When babies learn to crawl, their whole world changes because now they have the power to move whenever and wherever they want. But, sometimes, it can be a bit of a long process to get there. In this post, we will discuss many different opportunities in a day to encourage and help your child to crawl. It is all broken down in different ways that support your child’s physical development. There are many ways to help like having the most optimal surface for your child to practice on, down to what you can buy to encourage movement.
I have actually used many of these techniques with both my girls to help support their crawling. It was refreshing to see two different ways that children learn because they both had such individual journeys even though they are identical twins. Victoria was able to move and push her body up faster but practiced her movements longer. But, Mackenzie took much longer to want to move but now that she does she has picked everything up so quickly.
Your baby will start to push themselves up more often during tummy time. My children began pivoting their bodies from left to right to grab toys that had their interest, and that’s how I knew. Once your baby makes small movements like that, giving them a longer tummy time will allow them to practice these new skills. Once your baby starts to do more larger movements that are similar to “the worm”, they will more than likely start crawling soon.
I found this great video by Mama Natural on YouTube. She shows a sped-up version of the stages of crawling that her child experienced. Oh, and can we just acknowledge how fun and cute these names are for each step! I think that they are an excellent summary of what they resemble.
Some of these stages your baby might miss or not do at all, and that is fine. This is one of many examples. If you recognize a stage that your child did or is currently doing, that is great!
Before we begin, you need to remember that each child is an individual. They will hit milestones in their own time. If you are worried, you should always talk to your child’s doctor to ease your mind. There are some children that just altogether skip crawling and go right to the next milestone. As a child, I didn’t crawl for very long before I stood up and started cruising. There are many benefits of crawling for your baby, but there are always multiple ways to learn something when the time is right.
The recommended surface would be on carpet or a smooth surface, not near any hazards (i.e. stove). Carpet or foam alphabet letter tiles are also safe and smooth surfaces to land. We want to make sure that your child can practice without really hurting themselves in the process. Hardwood is not recommended because it is easier for your child to hurt themselves. I allow my children to explore in the living room in the morning on their foam carpet. Then in the afternoon, they play on the large rug in their room and sometimes we take it outside on a blanket.
If you can find any toys in your house that rolls, then you’ve got this. There are many types of round objects that roll and are safe for babies. I would NOT recommend wood toys because they may hit themselves in the face (poor Mackenize did this a few times). A medium-sized sensory ball is a great start. When the ball rolls away, point at the ball to bring your child’s attention to it. Sometimes toys that move can encourage further exploration for your child, fueling their desire to go explore. Another great thing you could purchase is a tunnel. An excellent play tip for a tunnel would be to sit on the other side of the tunnel and prompt your child to crawl through to you.
The word exercises is very broad so here are some examples of things you could add to your environment or day to help your baby crawl. Children need to repeat actions to master them.
There are many ways to support your baby crawling. Whether it’s by putting a mirror up or buying sensory balls. Allowing them to explore on a different surface during the day will help boost curiosity and hopefully inspire them to explore. Continuing to bond with your baby during massage or stretching will help your baby learn about their body and how to use it. Your child may surprise you by what steps they will take to master crawling.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor; I am just speaking from my own experience. These posts are inspired by what I have learned through research, teaching, different people’s experiences, and my own as a mother. I am not affiliated with anyone or any website included.