Q: When do babies crawl?
A: When they want to get to the other side.
Like the age-old conundrum Why did the chicken cross the road?, the question of When do babies start crawling? can yield a vast spectrum of correct answers.
That’s because there are all sorts of different kinds of babies, each with their own charms, quirks, and speeds.
Baby crawling: 101
There’s a lot of anxiety that tends to go with the question of when a baby’s first crawl is supposed to happen.
Deep breath, mama. Crawling is not a race.
And while there are some things you can do to help get your baby crawling, don’t stress if they’re a little later than their baby peers.
In fact, think of it as a good thing ‒ you may have a bit more time where you don’t have to bolt everything down.
Babies start crawling and they never stop, and sometimes, there’s nothing faster than a crawling baby!
You know what else? Some babies don’t really crawl at all. They skip this step and go straight to walking!
But if you want to see how to help baby crawl, we have a few top baby crawling tips to help little one on their way!
Now, onto some top baby crawling questions:
Do babies sit or crawl first?
Babies typically learn to sit somewhere in the second half of their first year.
Sitting can help develop the ab strength to make baby crawling happen.
Like many important discoveries, going from sitting to crawling can sometimes happen by accident.
Unlike sitting, crawling is not a developmental marker or milestone ‒ but if it does happen, some degree of sitting will likely precede it.
How can I help my baby learn to crawl?
Here are some tips to get your baby on the crawl, and how to teach baby to crawl
1. Tummy time
You may hear it in every room that has a mama in it: the importance of tummy time.
Don’t stress, it’s not complicated.
All it means is giving your little one some time on their tummy, preferably when they are awake, and preferably when they are not yelling their lungs out.
Why is this so important? Well, consider it Baby Gym.
Tummy time is a full-body workout, targeting their legs, back, arms and neck, building their motor skills.
And guess what those muscles are excellent for? You got it: crawling.
You can even get your newborn started with some quick sessions of about 3 or 4 minutes long about 3 times a day.
Other ways to do baby gym? Clap hands above the head, lift their feet slightly off the ground, and entice them with a well-placed toy.
As an added bonus, tummy time can help an active baby get to sleep ‒ thank goodness!
2. Look in a mirror
This is a fun one.
Pop a mirror in front of your baby during tummy time and watch them try to investigate the new friend ‒ their reflection.
You may find them reaching up toward the mirror and even holding themselves up.
Next step: baby crawling!
3. Get crawling yourself
Okay, you’re not allowed to go through your parenting journey without looking completely ridiculous at least once a month.
Here’s this month’s challenge: get crawling yourself.
Babies are amazing copycats.
Seeing their mama crawling may just get baby crawling.
4. The carrot-and-stick method
This one can lead to a crying baby, so approach with caution!
Place baby’s favorite toy a short distance from them, and encourage them to come to you to find it.
We don’t recommend trying this technique on a grizzly or tired baby ‒ if they start to get frustrated or fussy, try another tactic.
And if you’re still asking yourself, when do babies crawl? Here’s a rough timeline:
What age do babies crawl?
So, when should babies crawl? Answer: in their own time!
If your baby goes on the crawling journey at all, it may happen somewhere between 6 and 10 months.
Crawling at 6 months may involve rocking back and forth while gaining momentum to go on the big crawl.
Then, by about 9 months (ish), you may have a full-blown crawling baby on your hands.
Again, it’s important to remember that every child is unique.
If you’re worried about your baby’s development in any way, have a chat with your healthcare provider.
Otherwise, enjoy the sheer adorableness of watching the different phases of your crawling baby.
And don’t forget to share the big moment on Peanut!
Signs your baby is trying to crawl
There are a few tell-tale signs that your baby is getting ready to crawl, so if you’re concerned about their development, these could mean that crawling is right around the corner!
- Shifting positions when lying down
- Looking around during tummy time
- Holding onto their feet when lying on their back
- Rolling over when lying on their back
- Rocking backward and forward when on all fours
If your little one’s showing any of these signs, keep an eye on them during tummy time, just in case they feel the need for speed and start crawling before you can take a pic!
It’s also worth looking into babyproofing your home at this point, just in case there are grabbable trinkets just within baby’s reach.
Types of crawling
That’s right! There are lots of different ways your little peanut can start to crawl, depending on what works well for them.
So you might think that what your baby is doing isn’t crawling, but technically, all these can be classed as different stages of crawling, or types of crawling:
- The OG crawl: Baby’s on all fours ‒ arms and knees ‒ shifting one hand and one knee to move forward.
- Bear crawl: Baby’s walking on hands and feet, with elbows straight, shifting one hand and one foot to move forward.
- Commando crawl: Baby’s on their tummy, using their arms to move forward.
- Butt-scoot: Baby’s sitting on their bottom, using their arms to move forward.
- Crab crawl: Baby’s moving sideways or backward while sitting on their bottom, using their hands.
- Rock ‘n’ roll: Baby’s rolling about to get from A to B ‒ either while lying on their tummy or while sitting on their bottom.
There are even more crawling styles beyond these, so as long as baby is moving from one place to another, that pretty much counts as crawling!
Now you know everything about the question When do babies crawl?, have a look at our deep-dives into other baby milestones:
When Do Babies See Color?
When Do Babies Start Talking?
When Do Babies Roll Over?
When Do Babies Walk?
When Do Babies Sit Up?
When Do Babies Start Teething?
When Do Babies Start Smiling?
When Do Babies Stop Spitting Up?
When Do Babies Start Cooing?