When Do Babies Begin Crawling?

New parents often look forward to baby’s milestones. Crawling is a big step as your baby’s first attempts to becoming mobile. Every baby is different and moves at their own pace. We’ll discuss what age is average that babies begin crawling as well as how you can help to encourage them to get moving.

Age Babies Begin Crawling

All babies develop at their own rate and hit each milestone at various stages. The average baby (born full term with no known disabilities or impairments) typically starts crawling around 8 months. The normal range for crawling is between the ages of 6 and 10 months, after they’ve mastered sitting up independently. Your baby must be able to hold their head up on their own and have developed the strength in their legs, arms, and back to be able support them while on their hands and knees.

Crawling is not always in the traditional form on hands and knees. It is not uncommon for babies to scoot around on their bottom or even on their back to get from one place to the other. Some may even get around by rolling. Do not worry if your baby makes no attempt to crawl. Some babies are simply happy staying put and skip the crawling stage altogether to go straight to pulling up.

Signs to Look For

All babies move differently and will take some time before they completely get the hang of crawling. Your baby may be on their way to getting around if you notice any of the following signs:

  • Can push themselves to sit up
  • Rocking on hands and knees
  • Moving or pushing backwards

When you see signs that your baby is working towards becoming mobile it’s time to take necessary measures to ensure their safety. If you haven’t already, by the time your baby reaches 6 months, you will need to baby-proof your home so they don’t hurt themselves or damage your possessions. Protect sharp corners with covers and be sure there is nothing within your baby’s reach that is small enough to where they can choke on it, cords/wires are out of reach from pulling, and all outlets are covered.

Encouraging Your Baby to Crawl

There are several ways that you can encourage your baby to crawl starting as early as birth. Helping your baby developmentally can promote hitting milestones on time. Start by giving your baby ample tummy time. This helps them to build up their neck, shoulder, back, and trunk muscles they will use for various milestones. Not all babies enjoy being on their tummies, especially if they suffer from acid reflux. Prop your baby up on a firm pillow, such as a nursing pillow,  or even on your leg to make them more comfortable and place objects in front of them to focus on reaching. Avoid placing your baby on their tummy immediately after eating to minimize discomfort.

Give your baby enough space and plenty of opportunity to play and move around freely. This means giving them a break from the play pen, swing, or bouncer to allow them to venture around. If your baby is confined throughout most of the day it may delay development in crawling and walking.

Not all babies begin crawling at the same time especially those who were born prematurely. While some babies do skip crawling, they generally do make some attempt to move around. If you notice your baby makes no attempt at moving their body in any way or they only use one side of their body, it may be cause for concern. Consult with your child’s pediatrician if you suspect something is wrong.

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