Most babies will crawl in their own time with their own style. It’s unlikely you will have to teach them, as they tend to teach themselves.
Despite this, sometimes a bit of encouragement can go a long way and it’s fun for you and your baby to play together when he’s learning to crawl.
When does baby crawling start?
Babies begin crawling at about 6 to 12 months of age, and will start crawling from the hands and knees position at any time from 6 months up to 9 months.
Remember, though, all babies are different They learn at their own pace and your baby might crawl in his own time.
Some babies skip crawling altogether and try to get up on two feet to be early walkers.
Most babies do the classic crawl
The classic crawl is when babies crawl on their hands and knees. This is one of the ways babies crawl, moving one arm and the opposite leg forward at the same time.
Some other styles of crawling are:
- Commando – sliding along on the belly
- Bottom scoot – scooting around on the bottom using the hands
- Crab crawl – going sideways using the hands to push forward.
5 easy steps to teach baby crawl
We know babies are little individuals, who develop in their own time. When baby is showing signs he’s ready to crawl (see below), it might be time to think about what you can do when you have a little one crawling around the house.
You might be interested in reading: When Do Babies Crawl? 7 Tips To Encourage Crawling and 10 Worst Things About My Baby Learning To Crawl.
You can also follow these 5 easy steps:
#1. Baby proof the place
When baby starts crawling, it’s super important to start removing hazards in your home that your little one might encounter on his travels.
Think about these:
- Cushion the edges of the coffee table, end tables, and other furniture that might be pointy or sharp
- Put up the baby gates
- Cover power points
- Place kiddy locks on the cupboards.
#2. Encourage crawling
Encourage crawling by being in a sitting position in front of baby and opening your arms and legs. If you beckon to your baby, he will try to get to you.
Positive associations, smiling, clapping or placing toys strategically for baby play will help baby to crawl. He will be trying to read your expressions and respond to your encouragement; it will also put him in a good mood.
#3. Tummy time
Encourage your baby to have tummy time. This will help baby develop strength in the back and neck and help him reach the exciting milestone of getting up one knee.
It’s important to teach your baby tummy time early on.
If baby sleeps constantly on the back without tummy time he might get a flattish spot on the back of the head, as discussed below in ‘Does Tummy Time Help With Crawling?’
#4. Crawl with baby
Crawling with your baby will show him what it looks like to crawl. Watching you will encourage baby to crawl with you and move into different positions.
#5. Give time for baby to crawl
Most importantly, give your baby time. Babies need to have the motor skills in order to learn to crawl.
This might occur later than expected, and this is perfectly normal. If baby is an early crawler, this is okay too.
Signs baby is ready to crawl
One sign that baby is ready to crawl is that he will try to pull his extra body weight up by holding on to a chair or another piece of furniture.
Another sign might be that baby spends time in a sitting position and tries to rock his body backward and forwards, getting ready to change position and crawl.
Does tummy time help with crawling?
Many babies develop crawling styles from having tummy time. Rolling and the commando crawl usually start during Tummy Time and are often what helps babies to learn to crawl.
Tummy time not only helps baby to learn to crawl but will also prevent baby from developing a flat spot on the back of the head. This can be there result of sleeping in one position constantly.
What causes delays in crawling?
Developmental delays with gross motor skills can cause problems with crawling.
You might notice baby having trouble with some of fine motor skills, such as grabbing onto a toy, and other skills.
A baby who is born prematurely is likely to develop less rapidly than other babies.
Your baby might be a late crawler and this is perfectly normal for him. Some babies take a little longer to develop this skill, so you should not worry.
If you are concerned and want to help your baby, have a chat with your health care provider.
You might be interested in reading Developmental Delay | Riley Children’s Health.