Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to teach your baby how to crawl- they will naturally figure this out when they are ready. Every baby has an inborn desire to move around. We just need to provide them with opportunities to practice the skills they need, and here are a couple ways to do so.
- 1. Start tummy time early
Tummy time helps your baby develop essential muscles for crawling like their torso, back, shoulders, and arms. You can try putting your baby on their tummy for short intervals and alternate between different sides, back, and tummy positions.
- 2. Do NOT put your baby in baby walker/bouncer
It might be cute to see your baby in a bouncer, but it actually takes time away from strengthening their leg muscles, developing coordination, or practicing balance.
- 3. Use your palms to support the back of your baby’s feet when they are on all fours
If you see that your baby is trying to crawl, place your hands behind their feet so that they can push off of something.
- 4. Motivate your baby using toys
Place interesting toys just outside of your baby’s reach. This will encourage them to move and reach to get to the toy. Make sure not to put the toy too far away as your baby might get frustrated.
- 5. Provide a safe and supervised space for your baby to explore
Make sure everything in this space is child proofed! Ideally, you also have a carpet or mat so that your baby is comfortable crawling.
There’s a wide developmental window for when babies begin to crawl but generally it’s around 8 months. Some babies might scoot commando-style, some might just roll, and some may even skip this stage altogether (going from sitting, pulling to standing up and walking).