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Crawling is an important step in your baby’s movement. It helps your child develop strength, stability and coordination skills by using muscles on both sides of the body. It promotes sensory development, as they can see and hear new things, as well as feel new surfaces on their hands and knees. It can even help with confidence, as baby will be moving on their own for the first time!

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Belly crawling usually begins around 7-9 months, and typically becomes hands-and-knees crawling within a couple of months. However, many babies will try to find other ways to move. In fact, one of the main reasons babies don’t crawl is because they may have found an easier way to move on their own, like rolling or scooting on their bottom with one leg. Some children may even go directly to walking, but then may revert to crawling.

If they are not motivated to crawl or are having trouble with crawling by 10 months of age, you can ask a healthcare provider to find out why.

So how can you encourage crawling, an important developmental milestone? Here are some tips:

  • Encouraging Tummy Time from birth. This gets baby comfortable on their tummy and helps to build core strength.
  • Change up their environment. Get them motivated to move and explore.
  • Challenge them with a toy just out of reach. Move the toy 90 degrees to their side to promote pivoting.

Once baby begins crawling, they’ll be able to get places on their own. So what do you need to do?

  • Begin baby proofing. Get down on your hands and knees to identify potential dangers from baby’s point of view.
  • Keep them safe from running into things or pulling up on items. Make sure heavy furniture like dressers are anchored to the wall.
  • Watch for things they might put in their mouth. Especially small items that can become a choking hazard.

Learn more about crawling and the other 7-9 month milestones!