As a new parent, you’re probably excited about watching the gradual transition stages of your baby. How they go from a delicate baby down to their first step as a toddler.
You begin to monitor the gradual changes from their skin color to the thickness of their hairs to the different sounds they make.
You begin to anticipate other major stages of their lives which may cause you to start asking certain questions like when do babies start crawling or when do babies start sitting or walking, these are the transition stages you look out for.
Well, to answer the question of when do babies start crawling, what to expect and how to encourage them to take up these milestones bravely, we’ve outlined a few things to get you started as you journey with your baby through their transitioning stages.
When Do Babies Start Crawling?
When do babies start crawling is a normal question every concerned parent could ask. We all know babies transition rapidly during their first few years.
They go from depending on their mothers to take them around to making moves on sitting, rolling, crawling, and then their first step.
Observing a baby achieve this milestone is something many parents look up to. You get to witness their very first attempt to move on their own without your help.
That is when you most likely notice the signs of crawling. And by the age of 6months, babies begin to exhibit such signs as sitting on their own without support.
When they’ve successfully mastered sitting on their own, they begin to move on their bellies which are known as belly crawling.
By the 9th month, they begin to involve this movement with their hands pressed to the ground and gradually, adjust fully into the movement on all fours which is what we call classic crawling.
So basically, a baby crawls between the ages of 7 to 9 months. Some early bloomers crawl before this period but on average, many babies crawl at 9 months.
Signs That Indicate Your Baby Is Ready To Crawl
There are a lot of signs that can help predict when babies can start crawling. As a parent or caregiver, you can look for babies’ crawl signs, such as crawling on all fours.
We discussed also different types of baby crawling stages and styles to help you tell what type your children are using at any given time.
Here are the signs any parents or caregiver can look for in their likely to start crawling baby.
1. Trying to Hold Onto Different Things
Majority of babies that are ready to crawl try walking while hanging onto a coffee table or other objects. They do this to aid in their balance and mobility.
The baby begins crawling by grasping various objects, such as the kitchen table or other pieces of furniture in your home. This means they’re getting ready to crawl!
Holding a variety of objects demonstrates that babies want to move around and explore. They desire to be able to move on their own, without the assistance of others.
When babies begin to walk with the help of a plush toy, it signals that they are ready. This indicates that your baby is growing more active in general and is possibly ready to walk!
2. Back and forth rocking
Babies may also rock themselves before beginning to crawl. They will try to find a solution to the problem of moving from one location to another.
When babies are ready, they can also rock back and forth while holding onto their knees. This is yet another indication that babies’ crawling is nearing completion!
Babies’ bellies crawl when they are rocked back and forth. This is why babies need to spend time on their tummies!
Crawling will not be far behind when the baby’s body begins to work. Your baby learns to reach for objects with both arms and to bring their legs up to them.
3. Pulling Themselves Up
Babies crawl in an attempt to pull themselves up on objects in their environment. They may do so while standing or while holding onto furniture.
This is yet another indication that babies are getting ready to crawl! Pulling up takes a lot of upper body strength, and it’s a big step before they can crawl.
Babies may also pull themselves up against people to stand! They’ll use you as a jungle gym while you look at them with adoration.
4. Get Up on Their Hands and Knees and Walk Around
Babies who are ready to crawl may also try crawling to move forward. They do so while holding on to various objects for support.
This is yet another indication that babies are getting closer to crawling! Coordination and practice are required when moving on your hands and knees.
Baby will become more physically active as a result of this. It also aids in the development of stronger shoulder muscles.
When parents notice that their children are having difficulty, it is ok to assist them. The smoother babies move and crawl, the faster they learn.
5. Getting Into Crawling Positions
Babies also attempt to crawl in what is referred to as the “crawling position.”
They accomplish this by using one hand to grasp items in their environment while pulling themselves forward with the other. This is another indicator that your baby is ready to crawl!
Tummy with feet moving, standing on their hands and knees while pumping arms forward, going to a crouch position by pushing into their legs/feet/hands, and rocking back are some of the positions that babies may explore.
All of these things indicate that your child is ready for the next significant step in his or her development!
6. Trying a Cross-Legged Position
Babies who begin crawling will move their legs in various positions. They may do so with the assistance of other objects, such as a dining table or chair.
This is yet another indication that babies are ready to crawl! Cross crawling positions assist babies in developing a great deal of upper body strength.
They will begin crawling and walking once they have mastered this position.
7. Moving Their Feet Around
Many babies who are ready to crawl will begin to move their legs and feet in various ways.
They do this while holding objects with both hands, which aids in the development of babies’ balance. This is yet another indication that the crawling process has begun!
