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When do babies crawl?

Crawling is an exciting stage of your baby’s development. This is where they finally start to become more independent by working out how to move around on their own. Crawling doesn’t just mean the standard hand and knees crawl. All babies are different and will find other ways to crawl which are comfortable for them. 

As well as exciting, crawling can be a stage of your child’s development where you may need to make some changes around your home. When you baby is able to start getting to places on their own, you really need to think about safety. You want to ensure that there’s nothing your baby can push over or hurt themselves on. This include things like corners of furniture, radiators and the stairs. All of these can pose a risk to your baby’s safety.

In this article, we will speak about when your baby is likely to start crawling and things you need to look out for.

When do babies crawl?

When your baby starts to crawl will really depend on how quickly they develop. Some babies grasp onto things really fast whereas other can take a little longer. On average, most babies start to crawl around 9 months. But this doesn’t mean you baby won’t start as early as 6 months. 

You may find that your baby doesn’t crawl at all. Some go from sitting up, to standing and from there, walking! This is perfectly normal and doesn’t’ mean your baby is not developing as they should be. As long as they become mobile, whether that’s crawling or walking, your baby is doing just fine. 

You shouldn’t compare your baby against others as progress ranges for each child. If you’re concerned that your baby isn’t grasping onto crawling or walking, there are things you can do to help. Find out how to teach your baby to crawl. 

You can also take up your concerns with a nurse or doctor if you find your baby still isn’t mobile by a year old. It may be that your baby just needs some assistance, or they have a medical issue that’s making it uncomfortable to crawl or walk. 

when do babies crawl

Types of baby crawling styles - the crawling run down!

As we mentioned earlier, crawling doesn’t just cover the well-known hand and knees crawl. Your baby will find the most comfortable way of getting around – no matter how strange it looks! You should give your baby the freedom to move around as they’d like as this is all progress. It’s great to let your baby do their thing to try teaching themselves instead of you always showing them the way. 

Different types of crawling styles include:

  • Classic crawl. This is the most commonly known style of crawling and the one that parents think of first. This is where your baby positions themselves on their hand and knees then moves the alternate arm and leg forward.
  • Commando crawl. This is when your baby uses their arms to pull themselves across the floor whilst keeping their belly and legs on the ground. This is something that babies do before they reach the classic crawl and gets them used to the feeling of using their arms.
  • Bottom scoot. This one really says it in the name. Instead of using just their arms like in the last style, this one involves using just their legs to ‘scoot’ themselves across the floor.
  • Rolling. Before your baby gets used to using their arms and legs to move around, they may resort to just rolling on their stomach to get to where they need to go.
  • Tripod crawl. Your baby will use both of their arms but just one leg to move around. This can look super funny when they’re doing it.
  • Leapfrog. This crawl involved your baby getting onto their hands and knees and then thrusting themselves forward – creating a leapfrog motion.

Whatever way your baby chooses to crawl and move around, you should be happy that they’re progressing and developing. It may look strange and not be what you expected but it’s great to allow your baby to experiment with ways of moving. 

when do babies crawl

Whatever way your baby starts getting around, it’s great to see them being able to do their own thing with little assistance. This is commonly when parents really start to see the character of their child coming out and can be so much fun.

Making the most of these moments are essential, your baby will start to develop and progress much quicker once they hack crawling and before you know it, they’ll be running around out of control.

Tips to help your baby crawl

We have a full blog on how to teach your baby to crawl but thought it would also be handy to give you a few tips whilst you’re here! Your baby will naturally pick up how to crawl on their own but there are ways you can teach them if you see they’re struggling. 

When teaching your baby, you should only show them what to do by demonstrating it yourself. You should resist from picking them up and positioning them as it may not be their most comfortable way of crawling. Instead, show them how it’s done and allow them to find their way of doing it.

