If you are a mom or dad of an infant, you tend to be very curious about his/her activities. With increasing age babies learn to move independently. After rolling the further milestone they get is ability to crawl.
Your baby tries to reach out to the objects he/she finds attractive. Your baby just wants to go near that object and catch it with the tender hands. Babies learn by imitating us. They too love their independence and they like to crawl in the premises available for them for their playing activities.
Normal age babies start to crawl
Babies learn to crawl at age 6-10 months. We will discuss how we can help them to achieve this important milestone in their life.
First we need to learn about different types and styles of crawl baby achieves while growing.
Types of crawls
Various styles of crawl decide the types of crawls. These types of crawls can come successively with age.
This is a type of crawl, in which a baby moves forward with their hands which are stretched and their knees bent and help to propel them forward. Generally doing so, the hand and leg of the opposite side move together.
In this type of crawl, the hands are bent at the elbow or are straight and the abdomen and legs are pulled forward rubbing on the floor.
In this type of crawl, babies sit on their bottom and bending forward they move their baby with both hands. The bottom is pulled forward while rubbing the ground.
This is a slight variation of classic crawl. In this position the knees do not touch the ground instead toes and hands propel the baby forward.
You may know the style of your baby after going through the above description. Your baby may show one or more styles while propelling his or her own body. Whatever the style, it is normal and looks cute.
What are the signs that your baby is ready to crawl?
As we discussed earlier, the babies start to crawl at age 6-10 months. So age after birth is the most important factor to know whether it’s the right time to start a crawl. If your baby was born premature, the milestones may come slightly delayed.
Following are the signs that your baby is likely to crawl in a few days.
- Baby has learned to roll on his/her bed a month or 2 months before. This essentially means your baby can go prone to supine and supine to prone position without any help. This is called rolling.
- Baby is able to sit with support or without support for a few seconds.
- Baby playfully follows the objects of his/her interest.
- Baby tries to catch objects of his/her interest with coordinated hand movements.
- Before starting to crawl, some babies slide upward while their back rubs the ground.
How to encourage crawling in a baby?
From above signs you come to know that your baby is ready for the further milestone. Using some active techniques, you can be involved in the development of your babies. You can help your baby achieve further milestones.
Tummy time is allowing your baby to lie down on his/her belly. In this position the baby tries to lift his/her head above the ground. He/she tries to straighten their hands, lifting the weight of the upper torso. This helps to develop the muscles of both hands and back for further milestones. Only the precaution you should take is to not give tummy time immediately after feeding your baby.
Colourful attractive toys
Babies love toys. They get attracted to colours of toys. They too love the cute shapes of toys. They want to catch their favourite toy with their own hands. You can use this instinct during tummy time. Just play with them with those colourful attractive toys. Encourage them to move forward to catch the toy. Keep it slightly away from their usual capability to reach. They will try to move and catch the toy. If the toy is colourful and attractive with some music it’s even better.
Make the flooring comfortable and clean
This is an important factor to achieve further milestones. The flooring of your home should be suitable and comfortable for your baby. Your baby should not slide on it easily. Additionally, the temperature of the flooring should be comfortable. It should not be too cold which can be a problem during winter months. The floor should be clean as babies have natural tendencies to put everything in their mouth. The flooring should be safe so that your baby does not fall from height while playing.
The clothing of your baby should be comfortable. It should not be too tight or too loose. It should be of appropriate size suitable for the height and weight of your baby. Too tight clothing may make it uncomfortable for your baby to crawl. Too loose and large clothing will make the fall while playing.
The baby should find it comfortable to play and there should be enough open areas in your house. Additional to clean and comfortable flooring the area should be large enough for your baby to crawl and experiment with themselves.
Other safety measures
It is amazing to see your baby playing independently and crawling with his/her cute style in your house. It becomes equally important to safeguard them with safety measures, at this stage. Some people call it baby proofing.
Medicines and chemicals
Once you have an infant in your home you should be extremely careful while taking and storing your own medicine. If some small tablet falls on ground and your crawling infant finds it they tend to put it in their mouth. It can be dangerous for them. Also, the medicines should be stored in a safe place where these little cute pies cannot reach very easily.
It is amazing to see infants crawling and playing with their toys. The toys they play should be with smooth edges so that they cannot get injured while playing. Additionally, toys should be of good quality and they should not be coloured with harmful chemicals.
Cabinets and drawer
A crawling infant can easily reach the cabinets and drawers. They can easily hold the handles of these drawers to pull them. Their fingers can easily get stuck and they may get injured. The cabinets and drawers should be locked.
Doors and windows
Doors and windows can cause problems similar to cabinets and drawers. Fingers of your infants can get easily stuck and injured. If it is kept open, the crawling infant can easily reach unwanted places unsupervised like your bathroom or outside your house.
The infant when learning to crawl they become very active and curious about everything around them. They can unknowingly go near stairs and this can be dangerous for them.
Electric plugs at low height are frequent culprits for infants and toddlers. By their natural curious tendency, the infants may try to play with plugs. They may try to put objects in the holes and can get injured.
Bathrooms with doors kept open can be hazardous to unsupervised crawling infants. They may put infants in danger of drowning. They may be exposed to extremely hot water and may suffer burns.
Above are some precautions you should take while you have a crawling infant in your house. You may modify them according to the needs of your baby and your house. In a true sense you should make your home baby friendly.
Your baby stands but does not crawl?
A stage of crawl is usually short lasting. Babies crawl till the time they can stand and walk with support. Some babies may entirely skip this phase of crawl and they learn to stand with support. In that case you should not be worried.
When to worry?
As we discussed earlier, babies can crawl at age 6-10 months. If the crawl does not come till age 1 year, then you should be worried and visit your paediatrician.
Following are the red flag signs to worry:
- If your baby doesn’t crawl till age 1 year or first birthday.
- If your baby is not able to stand till the first birthday at least with support.
- Your baby is not able to sit without support by herself or himself till 11 -12 months of age.
- Your baby is not able to roll over till 8 months of age.