Raising kids is a wonderful experience. Yet, sometimes you do feel concerned about whether the baby is developing right. Being parents for the first time does come with a lot of anxieties. Hence, we are here to take some of that burden off your shoulder with our tips about how to help baby crawl.
Usually, babies start to crawl within 6 to 10 months. Crawling is a little difficult for the baby as this is when they learn to coordinate all its muscles and move. For a baby, this is a very important yet difficult development, and they need all your assistance.
How Do They Crawl?
Most of the time, babies will scoot a little bit backward. Do not worry if they do so, they are just figuring it out now. They will try to scoot backward and forward for some time. This is the time to make them exercise so that their limbs get stronger.
This process will involve a lot of crying and asking for help to reach out to something that’s a bit far. It is advised not to help them immediately, but let them try. This will gradually make them learn to crawl.
Every baby has its unique style of crawling. However, this can be broadly categorized into these following types:
1. Classic Crawl
This is the most common crawl of all types. The baby usually moves its alternating hand on one side and the knee on the other to move.
2. A Crab
As the name suggests, this type of crawl looks like the movement of a crab. However, you don’t have to worry. They usually get to the normal crawl after some time. However, if you are still worried, you can consult a doctor. But, this is not something to be concerned about. Not every kid goes by the book.
3. The Soldier Move
You can be assured that your baby was a soldier in their past life. They start crawling by first laying on their belly and then dragging themselves forward. This is not something that they should be doing for a long time. Therefore, you can consult the doctor if they do not start crawling on all fours after a significant amount of time.
4. Rolling Around
This is more of a phase than a type of crawling. You will notice that your baby is rolling a lot and even gets to the end of the room by rolling! As fun as it is to look at your baby rolling around cutely, you must make sure that after some time they use their hands and legs.
You have got an ambitious baby! They do not waste any time at all. Other babies may be crawling around the place, but your baby has started walking directly. This might indeed relieve some of your anxieties.
How To Begin?
You might have thought about how to teach your baby to crawl. Training a baby to crawl is fairly simple. Most of the time you just have to attract them to start getting up. Here are some techniques on getting them to crawling.
1. Tummy Time
From the time they are born and have started moving their hands, turn them around and put them on their bellies. This action will make them familiar with the starting process of the crawling. This will also strengthen their whole body muscle.
2. Let Them Reach On Their Own
Spread out their favorite toys around them, and let them get to them on their own. At first you might feel like helping them as they keep struggling and crying, but you need them to do this alone. Gradually they will start to get them on their own by crawling.
Another thing to keep in mind is that at first you must keep the toy at the baby’s arm distance, and then start to increase the distance. This will help them more.
3. Make A Safe Space
The baby needs a bit of space to start crawling. Make sure you put it in a spacious room first. Also, this is the exact time to start child-proofing your whole place. Find out where the baby can get hurt and make it safe. Once the baby starts crawling, they will be reaching places you did not even think they would go.
4. Give Support
As the baby first starts to crawl, put your hand as a support system at the back of their feet. This will serve as a support as the baby is getting used to using all the muscles.
Things Not To Do
As you wonder how to get your baby to crawl, you also have to take into account some of the things you should avoid.
1. Using Baby Walkers
Baby walkers help you a lot in training the baby to crawl or walk, but it forces the baby to do so. Do not resort to using the baby walker if you are baby is one month late in crawling.
You must allow the baby to naturally start the process. Forcing them might lead to problems in the future. Use walkers only after consulting a doctor.
2. Keeping Them In Baby Seats And Carriers
We understand that keeping them in a seat or carrier helps you to relax and finish other household duties, but keeping them there all the time might affect their crawling.
If the baby is not given enough space to move about and go around, they will not start crawling or walking. This will make the process more difficult for you to handle.
3. Forcing Them Too Much
Do not force the baby too much to crawl. A bit of pressure is okay. You can spread their toys around and wait for them to go on their own. However, not at all helping them or forcing them too much might disturb the process.
Every child grows at their own pace, so it is preferable to wait for them to turn 1. If they do not start crawling or walking by then, you need to consult a doctor.
Crawling is the first movement that your baby will be doing to carry themself from one place to another. This will require a lot of energy and their muscles need to be strong enough. Pediatricians always advise new parents to make sure that their babies get enough exercise. Here are some exercises that will you can make them do before and while they are in their crawling phase:
1. Hand Exercises
The first thing that your baby has to do is to flatten their palms out. This helps them crawl properly. You can start by massaging their palms with a washcloth in the tub. Make sure that they reach out for things with their palms open.
2. Assisted Crawling
For this exercise, take a soft towel and fold it lengthwise a few times. Lay the baby on top of it. Lift both the sides of the towel so that only the baby’s arms and feet are on the ground. The chest should be in the air. This will help them to understand the process a bit. Keep moving forward a bit by bit. Gradually you will find the baby moving without the help of the towel.
Things To Keep In Mind
Though babies start to crawl within 6-10 months, you have to remember that every baby is unique. Some babies take their time and some skip the crawling part altogether and start walking.
If your baby is measured to be overweight, make sure you give them enough exercise. The extra weight makes it difficult for them to carry around while crawling. They could easily get tired or feel too weak to crawl. Hence, make sure that you make them exercise and massage them frequently so that their muscles grow stronger. Additionally, your baby is premature, it might take some time.
Giving them proper nutrition and exercise is mainly what will help them develop physically at a steady rate. If you are constantly thinking about how to help baby crawl, it is advised to not force them into it.
Usually, babies who are slow in learning to crawl, develop other skills faster. Maybe they have started talking early, or they figured how to open bottles and jars on their own. Babies, from the time they are born, develop preferences and interests.
However, you can consult the pediatrician if you feel worried. Also, do make sure that your baby is not dragging a part of its limb while crawling or cannot crawl forward. These indicate that they might have a bit of a problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Cherish The Moment!
Any parent will tell you that babies grow up very fast. We understand that you are worried about their health and future all the time, but sometimes you need to just breathe and enjoy these moments with them. The first step of the baby is one of the most memorable memories you will have of your child. So just relax and be with them whenever they need you.