Discover how to train your baby to crawl, as it is truly amazing when your infant begins to explore the world around them. Follow our expert advice to assist your crawling infant, helping them develop their motor skills and coordination with confidence.
The Phases of the Crawling Process
Amelia Hunt began crawling at seven months of age, although not in a conventional manner. Her mother, Gayle of Hoboken, New Jersey, describes her unique mannerisms: “Sitting up, she would slide across the floor on her bottom.” Amelia quickly abandoned this in favor of a new, if less effective, strategy. She would lie flat on her stomach and push off with her hands to move backward.
Like Amelia, most babies will try out a variety of crawling maneuvers, from the butt scoot and backward inchworm to the bear walk (when they “walk” on their hands and feet with their bottoms in the air and their arms and legs extended) and the leapfrog. Eventually, though, the majority of children adopt the conventional crawl. “By nine months, Amelia was a pro on her hands and knees,” adds Hunt.
Coordination of Education
“Before crawling, a baby must lose his infant reflexes, such as flailing his limbs when he’s startled, and learn how to coordinate his arms and legs, which is no easy task,” says Parents advisor Steven Shelov, M.D. at Maimonides Infants and Children’s Hospital in Brooklyn.
In addition, your child cannot dance until they have won a crucial struggle with gravity. Jody Jensen, Ph.D., at the University of Texas at Austin, explains, “Remember that when a kid is born, he instantly encounters a pull of gravity ten times higher than that in the womb.” “The ability to crawl indicates that your child has developed the ability to withstand the force of gravity while gaining the strength to rise from the ground.”
Crawling Backwards Is Still an Advancement
Your child may initially move backward. In time, they will learn that by shifting their weight from side to side, they can coordinate their arms and legs and drive themselves forward. (You’ll likely see that your infant spends weeks or months prior to crawling, rocking back and forth on their hands and knees.)
Although most infants begin to move between 7 and 10 months, it is not uncommon for youngsters to take their first steps much later. According to experts, heavier newborns take longer to crawl because it is harder for them to stand up on all fours while dragging their extra weight. Additionally, if an older sibling frequently holds a younger sibling or brings goods within reach, the younger sibling may lack the will to move.
Develop Your Muscles
To be able to crawl, your infant must be able to support itself and maintain balance using the abdominal, neck, arm, back, and shoulder muscles. Beginning supervised tummy time in the infant’s initial weeks of life is beneficial.
Two or three times per day, place them on a blanket or playmat on the floor for three to five minutes. Place a toy just outside their reach, or attempt to induce them to reach for you. Each time they lift their head, gaze to the side, or kick, they develop upper-body, core, and leg strength. As their muscles develop, gradually increase daily tummy time to 40 to 60 minutes.
Be Certain to Childproof
Not only is your infant’s newfound mobility exciting, but it also alters their perspective on the world and their place within it. Dr. Jayne Singer, clinical director of Parent-Infant Mental Health at Children’s Hospital Boston, explains, “Once your baby begins to move, he finds he may go after toys that have rolled under a couch or pursue his mother.” It is incredibly exciting and empowering for a baby.
It can be bittersweet for you as well. While watching your baby crawl is enjoyable, it’s also the first clue that they’re becoming less dependent on you. Their increased movement also increases their risk of injury.
People underestimate a baby’s speed and strength. Keep in mind that the majority of accidents occur when parents are within six feet of their child. If you have not childproofed your home, do so immediately. Place baby gates at the top and bottom of staircases, and remove choking-hazard houseplants from the floor.
Commence Teaching Discipline
Additionally, this is an ideal moment to introduce the initial steps of discipline. Now that your child has begun to explore, it is your obligation to tell them no when they approach an electrical outlet too closely or continue to irritate the dog.
Obviously, you should not allow concern about their safety to overwhelm you. Dr. Singer advises, “Smile and encourage him as he walks around the floor.” Your enthusiasm will inspire him to continue attempting new things.
Express Your Concerns
If your infant has not shown signs of mobility by the time they are one year old, such as scooting, or if they are crawling with asymmetrical movements, talk to your child’s pediatrician (like dragging their right leg).
They may not be interested in crawling since they concentrate on developing other skills, such as babbling. Be patient; your infant will figure out how to walk when they’re ready.
When Your Baby Does Not Crawl
You’ve waited and waited for your child to start crawling across the floor, but they appear perfectly content to remain still. What’s going on? In approximately 5 to 7 percent of children, crawling never occurs. Instead, they progress directly from sitting to pulling themselves up to standing to walking. Parents must understand that this is completely normal. It does not indicate that your child is not developing normally.
Almost certainly, your child’s disposition plays a part. For instance, placid infants are frequently willing to remain stationary. Or, your child may be so intent on communicating and speaking their first words that they are less inclined to test themselves physically.
However, consult your physician if your one-year-old is completely immobile and has missed other physical milestones, such as lifting their head and sitting up straight. They will want to rule out issues such as low muscular tone and vision impairment, as infants who cannot see distant objects have little incentive to pursue them.
Observe How They Move
Here is a brief overview of the four most frequent crawling techniques:
- Standard: The standard crawl consists of alternating hands on one side and knees on the other.
- Crab: Crabs gradually move to the side by bending one knee and extending the other.
- Commando: Often referred to as the “army crawl,” commandos drag themselves forward using their forearms while on their bellies.
- Roll: Before they are able to get up on all fours, some infants roll to go where they need to go.