What Are the 7 Stages of Crawling?

What Are the 7 Stages of Crawling?

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.

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

In this article: 📝

  • What are the stages before baby crawling?
  • What are the stages of learning to crawl?
  • How long does it take between creeping and crawling?
  • What is the average age for crawling?
  • What months are the stages of crawling?

What are the stages before baby crawling?

First off, what are some signs baby is ready to crawl?

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 stages of learning to crawl?

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”

As we mentioned earlier, anything from the tummy squirm to “swimming” means they’ve started their journey to crawling.

So when your babe is ready to start exploring, they’ll take on this signature move.

The shuffle is all about mastering balance and coordination while building those adorable little muscles.

Your baby will start by pushing themselves up on their arms and wiggling their bottom until they can rock back and forth.

Then, with a little practice, they’ll be on their way, shuffling across the floor like a pro!

2. The “commando crawl”

If your baby is starting to move their body around using their arms, they’ve started to commando crawl.

It’s the stealthy move your little one needs to conquer the world!

The commando crawl is all about using those little arms to pull themselves forward while dragging their legs behind.

This style of crawling helps build upper body strength and coordination.

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.

The crawling position is all about mastering balance and coordination while building their baby muscles.

Your babe will start by getting on all fours, with their knees and hands supporting their weight, ready to pounce on any toy or object in their way.

This position helps develop hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness, and strengthens the core muscles ‒ all skills that will be essential in later stages of development.

4. The backward crawl

They’ve made it to the all-fours crawling position, but are going backward?

Your baby will start by pushing themselves up on their arms and wiggling their bottom until they can rock back and forth.

But instead of moving forward, they’ll put their own spin on things and start moving backward like a boss.

They’re getting close!

Any movement is good movement.

And hey, if it’s good enough for Bluey, it’s good enough for us!

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.

The scoot is all about using their arms to pull themselves forward while dragging their bottom along the ground ‒ like a mini skateboard move.

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.

Plus, it’s just plain funny to watch your little one crab-walk their way around the room like they’re at the beach.

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 several 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 6 and 10 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.

What months are the stages of crawling?

While every baby develops at their own pace, there are some general milestones you can look out for.

The first stage of crawling usually starts between 6-10 months, when your baby begins to push themselves up on their arms and start to rock back and forth.

The second stage, known as the classic crawl, typically starts around 7-12 months, when your baby begins to crawl on all fours.

From there, your little adventurer may progress to other stages of crawling, such as the commando crawl, the crab crawl, the backward crawl, or even the scoot.

The 7 stages of crawling are an exciting and essential part of your baby’s development.

From the early days of scooting and shuffling to the more advanced moves of the backward crawl and crab crawl, each stage is a milestone worth celebrating.

So whether your baby is a classic crawler, a trendsetting scooter, or a hilarious crab-walker, know that they are making progress and building important skills with each step.

Remember to support your little adventurer along the way, cheering them on as they explore the world around them.

Go, baby, go!


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