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How To Help Baby Crawl

Your baby will reach many important milestones early in their life. These little accomplishments are always so heartwarming, from simple tasks such as sitting or raising their head, to more complex movements such as rolling over. It's amazing to see your baby crawl for the first time.

This post will cover everything you need about baby crawling. We will tell you when your baby  is likely to crawl, how you can help them along the way, how they learn to crawl and how you can encourage healthy crawling.

We will also give you some exercises to do with your baby so that they are prepared for the big day when they first start moving across the floor on their own.

Many parents want to see their baby crawl, and are eager to monitor their baby's development. There's nothing wrong with this! It's important to remember, however, that every baby is unique and follows a different developmental path. 

But you might still be wondering, “How long does it take? What age do babies start crawling?” 

We’ll give you easy ways to help your child reach this milestone. It is important to remember that crawling begins with rolling over.

How To Help Baby Roll Over 

Some infants may roll over quickly, but it can take them a while to crawl. Some infants might not roll over until later, but they will soon crawl and walk. Every child is different.

As shared in a Today article, a baby's first steps to rolling over are generally around 3 to 5 months. You might see your baby roll from their stomach to their back, or vice versa. Or they may just do a half-roll on their side. It doesn't matter how your baby rolls, it is a great accomplishment that should be celebrated. You can try to initiate the process by having them spend time on both their stomach and back. Tummy time is especially important at this young age and it may give your baby the opportunity to use their arms and push their way onto their back. 

Always keep in mind that safety is a top priority. Once your baby can roll over, they will be able to move around and get where they need to go. You'll need to babyproof your baby's room and clean up after they start crawling or standing.

One of the most important things you need to remember is that your baby should not be left alone at the table - even babies who aren't able to roll over yet. This is important because you never know when they will do it.

Remember That Crawling Is Inevitable

Your little one might start crawling when they are ready, but how do you know when? How can parents encourage their baby to crawl? What makes a child want to try this new feat of strength and coordination? The truth is that your baby needs a bit of encouragement.

The majority of babies crawl between 6 and 10 months old. Your baby can crawl in many different ways, just like rolling over.

Your little one might start to move around on the ground on their stomach. They may also push their body forward with their legs. Others may still use their arms to move their tiny bodies. There is no wrong or right way to crawl. It’s also important to remember that there isn't any conclusive evidence that crawling babies are smarter, stronger or more healthy later in life.

Some research has shown that babies who crawl earlier may have stronger motor and sensory skills than children. Other research shows the opposite, that there is no correlation between cognitive abilities and early developmental milestones in children aged 6 to 11.

Moral of the story: You don't have to worry about your baby being a late crawler. Keep giving your baby lots of love and follow these helpful tips.  

Tips On How To Get Your Baby To Crawl 

You're likely anxiously waiting for the day your baby begins crawling, regardless of whether he or she is still a newborn. Here are some steps to take that can help your baby along the way. 

1) Make sure your baby is physically ready.

Before your baby begins to crawl, they will be working on rolling over and pushing up from their stomach to a sitting position. This may happen before or after crawling starts, but you should definitely see these signs of readiness. That sign to readiness is whether or not they’re able to hold their head upright. 

2) Allow your baby to have plenty of tummy time.

To help your baby develop their muscles, it is important to allow them to have plenty of tummy time. This is simply time your baby spends on their stomach.

This position helps your baby crawl by strengthening their neck, arms, back, and legs. Tummy time is best done in your baby’s room or nursery so they have their own space to safely explore. 

Remember that tummy time should always be monitored by an adult and it should only be used during the day. Your baby should be able to fall asleep on their back, for both nighttime and naps.

We've now covered the basics, so let's get to the what and where of tummy-time. Three to five minute sessions of tummy time can be done by newborns three to four times per day. Three-month-old babies can do tummy time for 15 to 20 minutes, while six-month-olds can do it for 20 to 30 minutes. Tummy time should only be done when your baby's awake, and ideally, is in a happy mood.

It is up to you to decide where to spend your tummy time. Since babies do not have much control over their necks or backs until they are two months old, you can put them on your chest while you are lying down. You could also use a tummy time mat in your baby's room, but it is safest to keep the mat near where you will be spending most of your time during tummy time.

No matter where you are, try to make tummy-time fun! Bring toys and get on the ground so you can interact with them.

3) Encourage your baby to play with their hands elevated over their head.

This simple action builds muscles in your baby's shoulders, arms, chest and neck that are needed for crawling. Since babies are not yet aware of how to work their bodies, you will have to help them with this step-by-step.

You can encourage your baby to use tummy time by having them place their arms on top of a pillow or stuffed animal. Some other options include encouraging them to reach for higher objects, such as ladders or furniture. You can also encourage them to reach for furniture or toys while they are sitting down. Be sure to keep an eye on your baby so they don't fall.

4) Lift your baby off of the floor. 

Even though your baby won't be crawling on the floor for another few months, you can make sure they are ready by simply lifting them off the ground. By holding your baby up in mid-air, you will help build their core muscles. Be sure to lift your baby up by placing one hand under each of your baby’s arms and moving gently. 

5) Allow your baby to play in front of a mirror.

