Crawling baby

Useful information on the steps involved in learning to crawl and how to ensure your house is safe for a crawling baby.
Learning to crawl is a key milestone in your baby's life.

Your baby will have already learnt to sit without support and roll; crawling is the next step. If you look at most formal developmental milestone and learning scales, you may find that crawling is left off of them. This is due to the wide range of times and methods babies may use to learn to crawl.

At about six to eight months most babies will learn to balance on their hands and knees. Babies work out how to move forwards and backwards from this position by pushing off with the knees. However some children never crawl because they get comfortable with some other method of locomotion. Instead they bottom shuffle, slither on their tummies or go straight to walking. It does not matter how your baby gets around, it is getting mobile that is important.

Crawling is your baby's first way of getting around by himself, it strengthens the muscles in preparation for walking, ensuring arm, leg, and back muscles are strong enough to keep him from falling on the floor.

At about nine to ten months your baby will work out that pushing off with his knees will give the boost needed to get mobile. As your baby gets better at this he will learn to go from a crawling position back to a sitting position. Your baby will also master moving one arm and leg from the same side. It will then be a case of practising and practising.

The best way to encourage crawling is to entice your baby to get from one place to another by putting toys or yourself just beyond his reach. You can create obstacles to negotiate with cushions or pillows, which will help improve confidence, agility and speed, though do not leave your baby alone, if he gets stuck you may undo the confidence gained if he gets frightened.

Babies develop skills differently, some more quickly than others, but if your child has not shown an interest in getting mobile by some means (whether it's creeping, crawling, rolling, or scooting), worked out how to move his arms and legs together in a coordinated motion, or learned to use both arms and both legs equally by the time he is a year old, bring it up at your next doctor's appointment. Keep in mind that premature babies may reach this and other milestones several months later than their peers.

Crawling may not happen naturally if your child does not endure lying on his stomach. There is a technique which claims to help your baby crawl earlier (should you wish him or her to). In essence the technique makes your baby more tolerable to stomach lying.
  • Step one place your baby on his or her stomach on a carpet on the floor.
  • Step two gently hold your baby by the elbows and encourage supporting him or herself on elbows. Continue to provide support.
  • Step three measure, or try to get some measure of the distance between the floor and your baby's armpit in the supported position.
  • Step four get a roller with approximately the same diameter as you've just measured. Rollers are soft cylindrical shaped toys, preferably firm. The roller should be placed underneath your baby's upper body for support. It is important that you do not buy the roller too big. Your baby's elbows must still reach the floor when lying over the roller.
  • Step five put the roller underneath your baby's upper body with elbows touching the ground in front of the roller. This supported position also allows your baby to lift his or her head and discover the surroundings.
  • Step six get down on the floor directly in front of your baby, face towards your baby. Now let your baby look at your face while you talk to, amuse and encourage your baby to lift his head and take part in the conversation.

  • Step seven step six is the most important step of this activity. And your baby will surely endure longer sessions and crawl sooner if it is enjoyable. Remember, your baby should focus on you and naturally develop a sense of using both legs for support. In no time you will see your baby supporting the upper body on straight arms and bearing weight on both knees ready to crawl.
Spend three to five minutes daily, results will come even faster if you can do more than one session per day.

How to ensure your house is safe for a crawling baby

A newly mobile baby requires special safety precautions around the house. Once your baby is on the move, baby-proofing the home becomes essential. The best way to spot potential dangers is to get down on your hands and knees and crawl around looking at your house from a baby's eye view. Do this just before your baby gets mobile, so you have enough time to get organised. Protect your crawling baby by:
  • Checking floors for splinters or pins or other sharp objects stuck into floors or carpets.
  • If your home was built before 1970, it could have lead-based paint on the walls or mouldings. As lead paint ages, tiny particles get into the dust and settle onto the floor. A crawling baby cannot help but get dust on his hands, and from his hands into his mouth.
  • Fit covers to electric sockets.
  • Cover video and TV controls with safety panels.
  • Fit corner protectors to sharp corners of tables.
  • Check for floor or table lamps that could be pulled over if your baby grabbed the cord.
  • Avoid using a tablecloth on a dining table or coffee table as he may try to use it to pull himself up and drag everything down on top of himself.
  • Remove small objects that could be choking hazards from low shelves. To be on the safe side, consider anything that will fit inside a toilet-paper roll to be a choking hazard.
  • Removing all fragile items and lightweight freestanding objects, including plants.

