12 Simple Ways to Help Encourage Your Baby to Crawl

January 31, 2023

Babies will reach several milestones in life. They will eventually progress from rolling around on their play mat to crawling across the room.

Crawling is a significant developmental step from stationary to mobile, a huge milestone for your baby! It allows babies to explore their surroundings, which helps them learn and improve motor skills for walking.

12 Simple Ways to Reach Baby Milestone

  1. Give Your Baby Adequate Tummy Time

One of the best ways to prepare babies for crawling is lots of tummy time or floor time. 

Tummy time is a short period when babies lie on their stomachs. It helps babies develop the muscles needed to crawl by strengthening their neck, arms, shoulders, and torso.

Your baby can do 3-5 minute tummy-time sessions three or four times a day. For three-month-old babies, this increases to 15 to 20 minutes at a time, and for six-month-olds, it increases to 20 to 30 minutes.

Tummy time is only safe when your baby is awake and must always be closely supervised. Never leave babies alone during tummy time. If babies nod off, gently roll them onto their backs.

  1. Encourage Babies to Play With Their Hands Raised

Another way to help babies grow their muscles is to have them play with their hands raised. During tummy time, keep their arms on top of a pillow or stuffed animal.

Encourage them to rest their hands on elevated objects like furniture or toys while sitting. Keep an eye on babies, so they don’t fall.

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  1. Get Your Child off the Floor

The importance of preparing babies to crawl is to strengthen those tiny muscles. Lift babies off the ground a little to help them exercise their legs.

Pick up babies by the arms or armpits to support their body weight so that their feet touch the floor. This allows them to practice walking motions and strengthens their legs.

  1. Let Your Baby Play in Front of a Mirror

Another effective way to encourage crawling is to use a mirror during tummy time. Allow babies to spend time in front of it playing. 

Babies are naturally curious and may want to investigate their reflection, which may cause them to hold themselves up and reach for the mirror. These movements will help babies crawl quickly.

Make sure the mirror is carefully placed on the floor, and always supervise babies.

  1. Use Toys to Entice Them

A little reward is the best way to get babies moving. Put babies on the floor and place baby-safe toys slightly out of reach during tummy time to get them moving. 

Keep these toys far enough so that babies have to move around to get them, but not so far that they become frustrated!

Try a play tunnel to entice babies to crawl through it to you.

  1. Limit Positioners and Supportive Devices

While supporting devices are essential, they may inhibit babies’ natural movements.

Allowing babies to spend more time in strollers, high chairs, car seats, and walkers can keep them from relying on their muscles to support their weight. This can delay their development, so limit time in supportive devices.

  1. Allow Your Baby to Play on All Sides

Move babies into different positions and allow them to play on all sides during playtime.

An even mix of right and left sides, back, and tummy will help babies’ bodies develop strength.

  1. Place Your Baby in a Crawling Position

Allow babies to practise crawling! One effective way to do it is to lie next to babies and gently support their body weight while still allowing their hands and feet to touch the ground. This helps them get familiar with the feeling and movement of crawling.

  1. Crawl With Your Baby on the Floor

Mothers are their babies’ biggest supporters, and if they show them how to crawl, babies may learn to crawl quickly.

Get down on your hands and knees and show them how to crawl to help them. Encourage them with smiles and talk to lift their head and look at you.

If you have older children, this is an excellent way to involve them in their new sibling’s play.

  1. Don’t Make Your Baby Work Too Hard

Try to be patient and enjoy yourself with your loved one. It’s okay to call it off if babies grow frustrated or start crying during playtime. Simply lay them on their backs, hold and rock them, or allow them to sleep.

If babies aren’t enjoying their playtime, don’t make them do it, and always reward them with affection after crawling exercises are over.

  1. Give Your Baby a Massage

Massage babies every day to help their muscles grow strong. Introduce baby massage into their bedtime routine or give them a massage right after their bath. 

Regular massages can help babies crawl because they move their muscles, get their blood flowing, and increase their awareness of their bodies’ position and movement.

  1. Provide a Safe Space for Them to Explore

With babies rolling around and almost crawling, it’s a good idea to give them a safe place to explore. 

Begin by baby-proofing the home. Remove small items from the floor, keep cords out of reach, lock cabinets and drawers, cover electrical outlets, and more. Keep the floor clear and clean, and place things on the floor that are safe to explore. 

You can even dress them in long sleeves and pants to help them move more freely and avoid minor scratches or infections.

Take Away

Babies will have a whole new world to explore and learn once they start crawling, but they might need some help to achieve this developmental milestone. You can help them develop the strength and balance they need to become more mobile.

If you want to learn more about crawling or have concerns about your baby’s development, contact a pediatrician at Apollo Cradle & Children’s Hospital. Our team of specialists provide the highest quality pediatric services to patients so that your baby can experience many more developmental milestones healthily.

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