While your baby is lying on their back or on their tummy, place a mirror in front of them. It is important that they have fun and enjoy the experience. You can make playing with a mirror even more enjoyable for your baby by speaking to them and making faces at them. This will help stimulate their mind and hopefully provoke some laughs. 

They will be curious about their reflections and will eventually reach out to the mirror to see what they are seeing. These movements will get your baby crawling quickly! Toys can also be great motivators, in addition to a mirror. This brings us to the next point.

5) Use toys to encourage crawling.

Add some more toys to the safe area that you created for tummy time. Encourage your baby to reach for these new objects, which are potential friends waiting to be played with! The best place to put the toys is a few feet in front of your baby so they feel motivated to move closer. Be sure not to put them too far though, otherwise, your little one may get bored or defeated by how difficult the toys are to reach. 

It’s best to pick a handful of toys you know your baby will get excited about so they feel as if they’re being rewarded. You can also encourage crawling with play tunnels. Play tunnels are pretty easy to find in stores, but you can also get crafty yourself by building one out of chairs and blankets. 

6) Get your baby out of supportive devices.

Crawling is how your baby will learn how to move, but they won't be able to do this if they are stuck in an inclined position. You can help them by getting them out of supportive devices such as bouncers and high chairs. Of course your baby will need items such as strollers, highchairs, car seats and walkers, but don’t make the mistake of keeping them in there for too long. Doing so could hinder your baby’s muscle development because they’re not being forced to build their own muscle to support their weight. 

Just be sure to monitor how much time your baby is spending in these supportive devices and limit that timeframe as you see fit. 

7) Let your baby play on all sides. 

The easiest way to help your child learn how to crawl is by letting him or her play on all sides. This will allow them to learn how to move in every direction. Your baby's first instinct will be the most natural one, which is usually forward. However, allowing your baby to crawl backwards can strengthen their muscles even more. Playtime is the perfect time to give them this opportunity to explore these different positions and movements. Your baby's body will grow stronger and healthier if it has a good mix of going right, left, forward and backward. 

8) Place your baby in a crawling position more often.

In order for your baby to crawl, their hips have to be more flexible so they can rotate how they want.

You should place your baby in a crawling position even when you are not playing with them. We’ve all heard how practice makes perfect, and this is no different. Give your baby as many chances to practice their crawling skills as possible. The best way to do so is to get on the ground with them and help support their abdomen while they’re on all fours. 

9) Go on a crawl with your baby.

Sometimes, little ones need to be shown the way. On a cold, rainy day when your baby is not in the mood to play outside, get on the floor with them. More often than not, babies will mimic what they see you do (or at least try to). If they see you having fun on the ground crawling, odds are that they will attempt to crawl along with you! 

Consider baby play dates with other moms and babies as well. Babies seeing other babies crawl is another great way for them to learn. 

10) Don't make your baby work too hard. 

As your baby starts crawling, he or she will be excited and eager to play! They may try to crawl super fast or they may try to crawl for distance. Either way, be aware that they can become easily frustrated or tired in the process because of how hard they’re trying to make their body move. Make sure you’re having your baby take breaks to avoid any exhaustion and fussiness. 

It is also crucial for you to be patient with your baby as they are growing and learning. They need to have positive associations with crawling and tummy time, so if they get agitated or upset, end the crawling session early for the day. Also be sure to end each attempt with an abundance of affection. 

11) Get a massage for your baby. 

A baby massage is a simple, relaxing way to help your baby grow his muscles. This will help your baby crawl faster and stand up better. They move their muscles, get blood flowing, and increase awareness of the position and movement of their bodies.

Make a routine for how you would like to massage your baby. You can do it in the morning when they wake up, before a meal, and/or before bed! Many parents include a baby massage in their bedtime routine, or offer their child a massage after bath time. A baby massage can help reduce gas and promote a healthy immune system but you want to make sure that you don't don't press too hard because this can harm your child's skin and nerves. 

Try using a natural oil like Mustela's Oil for your baby’s massage as well. This oil is hypoallergenic and made up of 99% plant-based ingredients. It is also enriched with an elixir containing sunflower seed oil, pomegranate seed oil and avocado oil. It easily blends into the skin of your baby, providing a soothing and comforting experience for them!

12) Safety first.

Safety is the most important thing, so make it a priority to babyproof your entire home before your baby starts moving around. Babies are curious and many will try to touch things that may be dangerous. It's important to eliminate this risk in your home. Even when you have the best plans, accidents can happen when your baby starts crawling! 

You should remove small objects from the floor, keep cords out of reach and lock cabinets and drawers. Definitely cover electrical outlets as well. To be confident that you didn’t miss any furniture or items that could be potentially dangerous, get on your hands and knees so you can see what your baby sees from their eye level. 

It is also important to remember that when your baby is mobile, you need to keep the floor clean. We're not talking about picking up choking hazards. Unclean floors can lead to irritation of the skin, or even a little rash.If your baby develops a rash or dry, itchy skin, you should use gentle, safe baby skin care products to help relieve these symptoms.

So, what to do if your baby doesn't crawl?

There's no reason to be concerned if your baby hasn't started crawling yet after eight months, however, you should consult your pediatrician if your baby isn't able to move normally--rolling, moving, and scooting on the ground. 

Remember, babies crawl differently, and crawl at different ages. It will be exciting regardless of when or how your baby crawls.