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How to Encourage Your Baby to Crawl

As parents ourselves, we know how easy it is to obsess over our baby’s milestones and achievements. I can’t imagine a single parent out there who hasn’t Googled everything their baby should be doing by 2 months, 6 months and so on.  It’s perfectly natural considering all parents are just winging it and learning as they go.  That being said, tracking these milestones gives us solid markers in our baby’s development and one of them we’re here to talk about today is crawling.
Crawling is one of those moments that parents anxiously await - up there with talking and walking.  Crawling doesn’t look like crawling initially.  There’s a lot of funny arm and leg movements that don’t really lead anywhere but eventually, they get themselves from Point A to Point B.  As soon as you see them moving though, the house gets fully bubble wrapped and you watch with great pride as they zip around the house in full speed, hands-and-knees crawling. 

When should babies start to crawl?

Although every baby is different, between 6 and 10 months is roughly when you should expect them to start crawling.  That’s a guideline and some may be sooner or later or not at all! They might be more interested in walking than getting around on all fours.  We’ll get to how you can encourage them to crawl in a moment.
Crawling is no easy feat and it has taken your baby their entire lifetime to develop the muscles and coordination to even attempt it.  It’s also because of those hours of tummy time on your baby play mat that you and your baby put in together, which has strengthened their muscles allowing them to push up off the floor. Have you read our article on Tummy Time by Nicole Pates (Paediatric Physiotherapist)?

How can I encourage my baby to crawl?

1. DIY - Do it yourself
Babies are the ultimate copycats so get down on the floor and show them how it’s done.  If your knees are screaming at you, jump on one of our family size play mats which has enough room for both of you to scoot around.
2. Invest in a tunnel
Brightly coloured tunnels are very enticing toys for babies.  They want to get to the other side and the only way they’re getting there is… crawling.  Place a toy or their favourite snack on the other side and you’ll have your baby zooming across in no time.
3. Use a nursing pillow
If you have a nursing pillow, you can place your baby over it so that they are propped up. By elevating their middle body, they are forced to be on their hands and knees, and it helps them feel out the position and weight distribution.
4. Limit their time in walkers and bouncers
Bouncers, walkers and swings are all brilliant at keeping your baby content and entertained but it’s keeping them away from developing the muscles they need to crawl and move around independently.  The simple solution is get them back on the ground with plenty of room to move around.  

We hope you enjoyed this article.  There’s absolutely no pressure to reach certain milestones and if your pediatrician isn’t concerned, then neither should you be.  We hope this article gave you some insights into crawling and offered some helpful tips on how to encourage your baby to crawl.


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