Crawling is exciting, isn’t it? For the first time ever, baby is mobile, basically able to get around on her own. Most parents eagerly look forward to this milestone (as I’ll bet most babies do, too!).
But sometimes, our eagerness can turn into impatience!
It’s hard to remember that developmental milestones such as sitting up, crawling, and walking all build upon themselves naturally, each depending on the development of certain skill sets and muscle groups.
“…did you know babies need to work out the muscles along all four sides of the body in order to develop the strength and stability needed for later motor skills such as rolling, sitting, and crawling?” // MamaOT.com
Hopefully, instead of just encouraging your little one to crawl you’re encouraging her to move and explore in all sorts of ways, like…
- finding ways to help her enjoy tummy time
- helping baby lay on her side during floor time
- letting baby play on her back during floor time
- encouraging activities to promote rolling and “functional sitting“
- giving baby opportunities to belly crawl and pivot
- minimizing “container time” (i.e. playpens, bouncers, swings, walkers, etc.)
NOW, once you’ve got that great, supportive foundation going, MamaOT has some excellent advice in her post “Tips for Helping Babies Learn to Crawl.” While she lists ten awesome tips in her original post (which you should absolutely check out!) I’m listing my faves here.
1. Elevate surfaces for baby’s hands
Use softer items in the beginning, like a couch cushion, since baby will likely practice her face plants in the beginning!
2. Let baby play on a squishy surface
Squishy surfaces are great to help them engage lots of different muscles and muscle groups, and, surprisingly, some babies find the squishy surface easier to crawl on!
3. Use a little blanket for support
This is a great way to help baby understand what to do with her knees and lower abs. It’s the perfect transition from belly-crawling to getting up on all fours!
As a reminder, baby will hit her milestones in her own time. Pushing her and stressing her out will only delay development, and it will take all the fun and joy and discovery out of being a baby!
Remember when you first accomplished something on your own and you were immensely proud of yourself? Give baby that gift. Support her crawling as long as she’s enjoying herself, and leave her be when she’s content to just chew on one of her favorite toys (or be carried by you around the house).
She’ll be crawling in no time and, trust me, you’ll miss the days when you didn’t have to chase her all over the house!
Enjoy your pre-crawling baby, momma!
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