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When Your Baby Is on the Move

Crawling is a huge milestone and a step towards independent mobility. Babies typically begin crawling between six and 10 months. It takes strong, developed muscles for him to crawl. He can build this strength and control through tummy time or learning to successfully sit up without support. Once he starts to master his mobility, prepare for him to take off. Keep in mind not every baby crawls the same way. Here are some signs that he’s ready to master this next step and some crawling styles to watch for.

Signs Your Baby Is Ready to Crawl

Look for his small movements first. During tummy time, kicking his feet builds strength in his hips and legs. He’ll also learn to hold himself up using his elbows. The stronger he gets, the more movements he’ll try from balancing on his hands and knees to rocking on them. When he can figure out how to push off and move forward, he’s on his way to mastering how to crawl. Once he becomes more comfortable in his movements, you might notice he alternates between a crawling and sitting position.

Crawling Styles

There’s no wrong way for your baby to crawl. Babies find the motivation to move and simply choose a technique that’s comfortable for them. In fact, some babies often learn to roll on the floor to get to where they would like to go. Here are some of the different styles your baby may explore. Keep in mind, some could be combined in a way that suits his crawling method.

Classic Crawl – Also known as cross crawling, this is normally what we think of when we envision babies crawling. This is when he is moving on his hands and knees using opposite arm to knee.

Bear Crawl – This style is similar to the classic crawl, except he’s keeping his hands and knees straight as he moves opposite arm to leg.

Scooting – It’s not what we traditionally think of as crawling, but he might achieve mobility simply by scooting his bottom across the floor using his hands to help advance him forward.

Crab Crawl – He’ll make a position similar to a crab as he props himself up on his feet and hands and moves forward or from side to side.


Childproofing Before Baby Learn to Crawl

Before you know it, he’ll be practicing his new method of movement. At those first signs he’s ready to crawl, have your home ready and childproofed if you haven’t already been taking the steps to do so. Here are some tips to get started.

  • Install child safety locks on your lower cabinets he could open
  • Keep all chemicals, vitamins, medicines and knives locked away or in areas he cannot yet reach
  • Replace electrical outlets with ones that contain a safety latch. Experts believe that those outlet covers could still end up loose, on the floor and in your baby's mouth. Also keep electrical cords out of his reach
  • Install gates to keep him in designated areas, away from stairs and rooms such as your kitchen and bathrooms
  • Keep the cords to your blinds and curtains out of reach. Some options include using cord shorteners or wind-ups
  • Keep floors clean of small objects he could swallow such as loose change
  • Cover sharp edges of furniture with bumpers

Keep in mind, as he learns to crawl, in his next stage he’s going to learn to grab onto and pull himself up on furniture. Consider bolting heavier pieces to the wall, placing floor lamps out of his reach and keeping all dresser and file cabinet drawers closed.

For more childproofing ideas, take a look at your home from his point of view. Get down and crawl around. Double check what looks tempting and within reach. Where would he go to explore on this floor? You’ll get a firsthand view of other items to check on for his safety.


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