Infant Motor Development Milestones: Crawling

Crawling is an optional skill. It is not used to measure your baby's overall development. This article identifies the different styles of crawling.

Every new parent waits with anticipation for his or her new baby to start crawling. Crawling helps your new baby explore their environment, and provides them with more learning opportunities than lying on their backs ever could.

Crawling is an optional skill. It is not used to measure your baby's overall development. Some babies decide not to crawl at all. And that is perfectly fine as long as they are reaching other very important developmental milestones such as rolling over, sitting without support, cruising, and walking independently. If you feel your baby is behind in any of these milestones you should talk about it with your doctor at your next appointment.

If your baby does decide to crawl, and a majority of them do, you can expect them to start crawling at or around nine months of age, and maybe even as soon as six months of age. How early your baby crawls can be determined by how much time your baby spends on their tummy. Tummy time is vital to your baby's overall development. It gives them the opportunity to use and strengthen the muscles used for rolling over, sitting up, and eventually crawling. The more tummy time your baby gets the sooner they will reach these milestones. Since babies are put to sleep on their backs in order to decrease their chance of SIDS, you need to make a conscious effort to put your baby on their tummy to play. A minimum of thirty minutes daily of supervised tummy play will get your baby on their way to crawling. It is okay to do this with your newborn as long as it is supervised, unless you are advised by your doctor not to do so. Another way to strengthen the muscles used to crawl is to purchase toys that will encourage them to lift their head and roll over.

It would be good to keep in mind the many styles of crawling. Keep in mind the important thing is that they are trying to get around independently, and not how they get around. The most common technique is the hands and knees method, but this is usually not reached until after much practice with the following techniques. Creeping (also known as army crawl) is identified as moving around on the belly. Your baby will probably use their arms to pull them across the floor. Usually babies will become more efficient and progress onto the hands and knees method, but some are perfectly content with going from creeping to walking. Some babies will start by crawling backwards or sideways, and eventually moving onto the hands and knees method. And you can pretty much count on walking not being too far behind when your baby starts crawling on their hands and feet.

Since all babies are different and unique in their own way, it would be a good idea to never compare your baby with another baby. Remember some babies are perfectly fine with rolling to wherever they need to get, and don't even have an ounce of interest in crawling. No two people are the same, and no two babies are the same (even if they do come from the same gene pool), and no two babies develop milestones at the same time. If you are concerned about your baby's development, then discuss it with your doctor. And if your doctor isn't concerned then you shouldn't be either.

Now that your baby is mobile you will want to consider child proofing your home if you haven't already done so. Once they master crawling they can get pretty fast, you will not want to leave them alone for a second. It may be a good idea to purchase a book or find a Website on how to child proof your home, because there could be many dangers you overlook. Another good resource for child proofing your home is your pediatrician, they could provide you with pamphlets on what to focus on when child proofing your home.

With all this new excitement it is easy to forget to just sit down and enjoy your baby. Get down on the floor with them and just watch them explore their new world, it is really an amazing experience. This time will not last forever, so just remember to enjoy the moment. And before you know it you will have a little toddler on your hands.

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