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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
4. Create a Baby Crawling Playground
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
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
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
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!