When Do Babies Start Crawling?
Most babies start to crawl sometime between six and 10 months old. However, this is only a general range. Some babies may start showing signs of crawling before six months, and others might take much longer. In fact, some babies might skip the crawling stage entirely.
If your baby hasn't started crawling by their first birthday, there's generally no cause for concern - they'll likely start crawling soon. Because all babies grow and develop at their own unique pace, each baby's timeline for crawling is different. If you're truly worried about their development, consult your pediatrician.
How Do I Know if My Baby is Ready to Start Crawling?If you're wondering when your baby might start crawling, look for these signs of readiness:
Your baby can sit up on their ownThis is an important milestone because it means that your baby has the strength and balance to support their own body weight. Once they can sit up, they're one step closer to being able to crawl.
Your baby starts to creepIf you notice that your baby is starting to pull their body forward using only their arms, this could be the beginning of creeping - a precursor to crawling.
Your baby is starting to reach for objectsYour baby might begin reaching for things around them as they start getting stronger and more coordinated. This is another sign that they're likely getting ready to crawl. If you see any of these signs, it might be time to roll out the crawling mat!
How Can I Help My Baby Start Crawling?There isn't really anything you can do to make your baby start crawling; they'll hit this milestone when they're good and ready. However, there are some things you can do to help support their development in general.
Make sure they get plenty of tummy timeTummy time is when your baby spends some time each day lying on their stomach while supervised. This is important because it helps them build the strength in their back and neck muscles, which they'll need for crawling (and beyond).
Encourage them to reach for toysAs mentioned above, reaching for objects is a sign that your baby is getting ready to crawl. To help encourage this behavior, place some toys just out of their reach. This will give them something to strive for as they start working on their coordination.
Sign up for a baby development classIf you want to give your baby a little extra boost, consider signing up for a parenting or baby development class. These classes can help you learn more about your baby's development and how to support it.
What are the Different Types of Crawling?
As stated earlier, each baby's developmental timeline is different. This means some babies will crawl earlier than others. But beyond that, you might be surprised to learn that there are different styles of crawling! Here are some of the more common crawling styles:
- Classic crawl: When a baby crawls on their hands and knees.
- Front crawl: When a baby crawls on their tummy with their arms and legs extended.
- Bear crawl: When your baby walks on their hands and feet (instead of hands and knees).
- Bicycle crawl: When a baby rocks on their hands and knees, moving one knee at a time. This mimics the motion of riding a bicycle.
- Bottom scoot: When your baby simply moves along the floor by pushing off with their bottom.
- Reverse crawl: One of the rarer types of crawling, this is when your baby's back faces down and they move by pushing off with their hands and feet.
- Crab crawl: Also known as crabbing or crab walk, this style of crawling requires your baby to go on all fours, but to move forward using only their arms (they drag their feet behind them).
Do Babies Have to Sit Up Before They Learn to Crawl?
Most babies will sit up on their own before they start to crawl. This milestone usually occurs around 6-9 months. However, there are some babies who will start crawling before they can sit up. So don't worry if your baby seems to be skipping this milestone - it's not necessarily a cause for concern.
How Soon After Crawling Will a Baby Learn to Walk?
Again, every baby is different, so there's no set answer to this question. Some babies will start walking within a few months of crawling, while others might not take their first steps until they're a year old (or even older).
If you're wondering if your baby is on track with their development, the best thing to do is talk to your pediatrician. They can give you more specific advice based on your child's age and abilities.
As your baby grows, they'll start hitting all sorts of new milestones - crawling is just one of them. Remember that every baby develops at their own pace, so don't be discouraged if your child takes a little longer than average to hit this milestone. They'll be on their way to crawling (and walking) in no time!