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Babies should start crawling between the first 7 and 12 months of their lives. It is vital to remember that there is no ideal time to start crawling and you should never urge your baby to crawl. However, what you can do is assist and encourage them to use their bodies to move around.
Are you wondering how to help baby crawl? We have put together some strategies and methods for improving your baby’s motor skills and helping them develop physically. We also mentioned important safety measures as well as what you need to avoid.
Designate an area in your house as your baby’s learning space. Surround it with soft cushions and fill it with their favorite toys. Make sure your baby is motivated to start moving around on their own.
Keep in mind that some babies will not go through the crawling phase but will instead get to walking immediately. Some babies opt for rolling in order to move around. There’s nothing wrong with either of these methods of moving as long as it is safe and coordinated.
Come what may, you should provide your baby with a lot of floor time so they can explore their movements and develop on their own terms. Remember, that your main job is to provide support.
Time spent on the floor is the best way for babies to develop their motor skills. Your little one will learn how to coordinate their movement by getting to know the world around them. This is also an excellent way for them to learn how to hold their heads independently.
Babies who spend time on the floor tend to learn how to walk faster. Depending on the baby’s age and development you can decide if you want to put them on their belly or their back.
Designated Crawling Area
Assign a part of your home as your child’s playpen. Make it a warm, comfortable, and familiar place. Put down a soft carpet or blanket and spread out your child’s toys.
This area should be the baby’s learning space. They should spend quality time in their playpen practicing moving around. Here is where they will be crawling, pulling themselves up to stand, or rolling around.
Make sure the area is restricted with cushions and pillows, so there are no potential dangers. If you can, try to avoid hardwood floors and rough carpets. They can cause injuries and discomfort.
While on the floor, make sure to scatter your baby’s favorite toys around. This way they will be prompted to notice them and try to reach them. This is how babies learn to control and coordinate their motions.
By working their muscles in unison with their brains, they will eventually reach their toys. So if you want to know how to help your baby crawl, this is a very effective method of motivating your child to start crawling.
Strengthening the Back
Babies’ backs need to be very strong in order for them to start crawling or walking. There are plenty of exercises you can do with your little one to strengthen their backs.
For example, while your baby is laying down on their back, try holding their hands and pulling them up slightly. They will inevitably start pulling themselves up towards you thus performing a coordinated motion which includes strength. This exercise can be repeated every day and will help them gain strength.
This exercise goes only for babies who can already hold their head up firmly.
Your baby will probably develop their individual style of crawling which is perfectly fine. You should expect them to develop a unique way of moving around. The key is to let them do their own thing.
Some babies will scoot, some will go backward, and some will just roll around. The fact of the matter is that there is no wrong way to do it. You should sit back and enjoy the view.
Words of Encouragement
While your baby is on the floor, you may lower yourself to their level and address them. Make sure they can see you and try using an encouraging voice to call them over. Keep inviting them to come to you until you notice a reaction.
Babies tend to be excited around parents and usually react positively to their voices. So, if you are wondering how to help my baby crawl, this method is seen as one of the best to help.
If your baby is slow to respond, you can try crawling or moving around to show them how it’s done. Babies are known to mimic the behavior and movements they see around them.
In some cases, your little one might not respond to your movement but will to somebody their own size. This is why it is encouraged to organize play-dates with other babies who already know how to move around. Your child will be excited to have a buddy to play with.
Some babies are helped by siblings when it comes to crawling and moving around. If your older child is up for it, you can let them help your little one learn how to coordinate movement. Kids usually have better understanding among themselves, so it is worth a shot.
If you have a dog, it might also be an excellent crawling companion as it already moves around on all fours. If your baby and dog get along well, you can include the dog in the play-date.
Don’t Force It
Crawling has to come naturally to a baby. You shouldn’t force it because it will be counterproductive. The best thing to do is to develop different approaches to encourage your baby to move.
Don’t worry if they are not particularly interested. They will get the hang of it on their own terms.
Baby Proof the House
Before any crawling ventures happen, you need to make some changes to your home. Your home needs to be baby proofed for your little one. Children have a tendency to explore the entire house which is why you need to do some damage control.
Make sure there are no dangerous objects within their reach, cover all sockets and remove electrical cords. See if there are any sharp edges or surfaces they can bump their heads into. Keep doors of the rooms you are not using closed.
Don’t forget to put an obstacle at the top of the staircase, so your child doesn’t get tempted to go down.
Try moving around your house while on all fours. By lowering yourself, you can look at your home from your baby’s point of view and observe any potential hazards. Though it sounds silly, it indeed is the best way to prevent any possible danger from happening.
Things to Avoid
There are certain methods of teaching babies how to walk which have been deemed unsafe, harmful, and counterproductive. We have included some items to help you gain insight into your baby’s development.
Although walkers have been used for a long time, most professionals would agree that they are not beneficial to babies. They can negatively affect posture and delay baby’s natural course of physical activities. They do not motivate children to use their own muscles to get around.
Car Seats and Baby Carriers
Although car seats are great for riding a baby in your vehicle, they can have a negative effect if your child spends too much time in them. A child who sits a lot will not be motivated to move around and will be used to being carried around. Babies learn how to crawl, stand, and pull themselves up when they are on the floor and not in a seat.
As we’ve mentioned already, there is no ideal age for babies to start crawling. Some babies don’t crawl at all. They will go straight to walking and develop equally strong as other kids.
Try different approaches and see which one suits your child. The key is to employ methods which you’ve noticed your little one react positively to. This way your baby will remain interested, and you will start to see changes and results.
As a parent, you want to learn how to teach a baby to crawl and watch over your child’s development. Pay attention to safety measures and methods of learning which are best left in the past.