Moving the feet around is an important part of a baby’s development during the crawling phase. It aids in the development of the baby’s legs.
8. Try To Move Around In Different Positions
Babies who are ready to crawl will begin to move in various ways, such as getting into a “pivot position” and leaning forward.
They do this while holding onto objects with both hands, such as the couch or the kitchen table.
They try out different positions before settling on one that they believe is simple and accessible.
All these signs mentioned above are traits you’ll see in crawling babies. If your baby is doing these things, it means they are ready to crawl.
Read Also: When Do Babies Get Eyebrows
Types of Crawling
When a baby starts crawling you may notice certain movements that may not fall into the ideal picture of a crawling baby which we all see as depicted moving on all fours, this is because there are different types of crawling.
1. The Bear Crawl
This type of crawling is usually at its earliest stage of crawling. They lay faced down on their bellies and hands while their legs are raised high.
A baby will not move so much in this position because their little hands can barely propel their bodies forward so they’d most likely just remain like that with their legs wagging in the air.
2. The Crab Crawl
This is when instead of propelling forward, a baby would use its hands to move its body backward or sideways but not forward.
3. The Roll
A baby’s body is usually fixed in this position. They do not move forward or backward, instead, they keep rocking back and forth on their bellies.
4. The Tripod Crawl
Just as the name tripod implies three supports, the baby’s movement is done by moving on both hands and one of their legs, while the second leg is pulled along or used as extra support for the movement of the three limbs.
5. The Bottom Scoot
In the process of learning how to crawl, your baby may test out the bottom scoot: Sliding his well-cushioned bottom along the floor, he uses his legs to pull himself forward.
6. The Commando Crawl
Often known as the “belly crawl,” your baby may begin crawling by creeping — keeping his belly and legs down on the floor and pulling himself along with his arms.
7. The Classic crawl
This is the ideal crawling picture every parent envisages while anticipating this stage of their baby’s life.
Here, a baby moves on all fours steadily and can afford to navigate through certain areas of the house, even climb a staircase.
By the time they begin the classic crawl, they must’ve done a few of the other types of crawling.
Although there are babies who do not do the classic crawl before walking, most often than not, babies perform the classic crawl before finally taking their first step.
8. The Leapfrog
Just like yoga moves, this crawl will get your baby into a hands-and-knees bridge pose and move by thrusting himself forward.
How To Teach Your Baby To Crawl
Sometimes things don’t go the way we expect and at the time we expect them to happen.
This can be a case for a baby who doesn’t show any signs of crawling while drawing closer to the age when it should begin exhibiting those signs.
In such cases, encouraging your baby will help. This is not an indication of a serious issue; most times it has to do with the fear of falling which can be overcome with a little push from you.
Babies who’re late bloomers would do certain things later than most of their early bloomer counterparts; this is what you should do to teach your baby how to crawl.
1. Propping your baby in a sitting position
You could begin by teaching your baby how to sit with you providing them some support to continue in that position for a while.
This exercise will strengthen their waist, help them to overcome any fear of falling, and soon they will be encouraged to move around.
2. Belly Bait
This involves the use of toys as bait to encourage your baby to reach for them. Usually, the baits are placed at a reasonable distance from where your baby is laying on its belly.
The determination to reach the toy will push them to make efforts of moving towards it.
3. Place your baby on its tummy often
Always make out time to place your baby on its tummy for some time. When in that position, babies attempt to lift themselves with their hands. This will help get them to use the feeling of moving and crawling.
4. Remove your baby from supportive devices
Strollers, high chairs, car seats, and walkers are all essential baby items. They can, however, stifle your baby’s muscular development.
Because these items offer so much support, your child is not forced to rely on their muscles to support their weight.
This can result in delayed development, so keep time in supportive devices to a minimum.
5. Encourage your baby to play with his or her hands elevated
Playing with your baby’s hands elevated is another way to help their muscles grow. During tummy time, place their arms on top of a pillow or stuffed animal.
You can also encourage them to rest their hands on elevated objects (such as furniture or toys) while sitting. Just make sure to keep an eye on your child so he or she doesn’t fall over!
6. Get your baby off the Floor
The key to getting your baby ready to crawl is to strengthen its tiny muscles! Lift your child off the floor a little to give them a leg workout.
You can support your baby’s body weight by picking them up by the arms or armpits, but not so much that their feet leave the ground.
This allows your baby to practice walking motions and strengthens their legs.
7. Let your baby play in front of a mirror
Tummy time is enhanced by the use of a mirror. Make the most of your child’s natural curiosity by allowing them to play in front of a mirror!
They will want to investigate their reflection, which will cause them to stand up and reach for the mirror. Doing these will help make your baby crawl in no time!
