Crawling is your baby’s first mode of locomotion, making the baby move around on her own. When a baby starts moving on the floor on her stomach, back or forth; pushing her hands and knees, she has embarked on a new journey of independence with crawling. Crawling develop the baby’s thinking skills, and also strengthens the muscles which will help her stand and walk later. Indeed, it is beautiful to see your baby crawl, but crawling also calls for some safety measures on your part.
- Types Of Crawling In Babies
- Benefits of Crawling For Babies
- Safe Crawling
- What If My Baby Does Not Crawl At All?
- When To Call The Doctor?
Types Of Crawling In Babies
Crawling on hands and knees is a typical crawling pattern adopted by most of the babies. The other crawling styles include cross crawling, commando or belly crawling, bear crawling, crab crawling, rolling crawling and bottom scoot. Let us discuss each style:
- Cross Crawling: While cross crawling the baby’s weight remains on her hands and knees and she uses one arm and the opposite knee at the same time to move forward. Most of the babies cross crawl. It’s really a joyful moment to watch your little one trying to struggle to move forwards and backwards to reach you.
- Commando Crawling: Also called belly crawling, she drags her belly or stomach against floor to move herself forward, in this style. If your baby belly crawls you must make sure to clean the floor for anything which might hurt her. It is a good choice to prefer thick fabric clothes while she starts crawling to prevent her skin from getting hurt. A carpet on floor is good idea but babies should also play on the floor without any carpet and all, for at least some time.
- Bear Crawling: She crawls like a bear walking on his hands and feet keeping her elbows and knees straight.
- Crab Crawling: The babies who crab crawl push themselves backwards or sideways through hands like a crab. Many babies practice it.
- Rolling Crawling: Some babies learn to roll on so well that they prefer reaching their destination by rolling down. Encourage them, clap for them, once they do any such physical activity.
- Bottom Scoot: Infants scoot around on their bum cheek, known as bottom scoot. They use their arms to move forwards while bottom scoot.
Any baby may use various crawling styles or may stick to any one style in which he/she is comfortable.
Benefits of Crawling For Babies
Most babies start to crawl between the ages of 6 and 10 months. Crawling is good for babies in many ways. It helps to develop their gross motor skills by strengthening arms and legs muscles. It is a wonderful physical exercise for them. Fine motor skills also improve as while crawling babies try to grab things/toys which strengthen their hands and fingers muscles. As they look around, their brain directs the hand to pick or grab stuff, and their hand-eye coordination increases. Right and left brain coordination increases as it receives many signals at the same time like sight, sound, movement etc.
They also learn to take decisions while crawling. They decide about their next move and this builds confidence in them. Parents should encourage crawling by placing attractive toys and objects at some distance from the baby. Try placing pillows and cushions in the path to create obstruction. Babies will thus learn to negotiate and improve their agility and speed. Also, give your baby plenty of tummy time as well.
To encourage safe crawling, check your home for childproofing. Babies are inquisitive and curious in nature, and crawling just makes them even more curious. They end up manoeuvring small spaces which could be dangerous for them. Effective childproofing is a must, at least for the coming few years. You actually need to get on and look and secure anything that might pose some danger to your little one. The place where the baby crawls should be free from unnecessary stuff. Keep your baby away from stairs, as stairways will attract him. Parental supervision is a must once the baby starts becoming mobile.
What If My Baby Does Not Crawl At All?
Some babies skip crawling and directly jump to walking or standing by holding furniture or something else. Infants will pull up anything and everything they can and try to balance their legs. There is nothing to get worried about, he is growing just as well and will gain physical strength by walking or standing again and again.
When To Call The Doctor?
If your baby does not show any interest in getting mobile, reaching out to things, and has not been able to figure out moving his legs or arms in a coordinated manner by one year of age, it is recommended that you consult a paediatrician.