All babies develop at different rates. Some babies don’t crawl till they’re over a year old, and some start moving bright and early. Some babies bypass crawling altogether and simply start walking one day. Walking and crawling gives your child their first taste of independence. They’ll love being able to go wherever they want, when they want (within reason).
If you think your baby is ready to crawl, but they can’t seem to take that final step, read through these top tips to help your baby along.
Tummy time is important to introduce to your baby from day one. When they exit the womb, babies experience a gravitational pull ten times stronger than what they’re used to (which can be a bit scary!). Tummy time helps babies to learn to resist the pull of gravity. They do this by pushing up with their hands and arms (similar to the cobra pose) and eventually, around nine or ten months, coming up onto their knees or their bum.
Use some bait
We all need a bit of encouragement now and again and babies are no different. Giving them incentive like their favourite toy just out of reach, or the open arms of smiling mum or dad could encourage them to take that final step forwards in their crawling adventure. A mirror placed a small distance away can also provide an interesting motivation for your baby to start moving. From around 6 – 12 months, your baby will think what they see in the mirror is another baby and approach it in a friendly way. From 13 -24 months, your baby will start to realise that there is something strange about the baby in the mirror, and slowly begin to recognise it as themselves.
Create a safe space
Make sure there’s nothing that will frighten or startle your baby in the space where they are learning to crawl. Have a soft surface like a mat or carpet for them to practice on, with plenty of soft furnishings in case they stumble or topple. Keep corners padded and other objects that could cause harm well out of the way. This means any decorations on shelves or tables, dangling table cloths, or lamps with cords hanging down to the floor. You want your little explorer to explore in a safe, unencumbered way!
Give them some support
If your little one is stalling once they successfully get onto their hands and knees, they may need a little support to get moving. Place your hands on the bottom of their feet and allow them to push off to gain some momentum.