If your baby has already started rolling over and bottom shuffling, you’re probably wondering when and how that will turn into crawling. As a parent, it’s only natural to want to learn more about what to expect from your little explorer. This way, you’ll always be prepared to face their next big milestones.
Crawling is an exciting event, or rather an exciting series of events. It’s when babies first start moving independently and noticing more of their surroundings. They become free to choose which direction to go, which piece of furniture to cruise, which pet to follow around (the dog, obviously).
From the age babies are supposed to start crawling to how to keep them safe, here’s everything you need to know about the transition from rolling to crawling.
when do babies start crawling?
Crawling is one of your baby’s key physical developments, along with learning to roll, sit up or walk. To crawl, babies need to have built enough muscle strength and balance to bear their bodyweight on their hands and knees.
Typically, babies begin to crawl at around eight or nine months. Keep in mind this can happen slightly earlier or later – no baby is the same. Their crawling style may vary too and, don’t panic, it’s unlikely they’ll be particularly graceful on their first attempts.
If they haven’t started crawling yet, and you’re worried, bring it up at the next doctor’s appointment. They should be able to ease your concerns, offer advice and provide support if needed.
how to encourage your baby to crawl
There are several easy things you can do to encourage your little one to crawl, which will bring the whole family together for some wonderfully sweet and possibly comical bonding.
You’ll want to give your baby enough tummy time. Playing on their bellies on a regular basis helps to develop the muscles they need for crawling, including torso, back and shoulders. A soft, padded play mat is a good place to do this.
You’ll also want to try placing toys out of their arm’s reach. Here you can use the same logic or principle that you would use to motivate yourself on a treadmill – place a highly desirable item in front of them. For you, that might be a mental piece of chocolate. For your baby, their favourite toy will do. This offers additional incentive for them to start moving.
keeping your crawling baby safe
As your little adventurer’s inquisitiveness grows and they become increasingly mobile, adult supervision is crucial. You’ll soon discover they’ll want to enter every room and grab everything they find, whether that’s a yummy snack or the keys you thought long lost.
Give them more freedom to explore safely by babyproofing the house - this might entail securing heavy bookcases to the walls or installing plug socket protectors. It’s important to think about what obstacles your baby might encounter when crawling (maybe it’s best to do some crawling yourself first!).
rolling, crawling… what’s next?
OK, so your budding Neil Armstrong, Amelia Earhart or Marco Polo is ready for the next big journey. They’ve learned learnt how to roll over and crawl (and everything in between) – what now?
Their first birthday is most likely just around the corner. At this stage, your baby will become a more confident crawler and then an early walker at about 15 months. Their memory will also get better and they’ll reveal more of what their personality’s like. Lots of fun babbling is anticipated too.
Be sure to record those all-important crawling moments in baby’s photo albums and notebooks, but don’t forget to enjoy them too. Before you know it, they’ll be running!