Crawling is a significant milestone in the development of a growing baby, not only because it is the intermediary step between sitting and standing, but also because it is the first step towards independent mobility. Some babies, however, leave out this milestone altogether, and instead, move directly on to standing and walking. So if your little one is reluctant to crawl right now, there is nothing to worry about.
The first attempts at crawling are usually quite clumsy, yet extremely adorable. Your baby may start off by dragging his or her belly and legs with the help of the arms only, or he or she may attempt to scoot his or her bottom along the floor. The styles are unique in each case. But the first sign that tells you that your baby is trying to move is when you find him or her resting facedown, supported by the arms with the buttocks raised high in the air.
Types of crawls
There are innumerable ways in which your baby can crawl, but there are a few types of crawls which are fairly common. It is interesting to note here that your baby may begin crawling in one particular way and change to a different style later on.
· Classic crawl – This is the most balanced and common type of crawl seen in babies. The baby supports his or her weight on the hands and knees, and moves forward with the help of arms and opposite legs.
· Bottom scoot – This is, in most cases, the step before classic crawl. The baby slides on his or her bottoms, using his hands to propel forward.
· Commando crawl – The baby keeps his or her belly flat on the floor and uses the arms to move forward. It is also known as belly crawl.
· Crab crawl – This kind of movement takes the baby either forward or sideways. One knee is flexed and the other remains extended sideways.
· Bear crawl – The bear crawl is similar to the classic crawl in that the baby moves in all fours, but unlike the classic variation, this involves the baby keeping his elbows and knees straight.
When do babies crawl?
Typically, most babies achieve the milestone of crawling by 6 to 10 months. Some refuse to move till as long as 9 months while others begin from early 6th or 7th month. Although important developmentally, crawling is not a strict milestone. Many babies skip this altogether. There is no way to predict whether your baby is going to crawl or not, but even if he or she doesn’t, it may be absolutely normal. That said, if your baby hasn’t displayed any sign of becoming mobile by the 12th month, it may be a good idea to consult a pediatrician.
How can you help your baby to crawl?
There are a number of things you can do in order to help your bay crawl. Some of them are listed below.
· Tummy time – Tummy time is the method by which the baby practices to prop himself or herself up on all fours. Babies need to increase muscle strength before they are able to crawl. Tummy time helps in building up strength in the back, neck and arms, thus preparing the baby for the milestone.
· Incentive to move – Placing toys or other objects just beyond the baby’s reach is a good way to make him or her start crawling. It provides the baby with an incentive to try and start moving towards the object. You can even set up obstacles in the form of pillows or cushions in order to make it difficult once your baby has begun to crawl.
· Lure your baby with moving toys – Toys that move, especially battery powered buses or trains, are an excellent way to encourage your little one to crawl.
How to keep your crawling baby safe
Once your baby has begun to crawl, you need to ensure that your home is childproof. Accidents are always waiting to happen with dangling wires, sharp corners and cupboard doors. It is important to never let your baby out of sight.
Putting up a stairgate ensures some safety if your baby has access to the staircase. If he or she attempts to climb furniture, make sure you are around to supervise always.
Finally, make sure that your floors are clean and free of dirt and pollen. Babies love putting objects into their mouths, so take care that the little adventurer does not end up trying to swallow a loose change lying under the sofa.