Doug, your daughter's physical development is right on track. Most babies begin to crawl between 7 and 10 months of age. Once they can sit up well and see the interesting things around them, they want to move across the floor to explore their environment. But it can take weeks or months for babies to develop the arm and leg strength and coordination to crawl effectively.
Because babies develop strength and coordination in their arms before their legs, it's common to begin crawling by rocking back and forth, pushing backwards, and going in circles. In fact, babies have many different styles of crawling including the standard crawl on hands and knees, the "army crawl" pulling themselves forward on their tummy, crawling with one leg extended to the side, and seated scooting along on their bottom. Some babies even go from sitting up to walking without ever crawling. The important thing is to see that your daughter uses both arms and legs, improves her skills over time, and is able to explore her environment. If you have any questions about your daughter's development, be sure to talk about it with her doctor.
Here are some tips to help your daughter with crawling:
- Spend "tummy time" on the floor together. Place her on her tummy and get your face down in front of her so she wants to push up on her hands to see you.
- Place a toy in front of her, just out of her reach. Give her lots of encouragement to move forward to grab it.
- Try putting your hand behind her feet to give her something to push off against and experience moving forward and grabbing the toy.
- Crawl around on your hands and knees and make a game for her to chase you. You can even make an obstacle course with sofa cushions to crawl over.
- Take this opportunity to child-proof your house so it will be safe once she's crawling and walking, which will be all-too-soon!
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.