Your baby is ready for this step when he or she can push themselves up on extended arms.
To help build that skill, look at the pages on tummy time.
When your baby is ready, try these tips to encourage thinking about crawling (but don’t expect quick or instant results). If you do, then you’ll help your baby organise their balance and movement and promote their independence and exploring.
- with your baby on his or her tummy, place toys in front but just out of reach and encourage your baby to move forward to get them
- your baby might do this by wriggling on their tummy – this is fine and is sometimes called “commando crawling”
- if your baby is pushing up on straight arms, then you can help. Gently bring their bent knees in under the body to a crawl position. Use your hands to steady them around the hips, and you can use your knees to keep their legs from spreading outward
- encourage reaching for the toys with one hand at a time
Some babies push up on straight arms and legs. This is sometimes called “bear walking” and is fine – just another way of doing it that your baby finds easier.
Also, in homes with wooden floors, you may find your baby finds it easier to “bottom shuffle” than to crawl, at least some of the time – this is fine!
As soon as your baby starts to move independently, make sure your house is baby proof!
Make sure you are in a safe area and there are no hard edges for bumping heads
You may need to give more support around your baby’s body as they reach out, to help maintain balance.