When babies are born, we as parents wish their little lives away. We wait excitedly for them to reach each milestone. Crawling is the first milestone where the fun really begins! Crawling is your baby's first method of getting around efficiently on their own. First, they start by learning to balance on their hands and knees.
- Tummy time. From the start, long before your baby's ready to crawl, give them plenty of tummy time. Placing your baby on their tummy and playing with them for several minutes a few times a day while they’re awake and alert will help to develop muscles that they need to crawl.
- Incentives to move. The best way to encourage crawling is to place toys and other desirable objects (even yourself) just beyond your baby's reach.
- Childproof. A crawling baby can get into a lot of mischief. Make sure your house is childproof, with a special emphasis on stair gates. Your baby will be drawn to stairs, but they can be dangerous, so keep them off-limits until they’ve really mastered walking (usually by about 18 months). Even then, supervise him closely.
Babies develop skills using different methods and at different times. But, if your child hasn't shown an interest in getting mobile by some means (whether it's crawling, rolling, or scooting), figured out how to move her arms and legs together in a coordinated motion, or learned to use both arms and both legs equally by the time they are a year old, bring it up at their next doctor's appointment. Keep in mind that premature babies may reach milestones several months later than their peers.
After your baby has mastered crawling, the only thing between them and complete mobility is learning to walk. Which comes very soon after crawling!