Once your baby can sit up well on her own, she'll start moving about, too. This early locomotion may start as "creeping" (pushing herself around on her stomach), "scooting" (crawling on one leg and dragging the other), or a combination of rolling, rocking, and squirming on her stomach, bottom, or back.
Within a few weeks, most babies usually progress to true hands-and-knees crawling. Though most don't start crawling until close to 8 months, a few do start as early as 6 months. Other babies skip crawling altogether and go directly to walking. Because crawling is not considered a predictable part of development, a "late" crawler or an infant who never crawls is no cause for concern.
And don't worry if your baby's first progress is backward-that's common-because her control of her upper body is more developed than that of her lower body. She soon will learn to move in the other direction, too.
To encourage your baby to crawl, give him plenty of space and let him loose to explore. If outdoors, make sure his knees are covered, even in summer (with lightweight fabric). If your home is basically clean, don't worry about his getting a bit dirty while down on all fours: A small amount of dust won't harm him.
You don't need to put your baby into a crawling position; she can get there herself from her stomach or by rocking forward from a sitting position. And keep in mind that her motivation to crawl is based on her new desire to get to things she couldn't reach before, so entice her with a tempting object or a favorite toy!
Have Fun With Baby's Development
By now, your baby's social skills have probably blossomed. See how he compares with this checklist:
- Baby prefers interacting with people to playing with an object.
- He responds when talked to by smiling, laughing, even babbling.
- Baby expresses dissatisfaction when you leave his sight.
- He anticipates regular occurrences, getting excited, for instance, when he sees you come into the room.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.