Wondering when do babies start crawling?
Then let us give you all the answers you need to know about when babies start crawling!
If there is anything you learn fairly quickly as a new parent, it’s that nothing makes time move faster than having your own child.
One minute you’re taking your baby home from the hospital, anxiously checking them every couple of seconds, and the next, they’re rolling around on their play mats, trying to lift their heads.
Time flies when you have a baby, and before you know it, you’ll wish that you could make the days slow down, even just a little. However, you may be wondering when the next step will take place.
Right now they’re just lying there, squirming around, and while many parents will have undoubtedly told you that this is the ‘easy part’, you may be eager for your little one to start moving around on their own.
It can get tiring, having to pick them up and move them from A to B. It will be so much easier once they can move on their own, right?
You will need to prepare by purchasing baby gates – if you haven’t already – and baby proofing some areas of the house.
After all, this really is the easy part: if your baby can’t move yet, it’s pretty easy to keep an eye on them. This will change once they learn how to travel alone.
So, when will they learn how to crawl?
Keep reading to discover when your baby will reach that magical milestone, and how you can not only help them move towards that moment, but how you should prepare for it.
And if you love this guide on when do babies learn to crawl, make sure you check out our guides on best baby walkers, when to switch to pull ups and best overnight diapers for babies and toddlers. Or these best rugs for babies to crawl on!
The Average Age To Start Crawling
Before we get into the basics, it is important to always remember one thing: no baby is the same.
We all move at our own pace, and while we are going to be looking at the average age that a baby starts crawling, your child may begin a little later, or even a little earlier.
There are some factors that come into play, but overall, it all depends on your baby’s development of motor skills. They will only begin to crawl when they are ready.
The overall average age for a baby to start crawling is between six and ten months. However, some babies actually skip this stage, and they may shuffle around on their bottoms instead, or may even simply learn to pull themselves up and try walking.
How To Help Your Baby Learn To Crawl
So, most parents learned about ‘tummy time’ before the baby has even made its appearance on this planet. It is an activity that is highly recommended for newborn babies.
Here’s a short recap: this is an activity during which you place your baby on their bellies, facedown, and allow them to strengthen their neck and back muscles by holding their heads up. Of course, this should only happen while the baby is wide awake.
You can start tummy time sessions as soon as you’re home from the hospital: there is no amount of time you need to wait before you can get started, and, in fact, it is better to get your baby used to using these muscles from as young an age as possible.
However, you should follow your midwife’s advice: if they give you any reason to delay this activity, listen to them.
You may be worried about damaging the baby’s umbilical cord stump while placing them on their tummies, but don’t worry! There are no nerve endings in the stump, so the baby won’t feel any pain while lying on it.
If you want to try tummy time as soon as your baby has been born, make sure you only use it while they are on your lap or your chest: don’t place them on a baby mat while they are still so young.
You can start placing them on a mat when they reach around three months old, as they will have grown a lot during this time, and they will have become a lot stronger.
No matter how old they are, make sure you supervise them during this process, checking that they haven’t fallen asleep or cannot lift their heads. You should start only doing this activity for a couple of minutes, and you can build this time up as your baby gets older.
Playing With Toys
When your baby gets a little older, allow them to play with rattles or small toys while they are in the midst of tummy time. At first they may just observe the object, but over time they will learn to reach out and grab it.
With time, they will learn that playing with the toy is fun, and they will want to interact with it more often.
As time goes on, try placing the toy a little further away from them. This will encourage them to shuffle closer to the object so that they can grab hold of it, rewarding them for moving.
While this may involve some frustration and tears, it is worth it in the long run: after all, no one is expecting your baby to know what to do right away! This will be a confusing process for them, but also a rewarding one.
Once they begin shuffling, continue moving the toy further and further away from them, allowing them to move further distances while still lying on their bellies.
Another option is to lie down alongside your baby, playing with them. They may feel more comfortable moving around if they know you are with them, as they will feel less afraid of falling.
Also, this will provide you with more peace of mind, as you will be able to prevent them from harming themselves: however, try not to interfere unless you are certain that your child is about to get hurt.
Getting too involved will mean that your baby will rely on you too much, and the crawling process may take longer. It is important that they learn to move around on their own without any help.
Allowing It To Happen Naturally
After a little while of playing with your baby, and allowing them to take part in tummy time, you may notice that they will begin using their arms to push themselves up.
This is a sign that they may be getting closer to crawling!
It will take a while for them to gather the full strength to push up from the floor, but once they’ve tried it a couple of times, they will become more confident, and their muscles will build up naturally, just as they strengthened their neck and back muscles by learning to lift their head.
Again, try not to help them! They are perfectly capable of doing this alone, and while it may feel like a slow process, trust in the fact that your child is slowly learning and getting stronger as time goes on.
Usually, before a baby learns to crawl, they will learn to roll over. This usually starts happening at around six months, and you may help them roll back onto their tummies at this point, encouraging them to repeat the process.
After some time, your baby may learn that by pushing themselves up with their arms and knees, they can maneuver around on their own!
And, just like that, your baby is crawling.
Congratulations! This is an amazing milestone to reach, and is a sign that your baby is developing their motor skills. We have no doubt that this will be a majorly proud moment for you as a parent.
Just remember to put up baby gates around the house, and beware of them attempting to climb the stairs.
If your baby doesn’t reach the crawling stage by 10 months, try not to feel too panicked. As we said, every child reaches different stages at different times of their lives, and there is no such thing as the ‘perfect time’ for these stages of development to occur.
If you still feel worried at this point, contact your midwife for further advice.
Final Thoughts on When Babies Start Crawling
All babies learn to crawl at their own pace, however the overall average age for a baby to start crawling is between six and ten months.
We hope this guide has been helpful in helping to answer your questions about when babies start to crawl.
And if you’re looking for more great baby guides, then check out these guides on when to switch to pull ups, best rugs for babies to crawl on, best toys for crawling babies, and best pack and play mattresses.