  • Check that internal glass doors are made from safety glass. If in doubt add a layer of safety film or consult a glazier who will be able to identify the type of glass and if necessary replace it.
  • Fit and use stair gates, cupboard and drawer locks, especially on cupboards that contain cleaning products, china and glass, plastic bags, anything breakable or precious. Fit fridge and freezer locks and, where necessary, window locks and devices to prevent doors slamming on tiny fingers.
  • If you cannot baby-proof your entire home, use gates across doorways to restrict your baby to rooms that are safe.
  • Bathrooms and kitchens pose special dangers. Make sure a responsible adult is with your baby any time he is in one of these rooms.
  • Even with the best precautions, the most important thing you can do to assure your crawling baby's safety is to keep an eye on him. For those times when you cannot, consider a playpen with some interesting toys handy.
  • Be vigilant about washing machines and tumble dryers. Toddlers can open the door and get in - and then be unable to get out again.

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Hi Lovely momma's out there.
It's a big and a very special feeling being a mom me totally into it.
Recently as a First Christmas of my child.I did online purchasing form Babeez World store amazing site for mom to be and mommy's and babeez purchased a "Sit to Stand Learning Walker" "Press & Crawl Turtle" my kid is now crazy for these toys i knw he 'll get bore also but for now me really happy to indulge him with such toys.
by Dhanushi 5th Dec 2011, 10:29am
my boy is 7months. can sit unsupported, tries to crawl, and also bottom shuffles alot.he likes to hold unto me to stand. but i really would like him to go through the crawlling.
by pog 14th Nov 2011, 10:11am
heavenspun, my daughter sounds the same as your baby. She is 8 months old and rocks on her knees, rolls all over the place, but has difficulty sitting up. It's like she is uninterested in sitting up. She can do it if she is reaching for something etc... but she doesnt do it for long and soon throws herself backwards once she gives up with the toys. If i sit her up with her back rested she will lean forward and sit but again she can only do it for a short while and either decides she has had enough or falls to the side.
by emma5887 19th Sep 2011, 10:17am
my baby is almost 7 months old, he rolls a lot, trys really hard to crawl (though unsucsessfully he is really deturmined), and when supported he can stand up and trys to walk. Yet he still can't sit up unaided for a prolonged period. He usually slides on to his side. Just wondered if other mums had simalar experiences and if so is it normal to develop in this area later sometimes cos he seems to want to do the advanced things before the easy ones lol?
by heavenspun 12th Sep 2011, 9:33am
My son will be 7months next week as still doesnt sit up without support, he rolls around the livingroom and would consider him to be mobile as he's also a tummy shuffler ! but still cant sit unaided, should i be worried?
by mmh2210 16th Jun 2011, 3:09pm
Our baby is 7 months old and not only can she sit up by herself competently (since 4 and a half months) she is on all fours, rocking backwards and forwards. Am i right in thinking this could be a big precursor to rocking. Anyone else experienced this? We are so excited.
by Shamian 19th Apr 2011, 5:16pm
my baby 8 1/2 months is already crawling i try to keep the house safe but i have a big family and my brothers and sisters forget to put the locks back on things she can now climb stairs and i have gates up but its never closed when people use it how can i get people to remember to close gates and keep the house safe ????+
by partimemom 24th Mar 2011, 8:42am
All my baby wants to do is crawl (fast!!) and stand. He is very good at it too! I'm concerned that he's missing out on other areas of development...Is there any suggestions how I can encourage him to play with his toys?
by biggestbaby 29th Dec 2010, 9:13am
hi my baby is 6 1/2months and she is showing no signs of crawling should i be worried
by yummymummycox 26th Nov 2010, 5:09pm
my baby crawl backwards or scoot her way around the carpet
by cece1994 4th Oct 2010, 4:26pm
my baby can crawl very well when she is 8 months old. She is lovely, but i still regret having her due to all kinds of factors from the parents in law and the husband.
by chao 21st Sep 2010, 9:40am
my boy is 8 months old he loves sitting up for long time he grabs things which is little bit far away from him. He hates on his tummy but when i put him on the bed he tries to forward his head and then moves his knees forward. When i put him on the carpet on his tummy he starts crying and balance himself in a swimming position. His all signs shows that he will learn crawling soon but I m bit worried when starts crawling is it too late? please advice me .................
