The Magic of Crawling

Crawling gives baby a taste of independence and a new view of the world.

Movin' and Groovin'

Baby crawls forward, mom in background watching

For the first six months of life, your baby has relied on you to set him in motion. You've carried him, rocked him, propped him up with pillows, and danced with him on your lap. Now he's driven to move and groove on his own.

Here's a typical scenario: Your 7-month-old is sitting up on her own and reaches across her body to grab at a toy. The act of reaching causes her to lose her balance. In an attempt to right herself, she twists her body and thrusts her hands out in front of her, landing on her tummy. Once on the floor, she may raise her head and gather her knees, as well as her hands, under her. She's on the runway in crawling position!

Set in Motion

Of course, "crawling" means different things to different babies. Another baby may, from a sitting position, discover that she can push her hands against the floor and scoot on her bottom to get from here to there. Regardless of her style, her first attempts may not lead to any forward movement -- she may try pushing her palms on the floor and find herself moving backward instead.

Indeed, it takes a while to get good at anything, and crawling is no exception. According to New York University psychologist Karen E. Adolph, PhD, who has conducted numerous studies on the topic, crawling speed increases by a staggering 720 percent over the first 20 weeks of learning, while the size of an infant's crawling "steps" increases by 265 percent. In other words, once she gets the hang of things, watch out: Crawlers can move!

Playing With Baby: Get Moving
Playing With Baby: Get Moving

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