- Laugh & learn
- Smart Stages
- Little People
No doubt about it: Your munchkin’s a mover and shaker. Since joining your world around 6 months ago, she’s gone from snoozing in your arms to enjoying her first bounce on your lap. Now, she’s showing signs that she’s ready to crawl and venture to distant lands - like that toy across the living room.
Most babies crawl between 7 and 10 months, but it’s totally normal to start a little later (or skip crawling entirely and go straight to standing). Chubbier babies, for instance, may be slower to lift themselves up on all fours and get grooving. Same for babies with big siblings who love to “help” by fetching a favourite toy, or picking them up (thanks for the lift, Bro!).
Whatever the case, you can encourage your mini’s forward - or, in many cases, backward - motion with these simple tricks.
You know tummy time is important - and it’s a BIG step toward crawling. Daily sessions on her belly help your baby experiment with pushing off the floor, a valuable skill that helps build neck and shoulder muscles that are key to going mobile. Make it fun by helping her play while she lays - an activity mat with bright colours, intriguing textures, and tempting toys sure beats that boring blankie! Another idea: Sit nearby on a chair or sofa, and your baby will want to prop up on her arms to see her favourite face (yours!). You can also place her on your chest while you lie on the floor. New terrain!
When your little guy props himself up on his hands and feet, that’s progress! Help him along by placing your hands around his sides, and gently rocking him back and forth. (Add some tunes to get him into the groove.) Rocking - whether he does it for weeks or months - is a key building block to crawling. And pretty soon (zoom!) he’ll be off to the races.
Set up a mini obstacle course by scattering a few attention-grabbing toys around your living room. Next, get down on your hands and knees (you may feel ridiculous - that’s okay) and demo for your baby how to crawl. Before you know it, a lightbulb will go off and he’ll follow.
Woot! She’s starting to scoot. As your baby makes her way around the floor, remember that gazing at sofa legs and ankles isn’t exactly exciting. Punch up the fun factor by adding a larger toy, like a car or playset with interactive features she can explore on all fours. Then get down on her level and check it out together.
When your baby starts crawling, he’ll probably have his own signature style. And don’t be surprised if he crawls in reverse. The reason: Newborns develop body strength from the head down, so their arms are typically stronger before their legs; this causes them to inch backward when they push off. There’s no wrong way to crawl, so cheer him on however he manages. He might be a belly creeper (aka, commando style); a bear crawler (arms and legs straight, he “walks” with his hands and feet, booty high in the sky); or a classic, four-on-the floor crawler (the method most babies eventually graduate to). It’s all good!
Even after your baby’s a confident crawler, she’ll still crave your encouragement. One idea: Set up a pop-up play tunnel. Put your baby at one end and crouch at the other end; then play peek-a-boo to coax her through. Place a few tempting toys inside, which will motivate her to make it through the entire tunnel. There’s no stopping her now!
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