A baby’s first year is full of important milestones, and one of the biggest is learning to crawl. It means a whole new world of exploration and movement for teeny tots, and there are a heap of different ways to finally master the art of crawling.
From the bum shuffle to the commando and the backwards push, each baby has their own style of getting to the on-all-fours crawl, and that’s perfectly normal. And each cherub gets there in their own sweet time.
When do babies crawl?
According to Pregnancy, Birth & Baby babies usually start crawling somewhere between six and 13 months old. Generally, they’re able to get into the crawling position (on hands and knees) between six and nine months. By about eight months they’ll most likely to be rolling around, and doing some variation of crawling – commando crawling is pretty common.
What’s important to remember is that crawling is just one skill in a long line of skills babies are learning. And each skill is building on another skill they’re previously mastered. Each new skill is more complex than the one before – hence the saying, we need to learn to crawl before we can walk!
So, what skills has baby been building up until now? They’ve been working on controlling their head, arm movements, sitting up, rolling over from back to front and front to back and also holding their own weight through both their arms and legs.
Different types of crawling
Healthy Children explains there are a few different styles of crawling:
- Classic crawl: Up on all fours, moving one arm and the opposite knee forward at the same time.
- Bear crawl: Looks like the classic crawl, but bub keeps their knees and elbows straight, walking on their hands like a bear does.
- Commando crawl: Bub moves their body forward using their arms, while belly is dragged along the floor.
- Bum shuffle: One of the cutest crawls ever – when bub scoots around on their bottom using their arms to move around.
- Crab crawl: Baby moves backwards or sideways, using their arms.
- Rolling crawl: Your little mover gets where they need to be by rolling!
How can I encourage my baby to crawl?
While your baby will obviously begin crawling when the time is right for them, there are a few things you can do to help them learn to crawl:
- Tummy time: It helps strengthen baby’s head, neck, back and leg muscles – all of which they need when crawling.
- Floor play time: Get down onto bub’s level and play together on the floor, trying to get them to move in different ways by enticing them with toys.
- Encourage reaching: Reaching across the midline is really good for a baby’s motor development, so place a toy just out of reach to encourage this movement.
Here’s one more thing to know. Not all babies crawl – some skip the crawling stage altogether and just get up and walk. But if your baby is over 12 months and not yet crawling, it’s worth chatting to your healthcare provider.
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