Crawling is your baby’s first tryst with balancing and first step towards independence. Generally babies start crawling around 8-9 months but there are some who do it as soon as they touch the 7th month or learn to sit independently. It is really wonderful to see your little one taking his first step towards independence. Locomotion involving hands and knees with stomach against floor is called crawling. Different babies crawl in different ways. Crawling is beneficial for the babies in several ways.
Your baby will gradually begin to crawl once he is able to sit without any support. He will figure out that he can balance his weight on all fours and will slowly learn that pushing off his knees helps him move. He will also figure out how to go back to sitting from crawling position and practice the various ways of crawling.
When a baby crawls, his arms, shoulders and legs muscles get strong as crawling involves various movements of these body parts. It enhances the baby’s visual skills. He starts noticing his surroundings more and also learns to navigate. As he gets more experienced in crawling he is forced to make decision like where to stop or where to go slow. Parents should encourage their babies while crawling. Some things which can be done to encourage safe crawling are:
- The moment your baby starts crawling, you must childproof your house. Entry and exit of the rooms should be safe enough in case your baby reaches there while crawling.
- These little angels have very soft skin. While crawling they might hurt their knees, make sure they wear full length pants when they crawl or you may choose soft knee guards for them. Keeping the floors laced with carpets is also a good idea.
- Place his toy beyond his reach and signal him to come to the toy. It’s a good way to encourage him and make crawling fun for him. You could also watch your little one crawl to you if you call his name.
- Place some soft toys or pillows on his way as obstacles once he gains some experience in crawling, making the game more adventurous for him.
- If it is cold you may cover the room floor with carpets and mattresses. He will also enjoy rolling on it.
- Babies are prone to harming themselves unknowingly, once they begin to crawl and start exploring things around them. It is very important to be around and watch them while they creep and crawl.
- This is also perfect time to let him know what is dangerous for him and what is not. If he moves towards an electrical switch or dustbin just say “no” gently, this makes him understand he should not touch it.
A baby’s physical and mental growth depends on several factors. To encourage your baby to crawl, you should let him practice by making him lie down on his tummy. Plan sufficient tummy time for your baby each day once he becomes four months old. Let him roll on the bed or floor for some minutes every day. It’s adorable and funny to watch them struggle to move from their place. Capture these moments! Do bear in mind that some babies never crawl, they move directly to standing with support and then walking skipping the phase. If your baby has directly jumped to pulling up and walking its absolutely fine. He is doing just as well.
If your baby has not started any movement (creeping, crawling, rolling) by the age of 10 months it is pertinent to consult doctor. It does not always mean there is some problem; he may start doing these things late but consulting an expert is wise!