Help your baby discover crawling by:

  1. Laying your baby on their tummy. We said not to position your baby but by just laying them on their stomach, it puts them in the starting position to crawl. From here, you can demonstrate to them how to get up from the position, but you should not put them in the full position yourself. This is also commonly known as ‘tummy time’ – it gets the baby used of being in the position they will use to crawl.
when do babies crawl
  • Introduce games. You can try and encourage your baby to move by placing their favourite toy close to them but far enough for them to have to move to get it. At first, you want this to be super close to give them time to learn how to get into position. After they have grasped this a little bit more, you can start bringing the toy further away. Not only is this teaching it’s also fin for your little one. By making the process entertaining, your baby is much more likely to enjoy it and therefore, learn to crawl quicker. 
  • Try and sit your baby in an upright position whenever you can. This trains their muscles to support their weight which will help massively with crawling. When you first start doing this, you should only include assisted sitting. This is either where your baby is sat up against you or a safe surface. When they are ready, you can begin helping them sit up without any assistance. During this learning process, you should be with your baby at all times.

Keeping them safe whilst your baby is crawling

You need to consider adding some safety features around your house once your baby is mobile. As your little one transitions from crawling to walking, you’ll find that they will use things to pull themselves up on. You need to make sure that this isn’t something that could potentially fall and harm your little one. We’ve listed some ways you can make your home into a safe space for your baby:

  1. Invest in a baby gate

Depending on the size of your home, you may want to buy more than one. Baby gates are a great way of keeping your little one out on unsafe spaces and keeping an eye on where they are. For example, your baby should not be in the kitchen if there is someone cooking. A crawling baby on the floor can cause a tripping hazard for someone else – injuring both the individual as well as your baby. A gate provides you with a way of keeping your baby away from unsafe areas whilst also keeping everyone else safe too. These are easily clipped onto door frames and can also be used to stop your baby going up the stairs.

when do babies crawl
  • No small objects

We all know that babies have no concept of what they can and can’t eat. As a part of their development, your baby will experiment with what things feel like in their mouth as well as what they taste like. You need to remove any small items that your baby could potentially choke on if they put them into their mouth. These should either be put in high up drawers or jus thigh enough for your baby not to reach them. If your baby can fit an item into their mouth or it has small sections that come off of it, it needs to be out of their reach.

  • Cover sharp corners

Naturally, your baby will fall over a few times when they’re learning to walk or even crawl. In most cases, your baby will be completely fine if they’re under your care. However, as they learn to walk from crawling, they firstly need to stand. Once they can the hang of this, they will use just about anything to grab onto and pull themselves up. You need to be aware of any sharp edges or corners that could pose a serious risk to your little one. You can purchase corner covers with mould around the edges and corners of furniture to prevent your baby from injury. A small bruise can easily heal, but the last thing you want is your baby receiving cuts from these items.

  • Remove all easy-to-reach plugs and cords

Your baby will want to know what everything is and if they can play with or eat it. This is especially dangerous when it comes to electrical plugs or cords. Whilst you should try and remove any that aren’t essential to you, with others, there are alternative solutions. For plugs, you can purchase outlet covers that prevent your baby receiving an electrical shock. For cords, it may not look the best, but you can choose to tape them down to the floor. This will prevent any trips from occurring or pulling down heavy items like lamps.

  • Put away anything hazardous

Whether it’s cleaning products or medication, these things need to be put away where your baby cannot get them and locked in if possible. Your baby can suffer serious harm or even death if they get their hands on any of these items. If you only have low down cupboards to put them into, you should invest in cabinet locks. This will prevent your baby from opening the cupboard and getting anything out.

when do babies crawl

Be overly cautious when your baby is crawling

When you have a crawling baby, you need to have everything up to spec. One small slip up can result in your baby being in serious danger. To avoid this, you can find online checklists that go through everything you need to be aware of once your baby is crawling. This makes it much easier as you can go through and check off the things you have done to make your home safer. 

It’s completely normal for your little one to have knocks and bumps as they become more mobile. However, what we want to avoid is serious injury leading to a trip to the hospital. 

Once you have made your home safe for your baby, you can enjoy watching them as they grow and develop. We hope this blog has given you some advice on what to do once your baby begins crawling and how to help them along the way.

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