One of the first milestones that baby achieve physically is crawling, and it typically takes a baby 6 to 10 months to achieve the crawling milestone. Don’t be surprised if your baby crosses the milestone a month or two earlier or later as each baby has its own development cycle depending on their environment and body growth.
Some babies go straight to walking, pulling up and cruising and surpass the crawling stage altogether. There is nothing alarming about this, and it primarily depends on their physical activity and how much-supervised tummy time they are getting. Here we would discuss the various intricacies of a crawling milestone for better understanding.
When Do Babies start to Crawl?
As per studies, most of the babies start to crawl by the time they are eight months old. However, some babies start crawling as early as six months, and many others may not crawl till after 11 months.
Don’t get worried if your baby doesn’t crawl at all as some babies skip the milestone of crawling altogether to reach other milestones like walking and cruising. There are different types of crawling as well, and different babies adapt to different crawling methods depending on what they are most comfortable with or get habituated with.
At What Age do Babies Crawl?
The process of crawling is pretty complex as it involves the coordination of hands and feet as well as the appropriate development of the strength of muscles in hand and feet. The first signs of baby crawling can be seen when the baby gets up on their hand and feet and rock back and forth.
How to Help your Baby Crawl?
The best way to help your baby crawl is to ensure your baby spends a lot of tummy time. It helps the baby to develop muscle strength in arms, legs, shoulder and the torso. While the baby is lying on tummy, give incentives to the baby by showing attractive toys of their choice at a small distance. It would encourage the baby to crawl and make an effort to reach out to the toy.
Practicing this on a daily basis would help you see visible changes in the motor development of your baby. For the baby to develop his/her motor abilities, it is important to provide sufficient space. It is, for this reason, it is imperative for the new parents to childproof their home and take care of the potential hazards that may be dangerous for the kids.
Also Read: When Do Babies Roll Over?
There are many baby milestones that your baby would cross since birth to becoming a toddler. During this phase, it crosses the range of toddler milestones. It is a full-time job of the parents to keep a watch on their child’s development and ensure that each of these milestones is crossed without any hiccups. Some of the baby milestones that a baby cross by the time they are one year old are as follows –
Sitting upright without any assistance
Achieving a hands-and-knees position on their own
Standing with support
Standing without support
Walking with support
Walking without support
Ability to walk a distance while holding your hand.
Murmuring random gibberish words.
Say full words like “mama” and “dada” or anything else that you repeat for the child to speak regularly.
Try to increase their vocabulary by imitating new words you speak around the baby.
Imitating expression and gestures to call you, say bye-bye, or say yes or no
Developing the ability to use different objects appropriately like drinking from glass/cup, using toys properly, brushing hair, and more.
Identifying different members of the family
Recognize different fruits, candies, and things to eat, especially if they like it.
Above are the few baby milestones that most babies would reach by the time they are one year old. However, do not get too cautious or worried if your baby misses some of these milestones as each baby is different and there are various factors that influence the pace at which the babies reach any particular milestone.
By the time the baby has completed the second year, below are the few baby milestones that most babies have crossed –
Ability to walk alone
Playing with a ball and kicking it independently
Enough muscle strength to carry several toys with themselves while moving around
Ability to run
Climb different furniture types on their own
Ability to draw and scribble with crayons
Call different people by their name
Recognize different shapes and sizes and favorite fruits and vegetables.
Mimic different people
Develop the ability to follow simple instructions.
Exercise to Help a Baby Crawl
As a baby, the bones and muscles of the baby are too weak to do any form of exercise that can put too much stress on their body or obstruct their body growth. However, you should try to give your baby good amount of supervised tummy time as it would encourage the baby to move in a different position and encourage movement.
It helps in the development of arm, leg and shoulder muscles. In terms of exercise, there are few things you can do to help your baby crawl –
- Encourage the baby to crawl by holding a toy of a child’s interest or placing it at a little distance from the child. The child would try to reach out to the toy and in process, would develop the ability to crawl in the due process through repeated attempts to move.
Give your baby plenty of tummy time and make it fun to ensure that he or she enjoys it, or it may lead to making the baby cranky. Playing with the baby during tummy time, playing soft kid’s music or surrounding the kid with toys is a good idea. Tummy time leads to faster development of core, arm, leg and shoulder muscles that would lead to the milestone of crawling.
When the baby starts to make small movements forward, put your palms on the baby’s feet to help the baby support their movement forward. Try to do that for the first couple of weeks till the time the baby is able to move without such support.
How Long do Babies Crawl?
Most babies start to crawl around six to seven months after birth, and it continues for a couple of months before they are able to cruise and walk. When the babies are able to crawl, they would want to crawl all the time they are awake.
It is their curiosity that would lead them to follow you all the time, try to get hold of their favorite toys around the house, and reach out to new objects and places inside the house. It is for this reason, childproofing your home before the baby arrives is a good idea.
When the baby starts to crawl, make sure that you do not leave your baby unsupervised even for a minute as they can make rapid movements. It is even more crucial to never leave your baby out of sight when placed on higher surfaces like a bed or changing tables.
When the baby starts to crawl, depending on the baby’s physical growth, babies can crawl non-stop for around half an hour to an hour before they start feeling hungry, cranky or sleepy. It is the time period that changes according to their age and body development as they progress to their next milestone.
When do Most Babies Crawl?
As mentioned above, most babies start crawling between six to ten months. However, you should not give this timeline too much importance and give yourself sleepless nights. It is because the timeline of babies achieving milestones varies from one baby to another without any underlying biological conditions. It is natural for some babies to reach milestones early while others take a bit more time. It also doesn’t mean that your baby is stronger or weaker.
Also Read: When Do Babies Start to Walk?
Types of Baby Crawling
Different babies do not only take a different amount of time to reach the crawling milestone; they may also crawl differently. Here are the few crawling styles for you reference –
- Cross Crawl – Crawling forward while on their all four with the help of cross-hand movement that corresponds to the knee movement.
- Bear Crawl – It is similar to class hands-and-knees crawl or cross crawl as mentioned above except that the hands do not fold and remain straight during the forward movement like a bear.
- Commando or Belly Crawl – In this kind of crawling, the baby is actually lying on her tummy and just uses the hands to move forward.
- Rolling Crawl – In rolling crawl, the baby simply rolls from one point to their destination through rolling.
- Crab Crawl – The baby movements are completely controlled by the hands in this kind of crawl.
Average Age of Baby Crawling
The baby can start from any age between six months to ten months, and in some cases, it can be a little sooner or later. In most cases when it is sooner or later, there is nothing you need to worry about, and you can check with your pediatrician as well to confirm it.
As a parent, it is important to stay observant of your baby’s body growth and development and keep a checklist of the milestones that your baby achieves as it grows. However, do not keep comparing the milestones with other babies too much as it would lead to unwanted worries and concerns that are unfounded.
What is most important is that you enjoy spending quality playtime with your kid as he or she passes these milestones and cherish these moments as trust me, they would fly by before you realize.