For new parents, crawling can be a milestone to look forward to, leaving them wondering, “When do babies crawl?” Like many other developmental stages, crawling is another that different babies reach at different times. Some babies even skip crawling completely and jump straight into standing and walking.

Let’s break down all the things you need to know about this next step in your baby’s growth and independence.

When Do Babies Start Crawling?

Most babies begin crawling somewhere between six to ten months of age. Your baby may start earlier or later, and that’s perfectly normal! This is one of those milestones that’s difficult to compare to other babies. There’s so much variation in a baby’s crawling age, what type of crawling they start with, what styles to follow, and what activities are the most motivating.

Crawling is part of developing more motor skills, but it isn’t the end all be all. There are many activities you can do to help reach other developmental milestones. So don’t worry if your baby is a late bloomer.

The Stages of Crawling

Before your baby begins to crawl you may see them trying other movements. These movements help them build up the muscles for crawling.

Head Movement

Usually, in their first few months, they’ll have mastered lifting and moving their head. This is followed by strengthening the back and torso so they can sit up without assistance.


Around this time, babies usually begin to try rolling. Whether it’s rolling completely over or just side to side, this is another accomplishment to celebrate. Think of this as a pre-stage to crawling. Once your baby gets some movement, they’ll keep moving, so get ready to build that crawling space.

  • A few more signs your baby is getting ready to crawl include:
  • Grabbing their feet
  • Rocking
  • More movement while they’re laying down
  • Efforts to push themselves


The next stage of crawling can look like your baby scooting. They’ll slide across the floor using their legs and their butt. From there a baby may try creeping, pulling themselves with just their arms, or wiggling their way forward. Creeping and crawling go hand in hand. And soon enough, a whole wide world of crawling opens up.

Crawling Styles

When we think of crawling, we often picture a baby on all fours, hand extended and excitedly reaching out. There are actually many types of crawling. Your baby may do just one of these or many.

The Commando

Also known as belly crawling, here the baby creeps across the floor. The weight is on the belly and legs while your baby uses the arms to drag themselves.

The Classic

This crawling style is that typical picture. Your baby pushes themselves up onto their hands and knees. They move forward alternating opposite hands and knees.

The Crab

This one seems like a crawl in reverse. Your baby uses their arms to push themselves backward instead of forward.

The Bear

Your baby puts their butt high in the hair and crawls on their hands and feet. Their elbows and knees are straight.

The Tripod

Here, three limbs do the work while one takes a break. Usually, this consists of two hands and one knee.

The Roll

In this crawling style, your baby rolls side to side. Often seen in earlier stages of crawling, your baby may do this when they aren’t quite used to moving their body forward.

Activities to Encourage Crawling

While some of these activities may want to wait until your baby is closer to crawling age, some you can start right after birth. Try any of these to encourage crawling or to keep your baby exploring once they have already started crawling.

Tummy time.

Giving your baby time on their bellies helps strengthen the muscles they need for crawling.

Use household objects.

Sit your baby in front of a mirror so they reach out in curiosity. Elevate their hands with a box so they keep developing their arm muscles. Or you can use pillows, playmats, and boxes to create obstacle courses and crawling spaces for your baby to explore.

Bait them with toys.

Setting toys just outside your baby’s reach can encourage them to crawl as they chase a bright and shiny reward. Some toys even move on their own so your baby can chase and really get moving.

Crawl with them.

Some babies just need an example. Get down on your hands and knees and show them how it’s done. Or you can support them by holding their bellies or their legs so they get used to the motions.

There are plenty more crawling activities if you’re interested. And don’t forget to set up a safe crawling space!

Crawling Safety Tips

Once your baby leaves your arms and goes into the wide world, bumps and bruises are inevitable. But you can take many steps to make your home safer for your little explorer.


Babyproofing is a key step. Before your infant starts their crawling journey, get on your hands and knees and explore the space yourself. This can help you spot any potential hazards you may have missed like an exposed sharp corner.

The Stairs

When babies first start crawling, you may want to use a safety gate to block off the stairs. Eventually, you’ll want your baby to learn that up and down path, but give them some time to get their feet (and hands) under them. Later, you can expose a few of the steps. And as your baby becomes accustomed to that, open the staircase fully. Follow behind your baby as they crawl up just in case there’s a slip.

The Furniture

Once your baby has climbing down, you may have to watch out for them getting on or in furniture they shouldn’t. Say a bookshelf or a side table. Redirect your child to a safer and softer place. Remind them that furniture is not for climbing. You’ll likely have to do that more than once. You can also anchor heavy furniture to prevent it from falling over.

Both Up and Down

Going up also means your baby will have to learn how to come down. Here is where scooting comes back into play. A scooting baby either on their belly or butt keeps them lower to the ground. This will be safer for their climbing adventures.

What If My Baby Isn’t Crawling?

It’s not an immediate concern if your baby isn’t crawling. After all, some babies never crawl. And crawling doesn’t mean your baby won’t hit other developmental milestones.

However, you may want to bring it to your physician if you don’t see any efforts at movement or developing motor skills. Your pediatrician can check for developmental delays. Doctors are looking for signs of your baby engaging with the surrounding environment, sitting, and using their hands.

At the same time as crawling, your baby will be gaining new, exciting skills and cramming more learning into their little brains and bodies. New parents have a lot to watch out for so keep that camera close by! 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.

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