How to Teach a Baby to Crawl

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When your baby is roughly 6 to 10 months old, she may be getting ready to crawl. If you want to get her past the initial rocking back and forth motion and get her mobile, there are ways you can encourage her development. By the time she figures this whole crawling thing out, you'd better have the house completely babyproofed and get ready to start really keeping your eye on her.

Things You'll Need

  • Blanket
  • Baby toys
  • Babyproofing equipment
  • Throw down a baby blanket, grab some baby toys and give your infant some tummy time every day. This helps her build the muscles in her shoulders, arms, back and torso that are needed for crawling. Each day you do this helps her get stronger.

  • Place an attractive toy in front of your baby, just out of his reach. This gives him some motivation. At first he may scoot, drag himself or roll toward the object, but he’ll get there by crawling sooner or later. He may even scoot backward in his first crawling attempts; this is normal, as his arm muscles are usually more developed than his leg muscles at this age.

  • Position your baby in the crawling position. Hold her upright with your hand gently under her belly or chest. Place your hand behind her feet when she's in this position. This stabilizes her and gives her something to push off to propel herself forward. Expect plenty of failed attempts before she is skilled enough to crawl on her own.

  • Show your baby how it’s done by crawling around the floor yourself. You may feel silly, but modeling the actions can help him learn.

  • Encourage your little one with praise and excited gestures as she tries -- and eventually succeeds -- in this venture.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be patient; you really can't rush it. Additionally, remember that some babies never crawl, but instead find other ways of getting around. Some babies may wiggle, roll or scoot and then go straight to walking.
  • Don’t be tempted to place your baby in a walker. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends that parents do not purchase these, as they can be dangerous and may actually decrease your baby’s desire to walk on her own.

References

  • Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
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