Just as you were getting ready to tick “crawling” off your baby’s development chart, you notice that your baby is not crawling forward as is deemed “normal”! But he is crawling backwards. Time to panic? Not really. In fact, a baby who does not crawl at all is also not a worrisome concern. As long as the baby tries to move on the floor, making use of all his arms and legs, you should not be concerned. Read on to understand why babies crawl backwards and how you can encourage him to crawl forward.
Baby crawling

  • Why Does My Baby Crawl Backwards?
  • Is It Alright For My Baby To Crawl Backwards?
  • How Can I Encourage My Baby To Crawl Forward?
  • When Should My Baby Start Crawling?

Why Does My Baby Crawl Backwards?

Your baby is very efficient. Whatever task he needs to accomplish, he will find the easiest and most energy efficient way to do it. Did you know that to crawl forwards, your baby’s legs need to be very strong and to crawl backwards, your baby’s arms need to be stronger?According to pediatricians, babies have stronger arms than legs and their upper bodies are more developed. Because they lie so long (approximately 9 months) in the womb, they do not have a lot of strength in their legs. With that logic in mind, if you observe your baby, you will see him push on the floor with his arm and as a result move in reverse rather than forwards. In fact, you can read more about types of crawling in babies and get to know all about the techniques.

Is It Alright For My Baby To Crawl Backwards?

Yes, it is. We explained the logic of your baby crawling backwards in the last section. It is very common for babies to start by crawling backwards. You need not worry or panic as long as the baby is able to reach where he wants to reach. And in due time, when the feeling is stronger, he will start crawling without any special attention or encouragement from your side.
However, as parents, you might feel a bit impatient and want to entice your baby to crawl forward. If you do, go through the tips in the next section which will give you some ideas on how to help and encourage your baby to crawl forwards.

How Can I Encourage My Baby To Crawl Forward?

Here are some tips to encourage your baby to crawl forward:

  • Make it interesting: Keep some interesting toys few feet away from your baby so that he will have to move forward to get them
  • Baby see, baby do: Try to get on the floor and show him how to crawl. Another idea is to get similarly aged kids who can crawl forward for a play date. Your baby will watch, your baby will learn and your baby will start to crawl forwards!
  • Push and propel: When your baby is crawling backwards, kneel down and softly touch his bottom and gently push him forward
  • Tempt the baby: Entice him by keeping his favorite food treat in front of him. Do not give in to his cries and let him have the treat. When he reaches the treat, try moving it a bit more further way. It might sound a bit heartless, but it will give the push your baby needs to move forward
  • Tummy time: Encourage your baby to spend more time playing on his tummy
  • Make him used to: While he is on his back, move his arms and legs forward so that he gets used to moving them in that direction
  • Make it playful: Babies love to play, and by chasing your baby on all fours so that he is driven to crawl faster, you are making it all the more fun!

Please be prepared for some crankiness as you try these tips. Your child is bound to get frustrated as he tries to crawl forward, but is unable to do so. Do not give in to the cries and let him take the toy. If you are patient enough, he will figure out and be successful in crawling forward.
Baby trying to call

When Should My Baby Start Crawling?

Your baby will start crawling anytime between 7 months and 10 months. While some kids do it sooner, some do it later. On the other hand, some kids even skip the whole crawling step and start walking directly. Some kids pick up alternatives to crawling – like slithering (whole body on the floor and moving like a snake), rolling, dragging himself in sitting position and so on. Many pediatricians believe that kids follow a developmental pattern similar to parents. So go ask your parents if you crawled and when. That should give you an idea about if and when your baby will crawl.

Always remember that every baby is unique. So even if your baby slightly deviates from what is considered as “normal”, it is alright. In most cases, your baby will catch up sooner or later. However, if you are really worried, talk to your child’s pediatrician and find out if your child is developmentally progressing.
Did your child crawl backwards? What tactics did you use to entice him to crawl forward?