The first step (or crawl, rather) in the direction of independance for you child. Also the time when your workload jumps up by about 700%, and you will really need to baby proof your home and have eyes at the back of your head.
It’s an exciting time, your baby will begin to explore the world all on her own, she’ll strengthen new muscles and learn new skills. But when do they crawl?
“Most babies master crawling when they are aged between 7 and 10 months old.” // bellybelly.com.au
Of course, there are exceptions. Some will start earlier, many will start later, and a few will go straight to standing with the help of holding onto furniture. Also, they won’t all crawl the same way. By her first birthday though, your baby should be crawling in one way or another.
“As she gains proficiency, she’ll learn to go from a crawling position back into a sitting position. She’ll also master the advanced technique of cross-crawling: moving one arm and the opposite leg together when she moves forward, rather than using an arm and a leg from the same side. After that, it’s just a matter of practice making perfect — look for her to be a really competent crawler by the time she’s a year old.” // babycenter.com.au
Naturally. You won’t need to mimic crawling so she can get the jist of it, she will develop her strength naturally, and mobilise herself with time. The first step is for baby to get adequate head control, then sitting control. Once she has developed the strength to sit upright and stay that way, she will move on to staying on all fours and adjusting herself when she begins to sway, engaging and strengthening new muscles.
Sooner or later, she will then make the leap to pushing herself forward, and voila! She’s moving! Once she starts getting some practice time in, she’ll gain control over each limb independently and become a more proficient crawler.
How Can I Encourage and Help Her To Crawl
It all comes down to building up muscular strength. The reduced tummy time due to the SIDS reducing advice of placing babies on their backs to sleep, has been connected to babies reaching physical milestones at a later time. So to counter this is to get in plenty of awake tummy time, getting your bub to strengthen her neck and arm muscles. Be sure to place yourself or her toys in her line of sight to encourage her to keep lifting her head up, and to keep her entertained during her ‘workout’!
My Baby Won’t Crawl?
Being mobile is the important thing here, rather than crawling. If you baby crawls in reverse, or gets around by shuffling on her backside, or goes straight to walking – that’s fine!
Once the art of crawling is mastered, you baby will typically move on to holding onto, and pulling herself up to, furniture. Her legs will begin to engage stabilising muscles, and soon she’ll be able to stand unaided. From there it’s on to the 100m sprint and beyond!
What Can I Do?
The best thing to do is to encourage her mobility, by placing toys and yourself (as we mentioned earlier) just out of your baby’s grasp. When she’s moving, create an obstacle course of soft pillows so she can learn to navigate and shift directions. The major thing NOT to do, is take your eyes off her.