Baby Crawling


If you are wondering when and how babies begin to crawl, and the signs and red flags to look for, here's what you should know.

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2020 11:29 GMT

Baby Crawling
Baby Crawling

A baby's first year is full of 'firsts'. One of the major anticipations of every parent, in the first year, is to witness the little bundle go on all fours. You might be just as well curious to know when do babies start crawling

When do babies crawl

The average age for crawling for babies can be anywhere between 6 and 10 months. Yet, in the light of considering every baby unique, the crawling age should not be taken hard and fast. Also, it is not unlikely for some babies to skip crawling altogether. Note that, infants getting to stand or walk without learning to crawl, is still alright.

From birth to crawling: How do babies learn to crawl

A newborn wiggles and jiggles her hands and legs in the air, marking one of the early instincts to move. By the end of one month, when placed on her tummy, she can lift her chin off from the ground. In the next couple of months, your baby’s neck muscles continue to get stronger as her body prepares to gain steady head control.

By the third month, she can raise her head and legs from the floor while being on her tummy. As she picks up more muscle strength, your 4-month-old can amaze you by rolling over her tummy and back.

During her fifth and sixth months, she ventures to take mini-pushups, trying to balance her weight with her hands against the floor. Around 6 or 7 months, most babies can sit independently without support.

From here on, they begin to move around and the way they do it can widely vary with babies. Some tend to scoot on their bottoms. Some learn to gut-slide over their tummies like a caterpillar. Some happily roll their entire-selves over the floor.

As they figure out that there ought to be a better way to move from the sitting position, they lurch forward, supporting their bodies with the hands and come up on their knees. Once on all fours, they rock back and forth in the cat posture and intuit how to leap forward. Soon, they learn cross-crawling by coordinating one arm and one leg of the opposite sides in a forward movement, reaching the crawling milestone.

Signs that your baby is ready to crawl

It is not easy to foretell the age babies crawl. In order to make a guess of “When should my baby crawl?” it is helpful to follow a few telltale signs in your baby’s locomotive development.

  • Bottom shuffles, drags on tummy or crawls backwards More often than not, the pre-crawling days are marked with scooting around their bums or sliding over their bellies or the baby crawling backwards. If you spot your baby attempting at one of these, keep your camera on, for her first crawl is somewhere close.
  • Sits without support Crawling, and sitting on their own, quite often, happens within a close timeline in a baby’s developmental process. As a matter of fact, either could precede the other. Hence, watching her sit without support could ring an exciting bell for the next immediate milestone – crawling!
  • Rocks back and forth on her knees Your baby raising up on all fours and swaying back and forth, giggling all her way as she does it, is a sure signal that she is almost there.
How to encourage your baby to crawl

Understanding, ‘when do babies crawl’, can give you a fair idea of the relevant roles you can play as a supportive parent. Though crawling is part of a baby’s natural developmental process, you can, in these little ways below, help your baby crawl.

  • Give appropriate tummy time
  • Show excitement on her little moves
  • Place toys at a distance from her hands’ reach
  • Go on your fours for her to watch you
  • Get a play tunnel and show her the fun of crawling through the tunnel
What if your baby has crossed the crawling age, without showing signs of crawling?

While crawling is assumed as an important motor development milestone during the baby’s first year, some studies have shown that it is normal for babies to skip the crawling stage during child development. According to a report published in the Scientific American, anthropologist David Tracer’s research has busted the conventional notion that babies must crawl before they walk.

As long as your baby shows signs of progressive locomotive development, even if not crawling, you can relax. However, if you notice no instinctive indication of her efforts to initiate mobility, even after she turns one, it may sign a red flag that requires immediate medical attention.

If at all you feel troubled about when babies start crawling, remember that not all babies begin to crawl overnight. Their efforts to crawl pass through a learning curve over a period of time and the day you get to see your bundle crawl for the first time, could be just around the corner.


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