Every milestone your baby reaches is an exciting time, but when your baby starts crawling, you have every right to feel excited and proud. And then it hits you… they’re on the move! Now, they can escape! Babies typically start crawling between 7 and 11 months, but whether your little one is trying to crawl or hasn’t quite got there yet, here are some hints and tips about this exciting (and worrying) time.
Learning to Crawl
Babies all develop differently, your little could just suddenly take off crawling with no warning or they may wobble around on all fours for a few months until they have learned to actually get moving. Others will find their own unique shuffle, roll or bounce to get themselves around, some will start moving backwards before changing gear and figuring out how to go forwards. Some babies even skip the true crawling stage and just decide to replace a shuffle with walking! This is all part of the fun, and how your baby makes their move is just as individual as the rest of him.
Signs your baby is getting ready to crawl include:
• Pushing up on all fours and rocking back and forth.
• Commando crawling – pushing along on his tummy.
• Bouncing on the bottom when sitting up unaided.
Lots of tummy time when your baby reaches this stage is the best way to encourage crawling – you will find that your little one is looking around at all the things he could potentially reach if only he could make a move, and he will begin to push himself towards them. Placing toys or exciting objects just out of reach can make all the difference in getting baby moving, so tempt him with something fun but if he isn’t ready, don’t let him get upset, he will get there in his own time.
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Suddenly, your baby can reach places they could never reach before, and they will love it! The chance to explore the world around them is one of the major motivating factors that gets your baby moving in the first place, but it can be worrying when you look around and see an endless list of things you don’t want your baby to reach. At this point, the baby-proofing begins in earnest! Corner protectors for sharp corners, bumpers on the top of doors to prevent little fingers getting caught and plug socket covers are all useful in keeping your adventurer safe. Fireguards, stair gates and locks on cupboard and drawers help keep dangerous areas and things out of reach, while you might find that anything valuable, dangerous or breakable manages to migrate to higher shelves overnight. Think carefully about your baby’s reach, remember that any time now he will be trying to pull himself up on furniture too!
Some parents swear by crawlers, soft baby shoes that help your baby grip the floor and protect toes from the battering they can get when he is in a hurry. Soft shoes can also keep feet warm and booties, socks and the feet of baby-grows can be slippery. Try crawling shoes if you feel they will help (or if you find them too cute to resist) but make sure they are designed for crawling and don’t feel you have to – lots of people feel babies shouldn’t wear footwear until they are really walking.
Enjoy this stage of your babies development, in no time they will be walking, climbing, jumping and that’s when they really are hard to watch!