For many new parents and even the most experienced ones, each new baby comes with different adjustments, and each baby takes time to grow. One of the most amazing milestones that a baby will reach is crawling and it’s exciting for parents being able to encourage your baby to crawl. This simply because it is usually the first step to achieving movement, eventually leading to taking slow, baby steps.
Crawling helps your baby learn how to move around and explore their surroundings. It also helps them develop strong muscles and bones, and strengthens their motor skills. As your baby starts crawling, be sure to provide them with plenty of opportunities to do so.
While it may come off as simple for a baby to learn to crawl due to their burning desire to explore, the teaching process is more of encouraging them to move around. You can do a few things to encourage your baby to crawl.
1) Tummy Time For The Baby
The first thing you can do to help your baby develop the crawling instinct is to have them lie on their bellies on a play mat for a substantial amount of time. This way, babies will practice raising their heads and ultimately trying to achieve movement through hands and limbs. This also substantially develops the back muscles of the baby.
Keep in mind that babies may not adjust to this immediately. They may sometimes scream and cry due to a lack of comfort. Try switching positions every other minute to keep the baby distracted.
2) Position Toys On Reachable Positions
Another way to encourage your baby to crawl is by positioning the child’s toys in front of them in a reachable position. With the baby lying on their belly, he can raise his head and stretch toward the toy. Ultimately, they will develop their hand and feet muscles and eventually begin small movements.
Remember to keep placing the toy further away as the baby gets close to allow him to develop fully. Keep them entertained throughout the process and offer them rewards, such as letting them play with it for a while before taking it a further step away. Babies are projected to develop crawling anywhere from seven to nine months.
3) Place Your Baby On Different Surfaces
From pillows to dolls or soft furniture, you can try placing your baby on a different surface allowing them to use their hands and move around their feet. This is important in developing the baby’s muscles for both feet and hands. This allows them to play around to encourage movement. Remember safety is key here so do not to leave them in these positions so that they do not fall over and injure their delicate bodies and use common sense about what is and what isn’t safe.
4) Put A Mirror In Front Of The Baby
The simplest way to teach a baby anything is through distraction. When you have your baby on tummy time, try placing a mirror before him and supervising. They will tend to investigate what is in front of them, raise their heads occasionally, and touch around to explore.
5) Get creative
Try setting up a play area with soft toys, colourful mats, and plenty of spaces to explore. You can also set up a mobile where your baby can watch rattles, balls, and other toys move. If you’re feeling extra creative, you can even create a crawl space under the bed or in a corner of the room.
6) Take Your Baby Out Of Walking/Supporting Aids
Baby walkers, strollers, and seat positioners may help the baby one way or another but eventually, end up impeding the baby since they learn to depend on the aids. If babies get used to these aids, they may experience delayed growth. Taking away these aids will help the baby learn to develop their muscles fully.
We hope you found these tips to encourage your baby to crawl useful. Remember, have fun as your work on this milestone with your baby, but always keep their safety in mind too.