The first year of a baby is quite a special one for the parents. Their tiny little munchkins undergo a lot of mental, cognitive, and physical changes during their first year.
They also achieve many developmental milestones such as learning to sit, crawl, start eating solids, etc. Parents are over the moon when their child crosses a milestone. Their hearts swell with happiness when they see their child growing up and becoming independent.
It can often arouse anxiety in the parents, if their babies have not started to crawl, stand, or walk, etc. when the other children of their babies’ age already have.
Instead of getting worried or thinking that a baby has some medical problem, just relax. Understand the age when a baby achieves a certain milestone. Also, observe your baby if he is showing signs of achieving the next milestone. If he is showing the signs, then you know exactly what to do, right?
You have to help your baby to learn to crawl, stand, walk, etc. without rushing their natural development.
In today’s article, we will talk about tips to help the baby to crawl. But before that, let’s proceed to discuss when babies are ready to crawl.
When Do Babies Start Crawling?
Generally, when babies reach the age of 6-10 months they start to crawl. But, do not get anxious if your baby has not started to crawl yet. Every baby is unique. If your baby has not started to crawl it means he is working on some other skills. Moreover, some babies skip crawling altogether and are daring enough to jump to the milestone of standing and walking.
To check whether your baby is ready for crawling or not, simply observe if he has started to roll over or not.
Some babies start to roll over as soon they turn 3 months old. Other babies roll over after they’ve turned 5 months old.
If your baby has started to roll over then don’t worry mama! He will soon surprise you by trying to lift himself from the ground and walk.
If you feel that your baby is trying to drag himself or using his arms to bring himself forward then it’s time to roll your sleeves and help your little one by preparing crawling activities for your babies.
1. Plenty Of Tummy Time
It wouldn’t be wrong to call tummy time a workout time for babies. Tummy time is the most underrated thing when it comes to strengthening the arms, neck, and core muscles of the body.
Tummy time simply means laying your baby on his tummy for a few minutes when he is awake. Do not lay the baby on his tummy when he is sleeping or in a cranky mood.
Tummy time can be started as soon as the baby comes home from the hospital. Lie him on his tummy for 2-3 minutes and then gradually increase his time. Make sure that you stay close to them. Never leave a baby alone while he is on his tummy.
At first, your baby might not like this new position and he will end up crying. But, do not give up. Try to have 4-5 sessions of tummy time for a few minutes daily.
Click here to learn more about the benefits of tummy time and the activities to make it last longer.
2. Elevate The Hands Of Your Baby
A baby’s arm muscles need to be strong to allow him to put his weight on the floor and crawl without losing his balance.
To strengthen those tiny muscles play with your babies with their hands elevated. A simple tip to get started is to place a rolled towel under their arms. Once they get a hold of it, replace the towel with a soft pillow or a stuffed animal. It will keep their hands elevated.
Moreover, you can take their favorite toys and raise them in front of them, allow them to elevate their hands to grab the object. This activity can be done while the baby is sitting or lying on his back.
However, make sure that you don’t raise the toy too high, or else they might lose their balance and fall.
3. Lift Your Babies Off The Floor
Another effective tip to help babies to crawl is to lift them off the floor. The purpose of lifting your babies is to strengthen their legs and make them learn how to use their legs to move forward.
Simply hold your baby from the shoulders or arms, and lift them gently. Make sure not to lift them too high or else they will lift their feet. Their legs must stay touched on the ground.
This simple activity can help your baby learn how to crawl.
4. Use A Mirror
Babies are fascinated by seeing their reflection in the mirror. They will try to move and lift themselves to see their reflection in the mirror.
During tummy time or playtime, use a mirror to let your babies move as much as they can. Try placing a mirror on the wall to a level where your baby can easily see himself. Next, allow your baby to lie in his tummy and learn more about his features.
If you do not want to place the mirror on the wall because of the safety purpose, then it is absolutely fine. There are many play mats available in the market that have a baby mirror attached to them. They are designed by keeping in view the safety of your little one.
As your baby will lift himself or try to move towards the mirror to touch his reflection, etc. it will strengthen his body and make it more flexible.
5. Reward Your Baby
Just like adults, a baby needs a reward too. If you want your baby to move forward and begin crawling, then you must show them the prize they will receive.
Babies are easily attracted by shiny or illuminating toys. Keep them out of their reach so they try to make an effort to move and grab it.
If your baby is not interested in grabbing his toys by moving forward or elevating their hands, then no problem. Be a smart mama and instead of using toys keep a few kitchen items like baby silicone bowl, plates, spoons, or a whisk. It will surely catch your baby’s attention and will tempt him to move forward.
Or simply, you can call your baby to come and hug you. He will surely be delighted to come to you.
6. Avoid The Prolonged Use Of Supportive Devices
Supportive devices such as car seats, strollers, high chairs, and walkers, etc. are extremely helpful for parents to keep their babies safe while they’re busy or on the move.
However, do not make your babies sit for prolonged hours in these baby gears. These supportive devices keep your baby in one place and don’t allow them to show their moves.
