9 Ways to Help Your Baby to CrawlKatlyn Joy |30, August 2012
Around six to nine months of age, most babies begin to crawl. Some babies seem to just plop down and learn nearly instantly while others may struggle a little or have a crazy style such as going backwards or sideways.
Helping babies through this important developmental milestone is often as simple as playtime and games. You can't do such tasks for your baby, but you can aid, model and provide opportunities that will help baby achieve these physical milestones.
1. Allow for ample tummy time.
Letting baby play on the floor while placed belly-side down helps your infant develop muscles and coordination necessary for such skills as crawling. Get a clean blanket and some entertaining toys and let baby enjoy.
2. Provide motivation.
During tummy time, place some noisy or visually stimulating toys within sight but out of reach. Baby will begin to swat, reach, extend and inch or roll towards them. Eventually he will discover the fastest method is crawling.
3. Show baby how to crawl.
Believe it or not demonstrating this skill alongside your baby will help inspire and instruct. You may feel silly, but it may do the trick.
4. Put baby into the correct crawling position.
Get baby onto her hands and knees and let her rock back and forth. She may even hurtle herself awkwardly a few times and it's possible she will end up face planting a few times.
5. Help Baby Move
Hover over baby in a crawling position and help him to move in a cross crawl style with opposite side leg and arm moving in unison. Spotting baby like this will help him feel safe and confident if he is a more timid tot. Put your hands on baby's knees and arms and help move them in the correct way to crawl. Just be ready to catch her, as she may wind up kissing the carpet and frustrated with the whole crawling idea.
6. Place baby on a variety of surfaces
Some babies like fuzzy carpet, others vinyl flooring while others adore wood floors. Some textures may be less popular for crawling on and you can help by getting baby where he is most comfortable.
7. Emphasize different sides.
Emphasize different sides for crawling by placing toys on the left side, then on the right side. Let baby find a preference but build up both. Some little ones may be reluctant to go to one direction but encourage them to go in both by using favorite treats or toys. Just don't let baby eat or chew on the treat while crawling.
8. Encourage baby in her efforts.
Having a cheering section can provide the perfect motivation for continuing to crawl. Get down to her level so you can make eye contact. Smile, clap and make a big deal out of each little bit of territory conquered on hands and knees and soon she'll be all over the place.
9. Give baby the confidence
Give baby the confidence to go outside your arm's reach by giving him plenty of affection and attention. Babies that feel safe and secure are much more likely to be confident explorers. Let baby know you are ever watchful in their adventurous pursuits. Knowing you are there to crawl back to makes baby much more likely to push past the current boundaries.
Crawling is a big developmental step for an infant. Besides the mobility and the step to exploration, it also signaled a big brain boost. Any activity that involves using both sides of the body involves using both hemispheres of the brain. This translates to more complicated and intricate brain function in other areas of development beyond gross motor skills.
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