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When Will My Baby Start Crawling? I Want To Know The Signs!

Crawling emerges in so many ways. Every child’s path to get there is unique! Whether you’re noticing slithering, creeping, or complete avoidance of crawling (think: sitting on their bottom and scooting across the floor using their heels), your little one’s approach is naturally designed to satisfy their internal drive to develop new muscles and coordination.

Baby close to crawling
Educator tip: Place compelling toys at a distance to entice your baby to try to crawl

What do babies need to start crawling?

Here’s a little checklist of things you can do to support a little one who is getting close to crawling: 

  • Floortime. Giving your baby freedom of movement and plenty of time to experiment with rolling, scooting, and creeping is important. 
  • Bare legs. The sensory input of the floor against your child’s legs is more meaningful when they are not wearing pants. Diaper time (or onesie time) is excellent for your baby’s gross motor skill development. That means bare feet, too!
  • Incentives. Creating a play area where your little one has some space and a low shelf for toys will motivate them to improve their mobility and try different ways to coordinate their arms and legs to move forward.

What does pre-crawling look like?

Many parents notice their babies rising up onto their hands and knees and rocking back and forth. Sometimes they even plant their toes into the floor to lift their knees up higher. They’re getting the right idea!

A Superman-style pose is another indicator that your baby’s shoulders and core muscles are getting strong enough to pull their knees in and out for crawling.

Baby with Montessori Rolling Drum Toy

When do babies start crawling?

Babies usually begin moving forward in some fashion — army crawling, slithering, creeping, or even cross-crawling — between 7 and 9 months. However, a couple months later is not necessarily a red flag.

It’s common for babies to be able to get in and out of the sitting position from their tummies before they begin crawling. 

Explore the Miles & Stones Map to see what other milestones will occur during this phase of development.

How can I help my baby learn to crawl?

Your baby will crawl, pull up to a stand, and eventually walk. These milestones on the way to toddlerhood don’t need much from us beyond freedom to move and safe spaces in which to do it. That’s the good news!

Keep in mind that experimenting is how your baby learns. Try to avoid sharing your anxiety with your baby. If you are inclined to gasp, shriek, or say, “No!” in a sharp tone of voice because you are worried, ask yourself if you can move your own body, move your baby, or remove a dangerous item to another place so that your baby can learn to crawl without fear.

 

What new activities can we do when my baby can crawl?

The Exploration Toolkit, part of the Miles & Stones Journey, was designed to support and challenge babies who can crawl. Packed with activities that help develop their thinking and reasoning alongside many other skills, the Exploration Toolkit offers educator-designed toys and loads of parent support.

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