby is the same way. If you’re really worried or something doesn’t seem right to you, then definitely talk to your pediatrician, though. 🙂

  4. My baby boy is 7 month and 2 weeks old. He is not rolling over yet. So not crawling as well. But I tried a lot by putting on tummy time. He just spend 2-3 minutes on tummy time after that he cry a lot. And other things are going well.but I m worried about his crawling. Please let me know what can I do for him!!!!!!

    1. Maybe some PT could help? Keep in mind it could be a number of things. He may not feel comfortable on his tummy for some reason, he may need to strengthen his muscles a bit or he may just not want to. My daughter has been able to roll over since she was 8-9 weeks old but just because she can doesn’t mean she ever does it! She’s a stubborn one, bless her, and she wont do anything she doesn’t want to so now at 15 weeks she’s only rolled over a handful of times.

  5. My son is seven months and two weeks. He isn’t crawling yet, but he is mobile. He shuffles around, scoots, rolls, anything he can really, and now he’s lifting his knees up while sitting in one position. He loves standing around the coffee table and he can pull himself up. I’m not sure which he will do first walk or crawl

  6. Why not write the article in a gender neutral way…. I.e. Using they or them to refer to the readers baby…. Idk it just bothered me

    1. I am offended that you are using abbreviations so flippantly. I have great respect for the English language.

      Seriously, you sound ridiculous. Don’t be so quick to become offended. I am certain that the author of this article is not biased against male/female babies. I am also certain that you know this too but just are a type of person that finds anything to whine about.

  7. My baby is 2 months and rolling over. And drag herself. Is she moving to fast. I do tummy time with her every day for an hour and she loves it. Am I pushing her to far?

  8. My daughter she started crawl when she was4 month old..she is 6 month old now and trying to walk with help of sofa.

  9. My son is 9 months old now and he rolls everywhere bit doesn’t crawl. What can i do to help? ?!!

  10. I have 3 kids let me help. My first crawled at 5 months, all over the place i wish i would have knocked him down, for real, nobody needs to start chasing a baby that early, he was walking by 9 months. My second didn’t start crawling until almost 9 months and was walking by 10 months. My 3rd lovely is only 7 months now, i don’t know if he’ll ever crawl, because he just rolls all over the house like a little tumbleweed in a windstorm, he never stops, so i’m not sure how he’ll figure out how to get up on all fours and start moving. His clothes look like a little lint roller, i swear i vaccum ALL THE TIME.

    No, rolling at 2 months is not too early. Mine rolled from back to belly at 2 months and it took him 4 more months how to figure out how to go the other way, now he never stops. NO, if your child enjoys tummy time for an hour you are not pushing them too hard. NO, there is nothing wrong if your baby still isn’t crawling at 6, 7, 8, 9 months, some literally NEVER crawl. stop getting so hung up on timelines and milestones. if you are going to the doctor for their regular check ups there is no need to worry, your doctor knows what milestones are important and which are not. My doctor says “does he eat? does he pee? does he poop?, ok then he’s perfect”

    Calm down

    1. Your post is hilarious! I needed a laugh. Thank you. My son will be 10 months tomorrow and no sign of crawling. Good to know that they are all different and not to worry!

      1. My youngest is 9 months and 3 days and has no desire to crawl yet. He can say a few words and started rolling over from tummy to back at 6 or 7 weeks. They do it in their own time. He’s healthy so I’m ok with that

    2. A mom with common sense. I think mom’s feel too much pressure with their 1st child. My 1st daughter crawled at 8 months and walked when she was a year. Her little best friend already walked at 9 months! Then came baby no 2. I didn’t have time to worry over when she would sit, crawl or walk. So, she never crawled, but got around on her bum until she was 15 months old and only then started to walk. She did have some eye /hand coordination “problems” at age 5 and her pre-school teacher reccommended we play ball with her – every day! Well, we did and she developed into a very good athlete. Firstly to study in the USA with a tennis bursary and after that received a bursary through field running (long distance) to study for her Masters. Today she is a well balanced grown-up of 29 and a psychologist!
      I am now looking after my 1st grandchild and she is 7 months old. The mother is anxious because she is not crawling yet, but I am happy because she is a happy little baby. We have breakfast on the patio while she can watch the birds and dogs and tortoises. She is my “mindful” little one and I really think that between an anxious mother and ADD father the setting at my house is right for to create balance.

  11. My baby girl is almost 8 months and pulling up walking around the tables holding on and she started crawling at the end of her 3 month. I keep her active and moving most of the time and we even have quiet time.

  12. Thanks for this helpful info. to refresh my memory. My “babies” are 24, 22 & 22 (twins) and 20. I am the nanny of a 10 mos. old girl who is JUST starting to crawl. She has, however, been pulling herself up to the coffee table in the living room and standing there, as well as pulling herself up in her crib using the side rail, for several weeks.She has been a back sleeper and hasn’t liked tummy time of any kind.

