Milestones & More: Crawling
Nora Hedgecock, OTR/L - April 28, 2020
And they’re off! Babies develop skills on different timelines, but most babies begin to crawl between 7 and 10 months. Crawling is an important and exciting milestone that marks your baby’s first opportunity to explore their environment independently. Crawling is so important for many reasons:
- Crawling develops strength in baby’s core, back, neck, legs, and shoulders – strength in the core and proximal joints (shoulders and hips) is super important for gross and fine motor skills
- Gets both sides of the body (and brain!) working together – this skill, called bilateral coordination, is extremely important for baby’s learning and motor skills such as walking, catching a ball, riding a bike, and writing
- Supports sensory development – exploring the world from this new position allows baby to hear, see, and feel things in a whole new way
- Develops body awareness and motor planning –all the sensory input from crawling helps baby develop a “body map” which will help them learn new motor skills throughout childhood
Tips to encourage baby to get crawling and moving!
- If your baby is not yet crawling, focus on tummy time to build the strength baby will need to get up and moving!
- Place motivating toys just out of reach to encourage baby to crawl and get them – pull toys and balls are great options to chase
- Play “chase” – get down on the floor with baby and build excitement as you crawl towards them while they try to crawl away and escape!
- Blow bubbles for baby to chase through the house
- Make an obstacle course at home – place motivating toys on top of pillow mountains or make a tunnel out of a big cardboard box – crawling up, down, and through obstacles will support strengthening and body awareness; supervise baby closely to ensure safety
- Make crawling a sensory experience by crawling on different textures or placing taste-safe tactile bins (edible finger paint, applesauce, and chia pudding are all great) on the floor – encourage baby to get messy!
For more crawling tips and activities to support your baby’s development, join us for one of our virtual crawlers classes!
We hope to “see” you soon!
Ayres, A. Jean, et al. Sensory Integration and the Child: Understanding Hidden Sensory Challenges. Western Psychological Services, 2018.
“Creeping Activities.” Active Baby, Healthy Brain: 135 Fun Exercises and Activities to Maximize Your Child's Brain Development from Birth through Age 5 1/2, by Margaret Sassé et al., Experiment, 2010, pp. 47–47.
“Movement: 8 to 12 Months.” HealthyChildren.org, American Academy of Pediatrics, www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/Pages/Movement-8-to-12-Months.aspx.