A baby’s milestones seem to be never ending. They develop so quickly, learning new actions almost every day. One major milestone is crawling. This is the milestone where babies truly become mobile! This usually occurs between seven to ten months of age. Many parents wonder and worry and think, “How can I help my baby crawl?” If you feel like your baby is ready to crawl, but may need a little help, consider some easy ways to get them on their crawling way!
Babies usually show that they are ready to crawl. The skills needed to crawl start months before they are actually ready to try it. Head control is a major contributor in preparing your baby to crawl, so be consistent with that tummy time! The last thing you want to do is to “push” your baby to crawl. This can be ineffective and frustrating for all involved. Here are some indicators that your baby is ready for a little bit of crawling help:
Your baby can sit up without support.
Your baby can easily move from sitting up to all fours.
Your baby rocks back and forth on all fours.
If your baby is not doing these things during the recommended “age range”, remember that every baby is different! To support your baby, increase tummy time, give them more play time on the floor, less time in “seat” style devices, and get them in just a onesie! Studies have shown that babies born in the summer and fall crawl later than their winter and spring counterparts because they are in restrictive clothing! So, strip them down and give them plenty of positive reinforcement during play time.
If your baby is showing signs that they are ready to start cruising, there are some ways you can help them on their way. These are some steps from the YouTube channel Niggly Noo TV to assist your baby in becoming a crawler. The occupational therapist, Tarryn, says there are four key tips to helping your baby crawl.
Tip One: Motivation. Place toys just out of reach to build motivation for your baby to get moving! Use a shiny or light up toy to add extra motivation.
Tip Two: Tummy Time. This can be done in several different ways! Tarryn suggests placing your baby over your leg and putting a toy in front of them to reach for. If your baby is rolling over, this will be a more effective tummy time. When babies continually roll over, they will not stay on their tummy to build their muscles. You can also place your baby on your shins and hold their hands, similar to an “airplane” position. This also gives mommy a great workout! If you have an exercise ball handy, place your baby on it giving the a curved surface that forces them to raise their heads. By controlling how long they are on their tummy, you are helping your baby build strength and endurance.
Tip Three: Use a towel to mimic crawling. Fold bath size towel and sling it under your baby’s armpits, crossing their chest. Lift their body off the ground, allowing their arms and legs to still touch the floor. Using motivation from a toy just out of reach, your baby will begin to move their arms and legs to motion toward it.
Tip Four: Supporting base. This is a trick my mom has used on all her grandchildren! If your baby tends to “army crawl”, or mainly use their arms to move, place your arm or hand behind their feet to provide a “kicking off” point. This firm base will act like a springboard to promote the strength to crawl using their arms and legs.
Above all, give your baby time. Remember that time with your baby goes quickly, and feeling pressured to get them to crawl will only lead to less enjoyable time with them. Your baby will be crawling soon, and all the baby proofing “fun” that comes with it!