Get your baby moving and try some of these activities to encourage them to crawl. It’s an exciting milestone to see your baby go from sleeping and eating to moving all on their own. As they jump, or as it may be scoot, towards independence, your parental pride has never been bigger.
When Do Babies Start Crawling?
Most babies begin crawling sometime during their first year. Crawling helps them develop spatial awareness, motor skills, visual skills, physical strength, and more. And, it’s typically a stepping stone to standing and walking.
How Do I Encourage My Baby to Crawl?
Wondering how to encourage your baby to crawl? Playing a role in that learning process can take many shapes. You can use toys to promote crawling. Or you can try some of these favorite crawling activities for babies. Either way, get ready for some fun!
You can start tummy time when your baby is a newborn. Time on their belly strengthens their neck, arms, shoulders, and torso. This helps your baby develop the muscles they need to become a champion crawler.
When they are still small, place your baby on your chest or lap for a few minutes. As they get older and bigger, transfer them to a playmat or blanket.
Mirror, Mirror On The Wall
Mirrors are for more than checking out your great looks and prepping for the perfect selfie with your baby. Use them as another tool to encourage crawling during tummy time. Set the play mat and your baby in front of a mirror on the floor.
Babies are naturally curious and will want to investigate their adorable reflection. As they reach out or hold themselves up for a closer look, they begin to make the movements that lead to crawling.
Tempting Textures & Toys
You’re not limited to using the mirror to promote crawling. You can also use different textures the same way. Whether it’s the enticing crinkle-sound from a toy or something soft and silky, let your baby explore.
A reward is always a great motivator too. Try placing interesting new toys around your baby during tummy time. You can also use a favorite toy too. Put them just out of reach. Like the mirror, your baby will reach for the toy and may eventually progress to crawling.
Some toys are also specifically designed to help babies hit their movement and motor skill milestones. Here are a few toys that encourage crawling:
VTech Wiggle and Crawl Ball
This popular interactive toy wiggles and moves on its own. Your baby can go chasing after it and will be delighted by the animal characters, songs, and flashing lights. This for best for children 6 -36 months old.
Bright Starts Roll & Glow Monkey
With just a tap on the monkey’s head, this toy begins to roll around on its own. As it moves, the toy plays music and lights up, drawing your infant’s attention. Once your baby catches the monkey, another tap on the head starts the fun again. Recommend for ages 6- 36 months.
Combine the mirror and the toy for another great way to encourage your baby to crawl. The two big wheels keep the mirror gliding across the floor as your baby pushes it. You can use this toy shortly after birth.
Sassy Bumpy Ball
The designers behind this toy wanted an object that activated multiple senses. With bold patterns, fun rattling, and different textures, your baby can develop strength, motor skills, and get that crawling practice in. This toy is safe for children six months and older.
Get On Their Level
This one may take a bit of stretching. Get down on your hands and knees and show your baby how to crawl. You can make this part of playtime. This example could help your baby begin to mimic your movements.
You don’t have to be the only example. Siblings, cousins, other babies, and loved ones can get in on the modeling. This is also a great way to check for potential crawling hazards too.
Be The Support System
This one is great for babies who are in the early stages of crawling. It also works for babies who are still growing and building the necessary muscles. Lay down with your baby and hold their stomach. You can support most of their body weight while leaving their hands and legs free to move. Think of it like swim practice and you are the floaties. Your baby’s getting used to the movement.
Another method you can try is holding your baby’s feet in the air. Use a pillow or a foam roller to support their stomach. Your baby will put their hands on the ground and get accustomed to using their arms.
Once your baby is more mobile, put your palms against their feet. They can use you as a launching pad for more momentum for starting their crawl.
Sitting Out Of The Chair
Some babies begin sitting up around three to four months old. Sitting, assisted or unassisted, is part of helping a baby develop the abdominal and back muscles to crawl. While sitting is its own milestone, you can also use sitting to encourage crawling.
Take your baby out of the high chair or bumpo chair and prop them up. As your baby leans or even tips over, they may realize that they can hold themselves up. This can lead to another discovery. Using their hands for balance can turn into wiggles and rocking. You know what can happen next: crawling!
Another technique to encourage crawling is to have your baby play with their hands elevated. If sitting, place your baby’s hands on a box, pillow, or stuffed animal. Same goes for tummy time.
This will help their arm muscles grow and make crawling easier. Depending on your baby’s age and sitting ability, you may want to keep a close eye for tipping over.
For a baby who has progressed further in the stages of crawling, you can create a mini adventure for them in your house. Use tunnels, pillows, and boxes to create an obstacle course for your child. They can maneuver in and out of the objects. And for the pillows up and over too.
For any of these crawling activities, make sure that your baby has a safe space free of potential hazards. Whether with you or a caregiver, babyproofing is essential. Of course, supervision is important too. And lastly, patience. Some babies take longer to crawl. Some skip it altogether and go straight from sitting to walking. You never know which activity will be your secret trick for encouraging your infant’s crawling.
Once your baby nails crawling, another development milestone is just around the corner. Standing and walking! Soon enough, you’ll be onto one of the biggest steps in your new parenting journey—finding child care help. When you’re ready, Sittercity can help you find the care that you and your baby need.