Crawling is one of the most important developmental milestones that happens when babies are ready. Crawling is the first way your little one will get moving, and they usually start by shuffling around on their tummies. However, from this position, babies can easily learn to push off with their knees to move forwards and backwards in no time. But, when do babies actually start crawling? Well, according to The Fairy Dale, babies will usually start crawling somewhere between seven and ten months of age, although there are babies who begin to crawl earlier, at six months. However, most babies will be already crawling and moving around, exploring their surroundings by the age of twelve months.
But, obviously all babies are different and they all develop at different rates. So, not all babies will follow the same pattern when it comes to huge milestones like crawling and walking. In fact, there are babies that never learn to crawl and they move around by scooting on their bottoms instead of crawling. Your baby can easily learn to crawl after spending some time on their tummy, because this strengthens the muscles in their shoulders and arms. Typically, babies first start moving around by commando crawling, which means they're pulling themselves on their tummies using their forearms. Then, they may get up on all fours and start rocking forwards and backwards.
How to Encourage Crawling?
The crawling stage in babies doesn't last long, but it's important because it helps develop their balance system, sensory system, muscular system, coordination, cognition, and problem-solving skills. Although you do not need to teach your baby to crawl because this occurs naturally and when they are ready, there are some things you can do to encourage your baby to begin moving around.
Give Your Baby Plenty of Tummy Time
Give your little one lots of tummy time every day; this is extremely important in order to develop strength in their shoulders, arms, and torso. When babies spend plenty of time lying on their tummies, they're actually practicing raising their heads off the ground, which helps build the muscles they will need to begin crawling later. However, some babies don't like tummy time at first, so if your baby starts crying or protests, try doing it for a few minutes at a time. The most important thing to keep in mind about tummy time is that it should always be supervised by you.
Tempt Your Baby With Toys
Babies already love moving around and exploring their surroundings, but you can encourage your baby to crawl by giving them something to reach for. Place their favorite toy or a fun new object just out of your baby's reach on the floor when they're lying on their tummy, and encourage them to reach for it. The toys should be far enough away so that your baby has to move around to get them, but not very far, because your little one can get frustrated. You may have a difficult time not helping them reach for the toys, but you'll be surprised to see how patient and determined your baby can be as they work to solve the problem and reach for their reward.
Create a Safe and Comfortable Space for Your Baby to Explore
One of the most important things is to provide a safe and comfortable space for your baby to explore. Therefore, clear out an area in your room - this can be your child's room or the living room. Remove all potential hazards and leave a few toys and various things on the floor so that they can safely explore.
Reduce the Amount of Time Spent in Bouncers and Walkers
According to experts, babies who don't spend a lot of time on the floor may take longer to start crawling and walking. So, even though bouncers, walkers, car seats, or baby swings are a great way to keep your precious one safe and supported, they can impede their muscular development. This way, your baby isn't forced to use their own muscles to support their weight, which can lead to delayed development. Therefore, make sure to limit their time in these kinds of supportive devices, and instead give your baby lots of tummy time.