It’s quite common for parents to get curious about baby milestones like sitting, crawling, walking, talking, and others. Hence, it’s not out of place for parents to ask the question – when do babies learn how to crawl?
It’s a habit that is born out of our inquisitive nature as humans and also, the excitement that is attached to watching your little baby grow.
Crawling is characterised by a slow forward movement that involves the hands or forearms and the knees.
Sometimes, babies don’t just start crawling; they creep – moving with their bellies – and graduate to the crawling class. After a little while, they move to cruising and walking.
So, when do babies learn to crawl? Let’s find out!
When do babies crawl?
So when do babies learn how to crawl??? Most babies start crawling at about 7 months, while some may start before or after this time depending on a lot of factors.
The 7 months mark isn’t fixed on a stone, and it’s totally ok for your baby to be a bit late to the party, or early, as the case may be.
It is ok if the baby next door who’s the same age with your baby starts crawling before yours; your baby is healthy and they would crawl at their time.
Once your baby discovers how liberating and independent – babies love independence too – crawling is, they will start doing it on their own, and the next thing on their minds after this is walking.
What are the first signs of crawling?
There are several signs to watch out for while expecting your baby to start crawling. They are as follows:
Once your baby hits the sitting milestone, the next thing that crosses your mind is, Yay! My baby is about to start crawling all over the place.
You’d be very correct for saying that because crawling is the next big step after sitting. At this point, you should start taking note of all your baby’s favourite toys, so that you can use them to help your little one master this next step.
2. Playing on the floor
When your baby starts to play with the little toys around, be sure that the little buddy would soon start crawling around the house looking for more items to play with.
3. Stretching to grab an item that catches their attention
Babies are a curious bunch! A lot of things catch their fancy more often than not. When their curiosity gathers momentum and pushes them to stretch forward to grab something, just know that the crawling hour is near.
The next step is to lie on their tummy while they stretch to grab that very elusive toy. And as they stretch, you’d notice a forward movement. At this point, you know you have a creeping baby.
5. Rolling from their tummy to their backs
The next on our list is what I call the “tummy and back roll”. In this stage, you’d notice that your baby can roll from their back to their tummy, and vice versa, with amazing dexterity as they progress.
6. Move from sitting to their fours without help
What follows after the “tummy and back roll” is a great leap that involves moving from their sitting position to their fours. At first, the struggle would be seen by all, but it becomes a piece of cake with much practice.
7. Rocks back and forth while balanced on their hands and knees
Finally, the last sign on our list is the rocking stage. In this stage, your baby having mastered the art of moving from sitting to their fours, would train their muscle to enable them balance properly by continuously rocking back and forth while on their fours.
The next big step to this is your baby crawling!
How to help baby crawl
Like in all other aspects of life, your baby needs your help to crawl. They need your protection, care, and guidance to help them achieve this milestone.
How can you help?
Make the environment safe – babyproof!!!
This is the first and one of the most important steps in helping your baby crawl. Make sure to keep all harmful devices and sharp objects away from their curious hands.
Cover all electrical outlets with outlet covers and keep all electrical appliances as far from their reach as possible.
Create enough room
Now that someone is up and moving, it would be best to take out the sitting room table or push back the couches to create enough room from them to explore.
Lots of tummy time!
Tummy time is sort of a muscle toner for babies; more like a strength training. A little time spent on their tummy would help build the muscles in their neck, back, arms, shoulders, and torso.
It’s always much more effective if this training kicks off early in the baby’s life.
Keep them away from their comfort zones
Sorry baby, but no more strollers, rockers, carriers, baby seats, or any other comfort zone, they breed laziness. I’m mean, I know. I’m doing it for you.
If you want to help your child crawl, then you need to reduce the time they spend in their comfort zones, and increase the time they spend playing on the floor.
Crawl with your baby
Getting on the floor with your baby is a very good way to encourage them to crawl. You’re sort of proving to them that this crawling thing is doable.
Give them a massage
I think that little buddy deserves a massage after such a huge task. Massaging babies does not require much training, just anybody can do it.
All you need is a soft blanket, and you’re on your way stroking and relaxing all the tensed up muscles on your baby’s back and neck.
Lure them with toys
Do you remember when we talked about your baby’s favourite toys? This is a good time to bring them out and put them to a test.
Place a fascinating toy on the floor, away from their reach, and encourage them to go fetch it.
Why is my baby not crawling?
Generally, babies do not crawl at the same age. Hence, you shouldn’t be worried if your 8 months old baby hasn’t crawled, yet.
If the baby is healthy and meeting other developmental milestones like back and tummy roll, using their arms and legs properly, stretching to stand, or even cruising, then you really don’t have to bother so much.
It’s possible that your baby is a late bloomer, or might just want to skip the crawling phase completely, either ways, it shouldn’t be a major cause of worry.
What are the benefits of baby crawling?
Here are a few benefits that are attached to crawling:
- Crawling improves balance and coordination, increases strength, and motor skills. Motor skills are critical in every child’s life because it’s linked to the development of important life skills like construction, learning, IT skills, and many more.
- It’s also connected to an improved problem-solving skill and resilience. When babies crawl, most times, they have a target object or destination in their little minds. With this, they’re able to devise small ways of overcoming their obstacles in order to reach their goals.
- Crawling is also a good way for your baby to learn about risk taking. While on their important journey to achieving their goals, they have it in the back of their minds that they might not get what they want, but they still go for it. This helps them, to an extent, to understand the concept of success and failure.
- Crawling is said to improve academic activities, according to a scientific research explained in the UK’s Daily mail. The researchers believe that a lot of 4 and 5 years old children in the UK do not know how to crawl or perform other simple physical activities and this reflects in their academic performances.
Warning signs to look out for when your baby is not crawling
If your baby,
- Does not make an attempt to try to fetch an object
- Does not wiggle her foot
- Has stiff arms or legs, or both
- Always lack energy,
then, you might need to visit your paediatrician to examine the baby.
- Most times, crawling precedes cruising and walking
- Babies who spend more time on the floor tend to crawl faster compared to babies spend lots of time in their strollers.
- Tummy time is a good crawling therapy for babies
- It’s ok if your baby wants to skip the crawling phase as long he is meeting other developmental milestones
- When do babies learn how to crawl? At 6 or 9 months but not all babies crawl.
- Sometimes you might need to go down on your fours to encourage your baby.