Motherhood

What Are the Different Stages of Crawling?

Team Peanut
Team Peanut8 months ago6 min read

Months 6-12 are an exciting time for your baby: they’re getting more curious, learning all sorts of new skills, and probably getting eager to move around. That’s right–your little peanut is soon going to start exploring the world all on their own as they begin the stages of crawling.

Different Stages of Crawling

Here’s what to expect now that your little one is starting their crawling journey.

In this article: 📝

  • What are the first stages of crawling?
  • What are the different stages of crawling?
  • How long does it take between creeping and crawling?
  • What is the average age for crawling?

What are the first stages of crawling?

Early signs of crawling tend to be some of your little one’s first major milestones.

These can include rolling over from back to front and back again and sitting up unsupported.

During tummy time, some babies might also do a “swimming” motion – moving their arms and legs while laying on their tummies.











They might even pivot themselves in a circle on their tummy!

If they push themselves up onto their hands and feet, like a plank, or are starting to support their weight with their arms, they’re getting really close to the full-fledged crawl.

Your baby might balance into a hands and knees crawling position, or even start rocking back and forth on their hands and knees. These are all signs baby will crawl soon.

But it’s important to remember that not every baby goes through each of these steps, so your baby might find their own unique way into the full crawl.

What are the different stages of crawling?

So your baby is getting a little more confident with their moves. What now?

We’ve broken it down into 7 stages of crawling – but remember, not every baby is the same, so it’s totally normal for them to have their own journey that looks a little, or a lot, different from what we’ve outlined here.

Some babies will skip or mix up several of these steps as they figure out how to navigate the world.

  1. The “shuffle”: Like we mentioned earlier, anything from the tummy squirm to “swimming” means they’ve started their journey to crawling.
  2. The “commando crawl”: If your baby is starting to move their bodies around using their arms, they’ve started to commando crawl. Babies tend to start here as their upper body strength develops a little faster than their lower halves.
  3. The crawling position: If your little one is starting to get onto their hands and knees, even if they’re not moving, they’re well on their way to figuring out how to turn this position into movement.
  4. The backward crawl: They’ve made it to the all-fours crawling position, but are going backward? They’re getting close! Any movement is good movement.
  5. The “scoot”: If they’re getting places by shuffling about on their bottoms, they’re starting to master the idea of moving, and might start replacing this with a faster crawl soon.
  6. The “crab” crawl: Some little ones find it easier to start off with a crawl that focuses on one side of their body. If they’re shifting themselves forward with one straight and one bent leg, they’re well on their way to getting into a full crawl.
  7. The “classic” crawl: If they’re on all fours moving opposite arms and legs at once, they’ve got the hang of a classic crawl.

Some little ones will never get to the full “classic” crawl – and that’s fine, too.

Although these first steps into moving around are a big milestone for some babies, it’s not something every baby goes through.

They may be so confident in their commando or crab crawl that they just never find the need to learn a full-fledged crawl.

They might also just go straight to standing up and walking – yes, it happens!

As long as they’re starting to find their own way to move, they’re doing great.

How long does it take between creeping and crawling?

Creeping is when your little one starts to shuffle themselves around on their tummies.

But at this pre-crawling stage, you might find your baby doing a number of different moves, too: they might be squirming on their tummies, bums, or backs, rolling around, scooting, or just being generally experimental with all their newfound strength.

If they’re doing any of those things, you’re looking at just a few more weeks of being fully in control of your baby’s whereabouts, so it’s a good idea to start baby proofing your home.

The more squirmy your baby is getting during tummy time, or the more they’re exploring the limits of their own body’s strength and movement, the more likely you’re going to see your little one have their first crawl soon.

Baby proofing before the crawling starts is a really good idea: your suddenly mobile baby will want to explore their newfound skill – a lot – so keep an extra eye out for things like electrical sockets, stairs, sharp edges, and anything in your baby’s reach that they’re better off steering clear of.

What is the average age for crawling?

So when do babies start crawling? The answer for each baby is different, but the average age for starting to crawl is between six and ten months.

But even that’s just an estimate: some might start sooner, and some won’t be crawling until their first birthday, while others might skip the crawling stage entirely.

Some of this depends on how much tummy time your baby is having, so if you’re looking to encourage your little peanut to start moving, shift your energies onto their tummy time routine.

Strengthening their backs and necks will really help them along on their crawling journey, and having toys or mirrors around will make them all the more likely to start venturing off to explore.

Just make sure you’re always present for their tummy time play and that they’re on their backs for sleeping.

But if you’ve upped their tummy time game and your baby still turns out to be a non-crawler, it’s no biggie, especially if they’re hitting other developmental milestones.

Some babies are just not a fan of the crawl.

Don’t stress, mama, and just enjoy watching them explore the world however they want to do it.

👶 More baby milestones:
When Do Babies Start Talking?
When Do Babies See Color?
When Do Babies Start Smiling?
When Do Babies Start Teething?
When Do Babies Stop Spitting Up?
When Do Babies Start Cooing?
When Do Babies Get Kneecaps?
When Do Babies Grow Hair?
When Do Babies Clap?
When Do Babies Start Dreaming?
When Do Babies Make Eye Contact?

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