Crawling is a motor milestone many parents look forward to! It is a great way for baby to start moving on their own.

Help baby crawl by playing games focused on motor development

There are so many benefits to crawling, beyond just motor development (although that is a great benefit!). Crawling also promotes sensory development, executive function, feeding and play. It also encourages bilateral coordination, which is where both sides of the body work together. This is a great task for a developing brain and strengthens the area of the brain that helps the two sides of the body communicate, called the corpus callosum! Read on to learn some tips on how you can help baby crawl if they haven’t yet!

So while there are so many benefits to crawling, many parents may wonder: is it ok if baby doesn’t crawl? Some children struggle with crawling, or appear not to crawl and skip to standing or walking. The answer is if baby isn’t crawling, it’s best to check in with a healthcare provider to let them know what you’re seeing baby do.

When it comes to crawling, the truth is some babies may not crawl—and that may be fine for their development. But missing a milestone is still something that should be addressed with a healthcare provider, because all milestones are important for baby’s development. Additionally, because baby can gain so much from crawling, it’s great to encourage crawling if you can!
Physical development infographic for what is typical and atypical movement in babies

If baby hasn’t crawled, how can you address this with a healthcare provider?

If baby is older than 12 months and still hasn’t crawled, reach out to a healthcare provider to tell them baby hasn’t reached this milestone. You can bring this up at a well-baby visit or ask this separately to a healthcare provider. They may ask you some other questions about baby’s motor development, so you may want to think about the following:

  • Does baby seem interested in exploring their environment? For example, are they reaching for things, or trying to move their legs?
  • Are there other ways that they’re moving around their environment, such as rolling or scooting? It may be helpful to see some of the different ways baby may move around their environment.
  • Is baby doing Tummy Time?
  • Is baby trying to stand or walk? They may be doing things like pulling themselves up or taking more weight on their feet.

Help baby crawl as it helps with other developmental milestones

There are many reasons baby may not crawl, and it is somewhat common for baby to have trouble with crawling! Learning crawling can be complex for baby, because it’s their first time moving independently. Often baby learns things like communication from watching their parents as a guide, but there isn’t an example for crawling—it’s something baby needs to figure out when trying to move on their own.

Baby is motivated to crawl so they can explore their environment, but sometimes baby finds different ways to explore, such as scooting or rolling, or even jumping ahead to walking! If this happens, try to still encourage crawling. So while some babies may not fully crawl, it’s a great milestone to encourage baby to do—even if they’ve already started walking. Try out these tips to help encourage baby to crawl.

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