When do babies learn to crawl?
Watching your baby learning to crawl and moving around independently is always a memorable time. Baby crawling is one of the most important milestones that your baby will reach early in his life. Seeing your baby growing and doing simple tasks from lifting their head to sitting up, all of these little achievements are heartwarming and exciting.
There are few sights more impressive than seeing your baby crawling for the very first time. It is like turning over a leaf in their development.
They are moving!
When do babies start to crawl?
One of the most common concerns we hear from parents is related to their baby’s crawling. I am asked daily when do babies learn to crawl? However, the response of the family doctor or a pediatric can surprise some parents. Especially when the answer to when do babies crawl is, “it doesn’t matter, in some cases.” It doesn’t often matter when babies start to crawl, as long as the other development skills are on track.
There is nothing to be worried about if your kid is not doing a classic or usual form of crawling.
The average baby crawling age is between six months to 9 months, though some babies never crawl and start to pull to stand or cruise or walk before crawling. Overall, the average age of crawling is between 7 and 11 months.
Some doctors suggest that if your child is ten months and hasn’t started crawling yet, it would be better to practice exercises to promote walking instead of crawling. Some kids go right to walking and skip crawling altogether.
Classic crawling when babies are up on all fours, propelling forward one limb at a time is unnecessary for every child, and it is not an essential part of baby development.
Types of baby crawling
There are several ways that babies learn to move around, and many babies do not crawl as you might expect.
Here are the most common types of baby crawling that you might experience in your kids:
1. Classic crawling
The baby will be up on their hands and knees, and crawling will be performed in a cross-body movement.
2. Bum scoot
This type of baby crawling is based on one bent knee with one or two hands on the ground. The baby will start pulling himself forward in this position.
3. Commando crawl
This is one of the most amazing crawling types. Many babies are fond of this. In commando crawling, both elbows are bent while the knees may or may not be bent as well. Baby will try to drag their belly on the floor to move around. Like a soldier would remain low to the ground.
4. Crab crawl
This is the most frustrating crawling type for babies. They move their arms to propel forward but end up going sideways or backward.
5. Bear walking
This crawling type is similar to classic crawling. However, babies prefer to keep their knees and elbows straight or extended to move forward. They move like a bear!
6. Rolling crawl
In rolling crawling, the baby will roll around to get where they want to go. It isn’t crawling per se but can be very efficient for some kids.
7. Insta walker
Some kids don’t crawl at all; instead, they go straight to walking. Some parents experience their babies getting up and going directly to walking, out of nowhere!
Is it better for babies to crawl?
The classic crawl offers motor development advantages such as:
- Weight-bearing through hands
- Improved core strength
- Bilateral coordination
However, if your baby does not want classic crawl, don’t despair!
You can improve your baby’s core strength and reap all other benefits of crawling with exercise on a stability ball, wheelbarrow walking, and high kneeling.
How to get baby to crawl
You can encourage your baby to crawl in the following ways:
- Offer him or her plenty of tummy time.
- Place your palms on the baby’s feet and let him or her try to push off your hand.
- Place your baby’s most loved items some distance in front to encourage forward movement.
- Try to pull the baby’s weight forward while providing support to their chest.
Are you concerned about your baby’s crawling?
Do you have any concerns regarding your baby crawling? Discuss these concerns with your pediatrician or family doctor. Babies are energy efficient as they are preserving their additional energy towards different development aspects. Your child may learn to move in different ways as that is the most efficient way for them. If your baby isn’t classic crawling but can move in other ways, which seems easy for them, we can be reassured.
Babies prefer to use the path of least resistance. Baby will do what they find easier until they learn the next way to move; that is even easier. There are no other concerns for your baby’s development; they don’t have to perform classic crawling. When they can move from point A to B, they will identify their best option to get there.
If your baby has difficulty supporting their body weight or is moving in an asymmetric pattern, or if you have other concerns about your baby’s development or movements, make sure to bring this to your doctor’s attention.
Key facts about baby crawling
When it comes to baby crawling, here are some key facts to keep in mind:
- If the baby is not classic crawling, there is nothing to stress about, as long as the baby can get from point A to point B.
- Encourage activities like reaching, kneeling, tummy time, core stability exercise, wheelbarrow walking, and other movements to encourage the baby to develop locomotion strength.
- Each baby develops at their own pace, and each child is different. Though there is a large range of normal, no two kids move in the same way or develop new skills exactly as another baby does. If you have concerns regarding your baby, please consult your healthcare provider.