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The Ultimate Guide to Baby Crawling
Right now, your baby may be rolling around on the floor, but before you know it, they will be moving more than you want them to!
Crawling is a big step for your youngster, so you are going to want to be prepared.
Every baby learns to crawl differently; in fact, some children may not even crawl at all!
In this guide, we will look at some of the ways that your baby may learn to crawl. We will discuss what you need to do to babyproof your house to make sure that it is safe for your tot.
We will also look at some tools and tips to help make the learning process easier for both you and your little one.
When Should You Expect Your Baby to Crawl?
The timing will vary for each child, but you can expect to see more movement from your little one when they are between six and ten months old.
Since there is no specific timing to their learning to crawl, you should expect to notice more movement at the point that they start rolling over on their own.
This may not be the case with all children, but it is a sign that they are ready to explore, which is a key factor in their motivation to crawl!
Types of Crawls Your Baby May Try
Not all babies will learn to crawl on their hands and knees.
They are going to learn to move the way that they find easiest for them and getting up on all fours to crawl like a baby in a commercial is not that simple.
In fact, you may find that your baby has a hard time scooting on the floor, so when they work out a method that works for them, go with it.
Here are a few of the styles that your baby may try:
- The classic crawl that alternates your baby's hands and knees.
- The crab crawl is when your baby uses one knee and one foot. They will scoot forward on their knee and use their foot to propel them forward!
- The commando crawl is basically an army crawl where your baby uses his or her arms to drag their body behind them. With this method, the bottom portion of their body will almost not be used at all.
- The bear crawl is when your baby moves on their hands and feet without bending their knees or elbows.
Ways to Encourage Your Baby to Crawl
One way that you can encourage your baby to crawl is to give them a platform that lifts their hands off of the floor.
This helps them learn that they can put weight on their knees, which can be a huge benefit when they are learning to crawl. Once they are comfortable with a small platform, you can create a larger one.
Mirrors can also be a great tool to use! Babies like to look at themselves, and since they are not fully aware that the baby that they are seeing is not another child, they will try to show the other baby what they can do.
They will try to approach the baby and touch them, so if you position the mirror just right, it can help them learn to crawl.
An exercise ball is another tool that can help your little one learn how to move their body when they are crawling. If you move the ball in different directions while they are laying on it on their stomachs, then they will shift their body's to accommodate the momentum.
Kids love to explore, so if you create a tunnel that they can crawl through, they will be curious about what is on the other side. If you put a box in the middle of the floor, they will be curious what is inside and it could be a big motivator for them to crawl. If you do not have a tunnel on hand, a hollowed out cardboard box will work perfectly.
Going outside can also be a great encouragement! There are all types of stimuli outside, which means that they will be curious about their surroundings.
They may scoot to the edge of the blanket that you put them on to feel the grass, play in the sandbox with their older siblings, or simply try to follow a bug on the sidewalk.
No matter what their motivation, it is a great way to get them moving.
Why is Crawling Important?
No matter which type of crawling that your baby learns, it is an important stage for your baby's development.
It helps them to develop their motor skills so that they can learn to do things later in life like learn to walk, run, or even hold a pencil.
Crawling is also important for balance. Of course, they are not that far from the floor, but it is the first step for them to be able to balance themselves on two feet instead of on their hands and knees.
It also helps your child develop their hand-eye coordination. Seeing a toy and going towards it to pick it up will lead to them playing catch with you years from now.
When your baby is able to move around freely, they will begin to become more spatially aware of their surroundings. This is an important skill that will keep them from getting hurt as they grow up.
Crawling leads to some of the first decisions that your baby will make. When they decide whether to move towards the ball or the teddy bear, they will gain a little bit of confidence when they succeed!
It will also help them learn their limitations and navigate obstacles that are blocking their way.
Babyproofing Your Home
When your baby starts to crawl around your home on their own, there are a lot of potential dangers that you will need to safeguard against to keep your little one from getting hurt.
This means that things that are knee level need to be considered so that you can properly babyproof your home.
The best way to make sure that nothing is missed is to get down low and see things from the perspective of your child.
Look for things that draw your eye because they could be dangerous! You will want to make sure that the outlets are covered so that your little one does not get shocked.
The toilets need to be locked, the cleaning supplies cannot be anywhere that little hands will find them, and the sharp corners of furniture will need to be covered to protect them from falls.
Don't forget about houseplants. Some plants are even dangerous to small children when they are ingested, so if you have any plants around in your home, keep them well out of reach.
The most important thing is to be ready for your baby to crawl before they are, you will be more prepared.
In addition, part of keeping your home babyproof is keeping the floor clean. The last thing that you need is your baby picking up dust bunnies off of the floor.
When your baby starts crawling around your home, you are in for a lot of exciting moments! They will be learning new things and taking in their environment, all while moving freely in the space that you allow.
When your baby is at the stage when you think they should be crawling, encourage them, but don't push them past their comfort zone.
Here are some tips to help you along the way:
- Babyproof everything that you think could pose a danger.
- Not all babies crawl on their hands and knees.
- Let them crawl using whichever method is comfortable to them.
- Use mats, toys, and mirrors to encourage them to crawl.
- Keep the floor clean.
- Floor mats can be a useful tool.