How to Teach Baby to Crawl: 6 Activities You Should Try

Are you worried your baby isn't learning to crawl quickly enough? Here are 6 activities you should try to teach baby to crawl!

Are your arms tired? Been there. During the first few months of your baby’s life, it seems like all you do is feed your baby, change your baby, and carry your baby. Each month, your baby seems to be moving on to bigger and better milestones, which may leave you feeling a little anxious about the next big one that will give your arms a break – crawling. These six activities will help you teach baby to crawl when she is ready!

It is super exciting when your baby begins crawling. The move from rolling from place to place to crawling means your baby is better able to get from Point A to Point B with clear intentions. In the midst of all the fun and excitement, it also means it is time to start baby proofing and preparing to chase rather than carry your little one everyone. What joy!

But, all the baby proofing and chasing you will do is going to be worth it. Crawling will give your baby more confidence and independence. Plus, crawling is important for developing gross motor skills.

For those of you who are worried that your baby is taking to long to crawl, you’ve come to the right place. I’m here to fill you in on all you need to know about how to teach baby to crawl, as well as why crawling is an important milestone.

Movement = Gross Motor Skills Development

baby boy on all four - gross motor skills

Humans need gross motor skills and fine motor skills. We start developing these skills before we are even a year old. The motor skills we learn as a baby will help us throughout the rest of our lives.

For example, gross motor skills involve the larger movements we make with our bodies that allow us to move freely. For example, we use gross motor skills when we walk, run, jump, and dance.

On the other hand, fine motor skills involve using our hands and our fingers to complete tasks. As your baby grows, these skills will also be developed. Using utensils, tying shoes, or fastening buttons are all things that require fine motor skills.

Babies begin the process of developing both gross and fine motor skills before they are one.

As babies strengthen their muscles, they will begin to learn how to use their bodies in bigger ways, such as sitting, crawling, and walking. As babies work to grasp Puffs or Cheerios for a snack, they are developing their fine motor skills.

When Babies Normally Learn to Crawl

when will my baby learn to crawl

Before you start to panic because your baby is not crawling, you must remember that babies hit development milestones at different times. That’s why the range is always so wide.

Parents explains, “Babies typically begin to crawl between 6 and 10 months, although some may skip the crawling phase altogether and go straight to pulling up, cruising, and walking.”

Additionally, Dr. Sears suggests, “While 9 months is the average age that babies start to crawl, it’s neither unusual nor abnormal for babies to put off crawling until 11 or 12 months — or in some cases, not crawl at all.”

As with any other baby developmental milestone, you will meet other parents whose babies crawl early at six months and others whose babies never crawled and skipped it altogether.

Dr. Sears claims that there are several factors that influence when a baby begins to crawl, such as personality and weight. Considering that babies need to be strong enough to lift their bodies, the weight factor makes sense.

What If Your Baby Doesn’t Crawl

So, what about the babies that appear to be pushing right past crawling and on to pulling up and cruising? Chances are your baby is going to be just fine, and this may just be a reflection of a change in the way babies sleep today versus in years past.

According to Parenting, there appears to a correlation between the Back to Sleep/Tummy to Play SIDS prevention movement, and the changes pediatricians see in motor skill development timelines. Studies have found that while SIDS has decreased by more than 50 percent; however, now more babies are reaching motor skill milestones later, or even skipping them because they have not spent as much time on their bellies as previous generations.

However, if you have real concerns about your baby, you should speak to your healthcare provider. For instance, if your baby is not progressing with milestones, or appears to have reached a plateau, you should speak with your doctor. The most important thing for motor skill milestones is that there should be some forward progression.

6 Activities You Should Try to Help Teach Baby to Crawl

Now that we’ve gotten all the important stuff out of the way, let’s move on to something more fun – activities you can try to help teach baby to crawl!

1. Tummy Time

babies need tummy time
Source: Parents (Fancy Photography)

The first activity is one that should come as no surprise! I know that there are babies who hate tummy time. But, it is important for their overall development.

If you want your baby to crawl, then your baby must get used to spending time on her belly.

2. Tease Your Baby

baby crawling on all fours
Source: Parents (Amy Postel)

I know. It sounds terrible to say, “tease your baby,” but you really should try to “tease” your baby by putting toys or objects just out of reach.

This will encourage your baby to reach, and possibly move, to get to the object he wants!

3. Help Your Baby Get Up on All Fours

helping baby learn to crawl
Source: Parents

A creative way to help stubborn babies to do show them how it feels to be up on all fours.

You can accomplish this by carefully placing a towel under your baby’s belly on each side. Then, holding each end of the towel, use it to lift on your baby’s chest. The towel will act as a harness allowing you to keep your baby in crawling position.

Note: you should only attempt this once your baby is strong enough to on all fours. In other words, your baby can get in a crawling position, but he just doesn’t crawl.

4. Create a Baby Crawling Playground

how to teach baby to crawl - create a baby playground
Source: How We Montessori

In addition to teasing your baby with objects, set up a baby-friendly playground to crawl.

Using a non-toxic play mat, set up toys all around the mat. In the middle, place a safe tunnel with all her favorite toys at the opposite end. Then, encourage your baby move all around the safe space – especially beckoning her to adventure through the tunnel to toys.

5. Baby Exercises

teach baby to crawl with baby exercises
Source: Baby Exercises and Activities

Another activity to get your baby ready to crawl is to try some baby exercises.

For instance, the Baby Exercises and Activities App includes a video demonstration of a mom doing “the wheelbarrow” exercise with her child. In this activity, the parent gently holds the baby’s waist while the baby uses her arms to move forward across a mat.

6. Show Your Baby How It’s Done

mom with crawling baby
Source: Mom365

Last but not least, show your baby how it’s done by modeling it for him! Get down on the floor and crawl!

Babies learn by watching, and babies love to mimic. The more they see others crawling, the more interested they will be in the activity.

Soak Up the Moments

baby on the move - crawling

While you may be anxious to teach baby to crawl, especially if she is your first, don’t forget to enjoy these last few days of immobility – you may never be able to catch her again! Just kidding – sort of.

Have you taught your baby to crawl? Leave us a comment letting us know which of these six activities to help teach baby to crawl you’ve been enjoying with your little one!

Are you worried your baby isn't learning to crawl quickly enough? Here are 6 activities you should try to teach baby to crawl!Are you worried your baby isn't learning to crawl quickly enough? Here are 6 activities you should try to teach baby to crawl!

About Eric and Tiffany Matthews

We're Eric and Tiffany, the parents behind Cynical Parent. We're just normal parents who are navigating parenthood with both eyes wide open (probably because there's a kid yelling nearby). And of course, we're pretty cynical. Don't believe everything you read or hear, whether it's on the internet, or from a close family or friend (or even from us!). Every child is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Sometimes you just need to try and see for yourself. :)

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