Helping Baby to Crawl
Watching your baby learn to crawl is so exciting. Very soon, they will be able to interact with you just that bit more!
What age do babies learn to crawl?
Babies typically learn to crawl anywhere from 6-10 months. Of course, some might pick it up earlier and others slightly later. Babies who take slightly longer to learn are, in most cases, physically normal. Heavier babies might take longer to learn as they have to carry more weight, and some babies are more interested in other developmental skills and focus on them first. Some babies choose to bottom shuffle, commando crawl, roll around or even bear crawl, whilst others skip crawling altogether! It is important to remember that each baby is different and will develop at its own pace. And of course, if you are worried at any point, let your health visitor or GP know.
How you can help!
So can you help your baby achieve this next milestone? Of course, and it starts from birth!
- Tummy Time: Start tummy time from birth! Just a few minutes, several times a day, is enough to begin with according to the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP). By being on their tummies, babies develop muscle strength in their shoulders, arms, back and trunk. These muscles will later help them to crawl. In fact, a study this year found that babies who demonstrate excessive fussiness with tummy time (and thus avoid it) are at an increased risk of motor delays.
- Space to play: Make sure your baby has a safe place to explore the world! Your baby will need lots of practice to learn to crawl, and there may be some tumbles along the way. Make sure you have a soft, safe and supportive environment on which to play!
- Free to Explore: Babies learn how to crawl, pull to stand and walk when spending time playing, moving and exploring the world around them. Being strapped into car seats, bouncers or carriers can hinder this, so try and reduce the time they spend in them if you can. In fact, free movement is extremely important in the first few months of a baby’s life according to a study carried out in Kent by Haynes, 2013. The study found that giving babies the opportunity to move freely will not only make them more likely to reach their milestones for crawling and walking, but it can also enable their brains to ‘develop intelligence, logic, memory, higher levels of thinking and movement patterns.’
- Pique Interest with Toys: Select your baby’s favourite toy and place it a little way away to encourage your baby to move towards it. Try and change up the toys to keep your baby interested.
- Childproofing: Start thinking about childproofing your home because very soon, your baby will be on the move! Take a walk (or even crawl) around and identify any hazards your baby could encounter.
- Be Patient: Most importantly, enjoy the process! Your baby will be on the move in no time, so make sure you enjoy each step of the way!