Time is fleeting past and in a blink of an eye, your baby is ready for its first step. But before they start walking, running, and jumping, your baby starts their adventure with crawling! It is such an exciting period for a parent to see their baby starting to roll over on their stomach. It is definitely a key moment to remind us parents that our baby is growing well. As you and your partner coo at them stumbling about on all fours, be sure to also get ready for a lot of mischief!
Although it won’t be as bad as when they started walking later on, babies crawling may sometimes can give you a mini heart attack once they gather a bit of speed. Your child will be curious and fearless to explore their environment. So if you are reading this while your baby is still docile and calm, here’s what you need to know to prepare yourself for the chaotic future that awaits.
When Do Baby Crawling Starts?
Baby crawling can begin as young as 6 months old, but on average, babies will start crawling at 8 to 11 months. Your baby’s development is not a race, hence, don’t feel pressured if you find that your baby is late to crawl compared to their peers. In some cases, babies don’t crawl at all. They start with sitting up and jump straight to standing and walking. So, rest assured mommies and daddies, believe in your babies!
Can My Baby Start Earlier?
It is highly unlikely that babies will start crawling earlier than six months. Your baby’s body got a lot to prepare before they are able to lift their weight in order to crawl. However, you can expect them to start rolling over onto their stomach as early as 3 months old.
What Are The Firsts Signs of Baby Crawling?
Babies go through several stages before they start to move around. One of the firsts observable signs that indicate your baby is ready to start crawling is when you place them on their tummies, they are able to lift their head and slightly prop themselves up with their arm.
This shows that your baby has the strength to lift its body. To start crawling, your baby would need to strengthen their arms, legs, and core muscles. Additionally, if your baby is able to sit up straight without falling forward is also a sure sign that your baby is ready to crawl anytime soon.
What If My Baby Still Doesn’t Show Signs of Crawling?
Around 6 months old or older, your baby should be able to roll themselves over onto their stomach. In the other hand, if you find that they are not able to do so, do not fret just yet. Some babies like to take their own sweet time. If you see that they are attempting to move but simply unable to, you can help them out with these tips.
Note: If past 8 months and your baby still shows no interest at all to move, perhaps you can talk to your pediatrician and ask for advice about their condition.
How To Help Your Baby To Crawl?
There are three ways you can encourage your baby to start crawling. This, of course, should never be forced. Allow your child to do it at their own pace.
Make Sure To Never Leave Your Baby Unsupervised
1.Give Them Tummy Training
Placing your child on their tummies is a good way to strengthen their neck, arms, and legs. Soon, when they are ready, they will start to lift up their body. You can start doing this to your baby since birth. Although newborn babies are not encourage to sleep on their stomach, resting them for a few minutes can actually help calm and soothe your baby. Gradually, after 3 months, you can see them starting raise their head, kicking their legs and swinging their arms.
Note: After sometime your baby will get tired of this, and it will upset them. So only leave them on their tummies for several minutes in every few hours and not for long hours straight.
Once you observed that your baby is being very active and stable with being on all fours, you can start baiting them with their favourite toys. Simply place the toys somewhere outside of their immediate reach and watch them put effort into reaching the toy.
3.Let Them Sit
Assisting them to sitting position, can also help prompt crawling. From sitting position, they’ll lean forward onto their hands and knees. It may take a few trials before they finally made a move but once they got a hang of it, there’s no stopping them!
4.Give Them A Boost
Another tip for once they are able to lift themselves up. When they are on all fours, place your hand or palm at the sole of their foot so they can use your hand as a pushing platform to boost themselves forward. For safety reason, be sure to let them crawl on flat soft surface in case they fell forward when they kick your hand too hard and lost stability.
Stages of Baby Crawling
There are a total of 6 stages but your baby may not be going through all the stages. Some babies breeze through it quickly while others may skip a few stages but either way, your baby will take up at least one of this stage.
The first stage is planking. It starts from lying on the tummy, once your baby is stronger, they will use their arms to prop themselves up and support it.
When they have got a hang of the first stage, they will start moving around. They may not move from the spot but you can watch them turning 360 degrees while on their belly.
By the third stage, your baby would be able to push their body off the floor with their hands and knees but they may not be able to move just yet. So at this stage, you can see them rocking their body back and forth on all fours. Sometimes they may take it even further by going up onto their feet instead of knees.
In this stage, they will try making their first step forward. You may see them moving their hand or knees one at a time as they try to figure out how to coordinate their body’s movement while maintaining balance. There are also chances where they’ll move by sliding on their belly.
Stage five is them trying to figure out how to get moving. In this stage, you will see them shifting from all fours to lying prone and sometimes into sitting position and back again on all fours. It can be entertaining to see them working their gears to solve a problem. If they are able to achieve, this would definitely benefit their self-esteem.
Just when they thought they got it right, you see them moving backwards instead of forward. Your child may get frustrated in this stage as they find that their body is moving away from their intended destination but trust the process!
Note: Leave your baby’s knees and feet exposed to gather friction so they are able to move forward instead of sliding backwards.
Baby Crawling Styles
Once your baby finally got the strength, balance, and coordination down, it is time to get moving! Do you know that there are a variety of styles that your baby may opt for? See which crawling styles your baby is doing in this video by Emma Hubbard:
What To Prepare Once Baby Starts Crawling?
When your baby is able to crawl, you would need to prepare the environment so it can be safe for your baby’s curiosity.
1.Block The Stairs
If your house has stairs, it is best to have them blocked once your baby starts crawling. Install block both upstairs and downstairs because you will bring your baby onto both floors so having it install from the beginning can safe you a lot of trouble.
You can buy child-safe gate or you can even DIY your own blockade.
2.Clear All The Small & Fragile Things
Once your baby starts crawling, you can be sure that they will be standing and climbing soon enough too! They will be able to prop themselves up to reach things they never able to before. So to child-proof your home, you can clear all the small things that are within their current reach like the decorations on the coffee table.
3.Hide Outlets & Electrical Cords
Electrical outlets can be dangerous. Your baby cannot tell what they should touch and what they shouldn’t touch, so get yourself some outlet covers for your baby’s safety. Nowadays, there’s a lot of design to choose from. You can buy simple ones or cute colourful ones for your home. Don’t forget to hide the cords too!
4.Get A Playpen
If you have some space to spare to place a play pen then having one would be best. It makes it easier for you to move about while having your eyes on the your child. Not to mention, you’ll be less worried as your baby is restricted to a small safe area.
5.Baby-Proof The Corners
By corners, we mean the furniture edges that are sharp. If you have low tables that is about the height of your baby’s head when they crawl, you may want to cover it with corner covers to make them blunt.
Good Luck parents and try to enjoy this phase because it will go very quickly. The next thing you know they’ll be zooming around like Sonic The Hedgehog!