by tanav 11th Jun 2010, 5:31pm
my daughter is 11 months old and cannot crawl yet, she shows no signs of crawling and just rolls around on the floor, although if i put her in her baby walker she runs about all over the place lol My daughter was born 10 weeks premature and so I dont feel any need to rush her into anything :)
by HazelT 14th May 2010, 3:15pm
no try not to be worried, i have a very bright ,. curious 1 year old and she didnt crawl til about 10 and a half she is so fast and so steady on her feet it wont be long b4 she is walking. that will be when the saying (eyes in the back of your head) comes into our house!!x
by sherry82 3rd Feb 2010, 9:49am
My daughter is going to be 6 months old and shows no signs of crawling, should I be worried?
by davidturner1 11th Jan 2010, 3:09pm
My son is 8 months and shows no signs of crawling, should I be worried?
by motaby 31st Dec 2009, 9:05am
every baby is different its no competition they will all eventually get there but obviously if anyone is worried seek further advice - as soon as my little one was sitting srong i put her favorite toys infront of her over a good number of weeks id move the toys a little further eventually she got confident with her balance and eventually started to move towards her toys, i didnt put her on her tummy she hated it, make sure u are right by ur baby as they will fall alot so u will need to be there to catch them dont get to over confident when they seem to be doing so well
by lashes 1st Dec 2009, 9:39am
I think is very safe to be aware of things objects and sharp things that can harm your harm your baby.
by Citlali 25th Sep 2009, 11:03am
My son is visionally impaired and he is eight months old and is finally tarting to get into the crawling position!!!!!
by donielle 10th Aug 2009, 9:12am
my son is 9 month he sit and shuffles on his bottom, he gets on all fours but then struggles to move forwards where can i get a roller that can help my baby crawl more quicker???
by shilu 16th Jul 2009, 9:29am
my son is 15 months old and he rolls over sits up on his own etc but he does not crawl or walk. the doctors told me the reason ehy he doesnt walk is because when he was born he had extra digits he has two extra big toes and it unbalances his movement i dont know how true that is but i need help he is the only child i have that has this conditions anyone can you please help me????
by amandahill 28th May 2009, 9:14am
My baby is 9 months & she has just been sitting up on her own for just 4 or 5 weeks, she doesn't roll over or when i lay her on her tummy she cries! Her brother crawled from 7 months! She loves her walker and has just started moving her feet when I hold her under her arms. Am I doing something wrong?!
by ciara14 11th May 2009, 11:34am
my daughter is 8 mths old and wont crawl or roll over im starting to get worried as all of my friends babys who are yonger already do this. she gets lots of floor play on her back and front which she enjoys alot. ive tried movin toys out of her reach holdin her up on in the crawlin position but she wont have it. she sits up fantasticly and loves being in her walker(she only goes in it for an hour a day ) shes a very placid baby who doesnt make much fuss but i am gettin worried is this normal
by purplefish 14th Apr 2009, 12:34pm
my baby is seven months i am worried she cant sit by her self
by lisagrout 10th Mar 2009, 8:48am
My baby is Nine months old. She can stand holding onto something but will just let go at will . I have tried putting her in the crawling position but she does not seem to like it. She tries and pulls her self up but as far as crawling not interested, She will try and get in the position and then roll. Is this ok for her age.
by michaelamagoo 23rd Jan 2009, 8:48am
Mine does the seesaw act also any luck with help?
by chunt6 16th Jan 2009, 9:43am
Where do you think I would be able to get a roller to help my baby with crawling?
by Shorty1 30th Oct 2008, 4:17pm
my baby hates being one her stomach or she raises her head and legs like a seesaw, how do you get round this.??
by nicabox 29th Sep 2008, 5:36pm
We got some crawling pants for our daughter Lauren, who "knee walked" for months. They have knee pads in them made from a thick wetsuit material. They've been great at reducing redness. Even though she's walking now, we decided to leave them in until she is steady on her feet. You can get them online. The brand is "Chatterpants".
by sallyc10023 3rd Sep 2008, 9:23am
Where do you get a roller to help with crawling?
by MelissaS 7th Nov 2007, 7:49am
What if our baby starts to cry during this process? It appears that he is frustrated that he can't move forward toward me. I imagine that his learning ability goes down when he is crying, so I am not sure that I want him to cry during the process. Or, the tough love theory might say let him keep trying to figure it out.

by Dan 24th Jan 2007, 8:50am