Limit the use of these gears and keep your baby on the floor so that he can move around and strengthen his arms and legs.
Similarly, the majority of mothers use a baby carrier to keep the baby close to them. This also contributes to the delay in the development of leg and arm muscles to help the baby to crawl.
7. Hold Your Baby In A Crawling Position
Just like the parents help the babies to stand by holding their hands or abdomen, do the same for helping them to crawl.
Hold them in a crawling position for a few minutes. Help them to balance their bodies on their knees and maintain their balance on the floor.
This will take the time to balance themselves in a new position but eventually, they will learn to adapt to this position.
8. Show Them How It Is Done
Some babies are visual learners and imitate what they see. So, to make your babies quickly learn how to crawl, demonstrate to them how to crawl.
There are numerous ways to do so:
i. Crawl With Your Baby
Get down on the floor mama and show your baby how to crawl. You will not be happy to hear the giggles of your baby, but he will join you too and crawl with you.
If you are busy or cannot show how to crawl, then take help from your older children. Ask them to play with their little sibling and show them how to crawl. Your tiny angel will love playing with his older siblings.
ii. Use Stuffed Animals
If your baby is a fan of animals, then make use of the stuffed animals to help them to learn how to crawl.
Simply, place the toys like a stuffed horse, tiger, elephant, etc., and hold your baby in a crawling position. He will love to imitate the stuffed toys. You can also move the toys to help your baby to reach out to them by moving their legs and start crawling.
iii. Invite A Crawling Baby
Do you have friends whose babies have started to crawl? If yes, then send them an invitation for a little get-together with your munchkin.
Place the guest baby and your baby on the playtime. When your baby will watch the other baby of his age move, he will try to do the same. Or at least he will raise himself from the ground.
9. Massage Your Baby
The simple tip of massaging your baby works wonders to strengthen those tiny arms, legs, and back of the baby.
Massaging the baby before bedtime makes him sleep longer and calmer. It has also proven to relieve the colic baby by reducing gas in his tummy.
By regularly massaging your baby and moving his arms and legs, improves blood circulation and makes your baby aware of his position and body movement.
Use a natural baby oil that is made from plant-based ingredients. Buy the baby oil that has sunflower seed oil, avocado oil, and pomegranate seed oil. These oils are easily absorbed in a baby’s skin without leaving behind an oily residue.
10. Don’t Force Your Baby
Parents cannot wait to witness their babies moving around and exploring every inch of the household. But, while you are helping the baby, make sure that you do not force him.
Forcing him or keeping them in a crawling position will make them disinterested in it. Start slowly and continue your practice session when the baby is well-fed and slept. If he is in an irritated mood, stop the practice session and soothe him to sleep.
11. Keep Them Active
Your baby will learn to crawl quickly if he has good control over his body. To give him the proper control make sure he spends a lot of time playing and moving around.
Unfortunately, the majority of the parents make their babies watch cartoons and other movies on TV, tablets, and even on mobile phones. Not only do these digital devices affect the eyesight of the baby, but also impeded him from moving around as his eyes are glued to the screen.
If your baby is not used to moving around and spends a lot of time near the screen, then do not expect him to crawl soon.
If you want your baby to learn to crawl sooner, then make sure you provide him with ample opportunity to move around.
Allow him to sit and play with his toys, books, or even a few kitchen items.
12. Baby Proof The House
Perhaps the most important tip. You should baby proof the house before you help him to sit or crawl.
If your baby has started to crawl or tries to move forward, then make sure the area is safe for them.
Do not keep the floor wet on which the baby is trying to crawl. Pick off all the tiny items such as buttons, beads, or rubber bands, etc. from the floor as it poses the choking hazard. Moreover, pad the sharp edges of the furniture such as that of a chair, table, or corners of a door, etc. The sharp edges can hurt the eyes and head of your baby that might prove to be fatal for him.
Also, if you have pets at home, make sure to clean up their fur and other gross stuff to keep the area neat and clean for the baby.
13. Invest In A Play Gym
A play gym is a good investment if you want your baby to stay active and engage all his senses. The colorful mat with different textures is very good to improve the visual and tactile senses of your baby.
Moreover, the overhead anchors allow the toys to be hanged. The dangling toys are a good way to let your baby elevate his arms to grab and pull the toys towards him.
Furthermore, it can also be used for tummy time. A play gym can be used even when your baby enters toddlerhood.
Let your baby play in the play gym and remain active to achieve his next milestone.
14. Appreciate Your Baby
A little appreciation goes a long way. If your baby makes an effort to crawl or at least gets in that position don’t forget to appreciate him.
Show him the thumbs-up sign. Clap for him or even jump a little. Ask your other family members to do the same.
Your baby will love to be the center of attention and it will motivate him to do better.
Watching the babies crawl is a celebratory moment for every parent. To help them achieve this milestone easily, use the above-mentioned tips and activities to help your little one start crawling.
Which tips did you find effective to help your baby to crawl? Enlighten us in the comments below.