    I didn’t at all mind the feminine pronouns b/c I was thinking of her as I read your article. And we as a society of English speakers have accepted masculine pronouns in writing for MANY years, (most of which w/o complaining).It was always understood to be inclusive of both sexes going all the way back to Genesis.

  13. My baby boy is 7 mo and is only just now getting his knees underneath himself and rocking back and forth. Yesterday he kept pushing up into “downward dog” then toppling over (and getting super frustrated with himself). I’m actually surprised he’s this close to crawling because his doctor warned us he may be a little late due to his size (he is above the 99th percentile in both weight/height and is bigger than your avg one year old). Apparently sometimes bigger babies are slower to move due to the fact that they have more mass to move around and have to build stronger muscles.

  14. Mine crawled successfully at exactly 10 months, and walked successfully at exactly 12 months. Once they grow up it all seems so long ago.

  15. My first born was crawling at 7 months but didn’t sit up until he was 11 months unaided. My eldest daughter hated crawling, could do it but refused to. She was 8 months. My 4 month old is rolling over and assumes the crawl position. She’s determined so we think in less than 6 weeks she will be crawling. All my kids were different and learned when they were ready. Just don’t feel pressured by their ages for them to be doing things. Just enjoy your baby 🙂

  16. My baby is 6 months. She can sit unaided and she walks around in a walker great. She is no where close to crawling though. She looks like a fish out of water when she is on her tummt, she hates it. She cries, she will lift up her head but makes no attempt at anything else. I have a strong feeling that she will walk before she crawls.

  17. My son would only crawl to go wrap his hands around the door on the hinge side in protest. If he wanted to avoid something like a particular shirt or bath time or removal of his toys he would crawl there and hang on. Requiring us to PEEL him off the door. This horrible behaviour started at 6 months old. Otherwise he used rolling to get where he wanted to go before he walked. Also he climbed a ladder and wailed for help at the top at 11 months before he walked at 13 months. My Granddaughter is 5 months and 2 days. Her passion is UP. Even as an infant she wanted to be held in a sitting position to eat for fear she might not be able to see something. Unless she is really tired she screams if tipped back to be snuggled. And stops instantly if righted again. Later it was discovered that she has acid reflux so there may be a connection there too. So becaise of being upright so much she exercised certain muscles early she sat up for 3 min unsupported at 3 months 5 days. She could lean over get a toy and return upright a week later. But she screamed through every 15 session of tummy time usually with her arms UP in the air like an airplane. Now at just barely 5 months she now wants to crawl real bad and will probably master it in week or so at this rate but She has only rolled over 10 times total in her life time and 2 of them while in a rage. There personalities already have some impact on what they do and when they will do it. A slower child at these mile stones may also be your most laid back and happy child in the long run while a baby passionate to move and conquer the world may be the most difficult child always wanting to jump off the unsafe cliffs in life or a self driving perfectionist. If you can tap into the motivation part of their brain like a ball rolling away or a treat they can’t reach you may spark something to ecourage crawling but maybe a better plan is to enjoy their less anxious or less driven personality and let them do it their way.

  18. My baby just turned 6 months and he gets his knees in position but his upper body just lays there. When I play with him and try to make him grab a toy he scoots on his belly, does that mean he is almost there?

  19. I worked with babies and never seen one crawling at 3,4 or 5 months even 6… It’s hard to believe, sorry … Maybe if I see the videos?!
    So, if your baby is not crawling by 7-9minths it’s absolutely fine, you should be worry if your baby is 12 months and not crawling.

  20. My son started crawling at 6 months old, just today actually! Crazy kid! He still can’t sit up on his own yet though haha

  21. My daughter has start to crawl in 7 month but my son is 8 month old but still not crawling nd i am really worried.. My girl was vey active actually but my son is not that much..

  22. My baby is now 6 months and crawling great. She started the army crawl at about 4 1/2 months. This child does not like to sit still.

  23. My baby will be 7 months old by next month, but she has not started crawling only sit down properly & moves her leg back & front also move with her bottom at times. Is this ok?

  24. My son began scooting on his tummy at four months crawling by five months and pulling up and at seven months walking along beds and couches and climbing and finally fully walking at nine months he’s alway been ahead it hurts now his four month old sissy is starting to do the same at four months but I think she’s gunna be a crawler for a while lol their all different

Leave a Reply

Please note: in order to prevent spam and inappropriate language, all comments are moderated before they appear. We appreciate your patience awaiting approval. BellyBelly receives many comments every day, and we are unable to approve them all as soon as they are posted.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

loaded font roboto