Setting up a special area that encourages your baby to move around can go a long way toward assisting them in beginning to crawl. Such space can have a mirror placed on the floor carefully.
Always supervise your baby to see what he or she is doing even when the environment is safe and free of hazards.
8. Encourage crawling with toys
Nothing motivates people like a small reward! The same thing trick works for babies; all they need is the right motivation.
During tummy time, you can place one of their favorite toys, or a brand new one, in front of them. This will encourage the baby to crawl.
Toys can also be placed just out of their reach during playtime. Place your baby on the floor in a sitting position and place toys in front of them, slightly to the right or left.
These toys should be just out of reach—far enough away that your child has to move around to get them, but not so far that they become frustrated!
Play tunnels are another excellent way to encourage crawling, and they don’t have to be elaborate! You can buy a play tunnel for your child or make one by draping a blanket over a couple of kitchen chairs.
Read Also: 6 Months Old Baby Toys
9. Allow your child to play from all sides
Try moving your baby into different positions and allowing them to play on all sides during playtime.
A balanced mix of right and left sides, back, and tummy will help your child’s body grow strong and healthy.
10. Try crawling with your baby
Sometimes all a child needs is a good example to emulate. Yes, we’re talking about you getting down on the ground and showing your baby how it’s done!
Make crawling around a part of your baby’s playtime, and they might end up imitating what you’re doing after a while!
If you have an older child, this is an excellent way to involve them in playing with your new baby.
Another option is to organize a playdate with other moms and babies. Children who are already crawling can assist your baby in learning the ropes. Plus, a little mom time for you never hurts!
11. Try not to make your baby work too hard
Remember to be patient and to enjoy yourself with your family! It’s fine to end playtime if your baby becomes agitated or begins crying.
Simply place them on their backs, hold and rock them, or allow them to sleep.
Your baby needs to develop positive associations with tummy time and crawling practice!
So, if your baby isn’t enjoying it, don’t force them to do it, and always lavish your baby with affection after crawling exercises are completed.
12. Try massaging your baby
You can also help your baby’s muscles grow big and strong by giving them a baby massage, which is both simple and relaxing.
Many parents incorporate baby massage into their bedtime routine or give their child a massage right after bath time. Baby massage can help reduce gas in colicky infants and promote a healthy immune system.
When it comes to your baby crawling, massaging regularly can help because they move your baby’s muscles, get the blood flowing, and increase your baby’s awareness of their body’s position and movement.
Begin by massaging your baby with natural baby oil, such as Mustela’s Baby Oil.
This hypoallergenic oil is made up of 99 percent plant-based ingredients and is enriched with a Pomegranate Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, and Avocado Oil elixir.
It effortlessly blends into your baby’s skin, providing the ultimate soothing and comforting massage experience for your baby!
We also recommend you try this Melting Massage Balm to moisturize and nourish your baby’s skin, leaving it supple and soft.
How To Ensure Your Baby’s Safety When Crawling
The best way to ensure your baby’s safety all the time is to have them stay under adult supervision.
It could be during their playtime or bath time or crawling, having an adult watch over your baby would reduce the risks of your baby sustaining an injury.
For a crawling child, there are a few things to do to make their crawling experience pleasant and less painful.
1. Dress him for the exercise
Wearing the right outfits for the right tasks eliminates a great percentage of the possibility of sustaining injuries.
Dress your baby in clothes that cover their knees and feet well because these are the parts that are susceptible to injury due to friction from rugs or mats.
2. Keep the Floor Clear and Clean
Take away any items that may break and cause them damage. Also, other items that may be in their way and cause them injury if they bump into them should be kept out of their reach.
A dirty floor can cause irritated skin or a minor baby rash. If your baby does develop a rash or dry skin, use gentle baby skincare products.
3. Train Them for Staircase
If there are stairs in the house, it is advisable to train your baby how to climb up and down a staircase safely.
Baby Not Yet Crawling
If you’ve noticed your baby is a late bloomer, you may find him a little slow with getting to the crawling stage.
In such an instance, apply the methods of teaching a baby how to crawl and he will gradually learn.
Otherwise, if your baby is not particularly a late bloomer but you get to find out that he is finding difficulty in crawling, it is best to visit your pediatrician because certain cases can best be explained medically.
When do babies start crawling is most likely one of the many questions running through your mind as a parent.
As you observe the transitioning of your baby, the answer is it depends on whether or not your baby is an early or late bloomer but averagely, a healthy baby should be crawling by the age of 9 months.
If by this time your baby is still unable to do any of the aforementioned types of crawling at all, visit your doctor to ensure that their health is not the reason, and if so, get the possible help available, if-else, teach him how to do so.