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When Do Babies Start Crawling?

Baby Milestones


If you're a first-time mom, you're probably anxious for your baby to start crawling (if this is your second child, the thought of babyproofing your older child's toys probably fills you with dread!). Some babies start crawling at about six months, some use unique methods to get around, and some never crawl at all!

When a baby is crawling, she is finally able to see the world on her own terms. She can go after objects on her own and doesn't have to wait for anyone to bring her toys.

It can be hard work to start crawling! Babies need some motivation, energy and a lot of right, left coordination. Although most parents think of the traditional method of a baby crawling on hands and knees, there are actually quite a few different ways a baby can start crawling.

The Army Crawl

The Army crawl is one of the first methods of moving around for most babies. Their arms are typically too weak to support their little bodies so they use their elbows to pull themselves forward. Some babies get so fast with an Army crawl that they never try to crawl any other way.

The Bottom Shuffle

Some babies shuffle or hop on their bottoms instead of crawling. There's one major advantage of using this crawling technique -- their hands are free to hold onto toys or books while on the move!

The Bear Crawl

Other babies like to place their hands and feet, rather than knees, on the ground. This is known as a bear crawl. Most babies eventually drop down to their knees after mastering the bear crawl.

Growth of Baby: How to Help Your Baby Start Crawling

If you're anxious to help your baby move, you can encourage her to do so by:

  • Placing toys or books just outside of her reach as an incentive to crawl.
  • Showing her how to start crawling.
  • Cheering when she starts moving.
  • Baby-proofing your home so she has a safe place to explore.

What to Watch Out for When Your Baby Is Crawling

Your baby is seeing the world from an entirely new perspective, which means you might be surprised at what attracts her attention. Electrical outlets can be enticing, so you should cover them with plug covers. Additionally, your baby will want to know what cords are -- take care to secure cords so lamps and other items can't fall onto her head.

Provide your baby with toys that are on wheels because she will love to roll them and then chase after them. Some babies can be surprisingly fast, so it's important to keep track of them because otherwise they can be out the door or up the stairs in a matter of minutes!

Babyproofing is an important part of having a mobile baby. Make sure to:

  • Watch out for small toys belonging to your older children. Many of these parts are choking hazards for new babies.
  • Ask your older children to play with small toys in their rooms and leave the doors shut. This can create a safe place for your baby, while still allowing your older children to enjoy their favorite toys.
  • Put a gate up at the top and bottom of the stairs and in the doorways of rooms that aren't babyproofed.

Find out more babyproofing tips here​.

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