Beginning to crawl is the first practical step your baby takes to be mobile unaided. It could be a bittersweet experience for you , as the little one which was dependent on you all this while to be taken around , is gradually beginning to take her own baby steps towards independence.
On close examination you would realise that this task is not as easy as it sounds to be. For your child it is a major feat to be conquered and she is putting all her might to get the skill right. She might be consistently trying out as many different ways as possible to slither around. Every child adapts a different technique , to move around , which she might have bumped across during her trial and error days.
A little supervision and encouragement from your side , could be very helpful and motivating for your child to navigate the choppy waters easily.
7 Tips to Help Your Baby Crawl
1) Giving a lot of supervised tummy time
This can be started as early as when she is 3 months old. You can begin by putting her on her tummy for a minute or 2 everyday and then slowly increasing the time. This tummy time would give her the opportunity to develop her neck muscles ,shoulders and arms which would eventually help her in crawling. But never leave her unattended.
2) Giving tummy time only after she is well fed and has had good sleep
This is very important , as a cranky baby won’t learn much. So, feed her well , give her enough rest before starting to make her learn a skill.
3) Do not be pushy
Being pushy could yield opposite results. Do not compare your child with other babies. Let her take her own time and discover her own style of scooting around. Your pushing and prodding could hamper her natural way of getting a hang on things. Every baby is unique and every baby’s method of learning things is also unique. So stop being too anxious and let her be herself.
4) Restrict her time on baby walker and baby chair
Contrary to their name baby walkers do not necessarily help the baby to walk , instead they hinder their natural development. Putting the baby on the floor could be more rewarding , as this would help her strengthen her muscles and coordinate her limbs which would eventually lead her to crawl and walk.
Similarly making her sit on a baby chair all the time and giving her a toy or a gadget to stare at is also not very helpful. These are nothing but obstacles in your baby’s growth.
5) Restrict carrying your baby around
Similar to baby chair and walker, carrying your baby all the time could also lessen her opportunity to develop her motor skills. For crawling , she has to develop muscle strength and coordination of limbs which could happen only when she is put on the floor to play and explore.
6) Spread a soft blanket on the floor
This would save her from getting hurt when she falls off in the process of lifting her torso in an attempt to move forward. Your teeny-weeny baby is sure to fall many times, as defying gravity and overcoming it is quite a bit of task for her.
7) Scatter some colorful toys around
Keeping some colorful toys nearer to baby’s sight and reach could be very helpful. The baby would be attracted towards the colourful things and in an attempt to grab them wold move forward.
Once your baby has donned the art of crawling babyproof your home. Keep soft bumpers around the house, install baby gates above and below the stair case. Move away indoor plants to more safer areas, cover the sharp edges of the furnitures , move away fragile and “handle with care” accessories like tipsy stands ,flower vases ,glass decors ,candle stands and other such things away from your child’s reach. More so,crawl to your baby’s level to check out and clear away any hazardous item that your baby could bump into.
Some babies do not crawl at all and go straight from sitting to standing and eventually walking. This is absolutely normal and happens in 5 to 10% of babies. Heavier babies and premature ones take a little more time to learn crawling. Check out if your baby crawls dragging one side of the body. This is a cause for concern and a visit to your pediatrician is a must in that case.
Every baby is unique and so is her style of crawling. Supervision ,motivation and encouragement along with muscle strength and coordination of limbs are vital things necessary for a child to crawl. Once she masters the skill you will have a tough time running behind her. So kiddo “ready steady and crawl”.
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Babies begin to crawl by the age of 7 to 9 months. Once their neck and shoulder muscles gain strength , they try to lift their bodies off the ground and move forward. This is their first baby step towards independance and mobility.
Once you notice signs of crawling in your baby you can help her master the gait. Giving your child supervised tummy time, not being pushy ,restricting her time on walker and baby seat ,avoiding carrying her around all the time , scattering some toys around her and finally baby proofing your home are some methods you could follow to help her slither around.
Your motivation and encouragement without being overtly pushy can go a long way in helping your little wonder learn the skill soon. Once she is done with learning, there will be lot of running around. So good luck mommies.