Back then, in order to learn how to teach my baby to crawl, I tried all methods possible according to what I can find among my friends, relatives, and the internet. Some methods are great. Others are downright garbage and harmful.
Nevertheless, with the great tips and wisdom I learned from different sources, my daughter eventually learned how to crawl around seven to eight months. However, don’t take that as a standard because every baby is different. It might happen faster for your baby, or it might take longer.
I Realized That Crawling Training Can Be Free
Not long later, my daughter learned how to walk, even though it is a bit wobbly. During the process, I purchased a lot of stuff for her. I purchased a walker, jumperoo, and exersaucer. If you know about these things, then yes, shame on me for buying them.
It is my fault to fall under social pressure of my family and relatives. Nevertheless, I returned all of them for a refund after I found out how unsafe they are. Not to mention, I learned that the correct way to help my baby crawl can be done for free.
I caught onto this method when a coworker told me how she managed to get all her children to crawl and walk early. The interesting part is that she didn’t buy anything.
The “Secret” To Crawling Training
In order to teach your baby to crawl, you will have to give him plenty of chances to develop the right muscle groups, proprioception (sense of space round you), hand eye coordination, and most importantly the motivation to crawl.
I made it sound complicated, but it all boils down to proper practice. In a sense, it is very similar to how adults do body building. You lift weights in certain positions in order to achieve growth in desired muscle regions.
It is the same thing for your baby. She has to build the strength, stamina and proper connection between her body and the world around her. Of course your baby doesn’t need another membership at your local gym. What your baby needs is more floor time.
What Is Floor Time?
As mentioned earlier, my coworker managed to get all her kids to crawl and walk early. The secret to her success is giving her children more floor time. As the name suggests, floor time is simply giving your baby more time on the floor.
The idea behind floor time is to allow your baby to learn how to use her body on her own, and at her own pace. Of course, your baby can’t be in any position on the floor. She has to be on her belly so that her belly touches the floor. If you leave her laying down on her back, she wouldn’t be able to roll over on her own and use her arms and legs. Usually babies can’t roll over from face-up to face-down position until they are at least six months old.
The Floor Is The Best Place To Do This
If you read advice anywhere else, you will hear a lot about tummy time. To me, tummy time can happen on the bed, on a chair, on a table, or on the floor. However, personally I feel that it is much more efficient, and safer to let your baby do her tummy time on the floor.
You won’t risk any falls that way. It is also easier to supervise your baby. Not to mention the floor is nice and solid, unlike a wobbly bed. The floor is a lot easier to maintain stability and balance compared to a soft wobbly bed.
Is There Anything You Should Buy?
Nothing really. You already have everything available in your house. Many people suggest that you purchase a roller. This actually helps your baby crawl faster because it helps raise them off the floor so that they can move their limbs more freely.
However, even though an actual roller is pretty cool, you can actually make your own. It won’t be the same, but it achieves the same thing. It does involve a bit of work, creativity, and patience to make your own roller, but it is definitely worth the trouble.
If you want to see a baby looks like playing on a roller, then check this YouTube video here:
How To Make Your Own “Roller”
If you have been feeding your baby powdered formula, you probably saved up a lot of giant cans. Stack three cans on top of the other to form a tower. Afterwards, wrap the whole thing with a towel to make it nice and soft. In order to use it, simply let your baby have her floor time on top of the roller. Her belly and arms are above the roller, and her knees are on the floor.
To Summarize How To Make Your Own Roller
- Have three giant cylindrical cans available (coffee cans, formula cans for example)
- Have a soft towel to wrap around the three cans
Some parents might wonder about what you should do if you don’t have any cans lying around? If you are breastfeeding, using liquid formula, and you don’t have coffee cans lying around in the house, then you will have to go for a less cool alternative.
Simply get three to four towels and roll it up without any cans. Let your baby lay her belly on the towel and let her “roll”. The idea is to free her upper body so she has more freedom to “propel” herself. I told you to use cans earlier because it is more fun for your baby.
What If You Don’t Have Towels Or Cans Lying Around The House?
Some parents might not even have extra towels lying around. If you don’t have a lot of towels to spare then you have only one more option. This option requires the parent or guardian to be more proactive when training your baby.
Here’s how the process works:
- Using two hands, slip one towel under your baby’s belly during floor time.
- Lift the towel up so that you free her head, trunk and limbs.
- You just need to lift her up a few inches
- Make sure you grip tightly onto the towel so you don’t drop your baby
- Let her flop her hands and legs around while being suspended by you.
- This method is less hands free, and more tiring, but it is still a lot of fun.
Rollers are the best tool you can use to help your baby crawl. It is not required, but it is fun and very helpful. If you want, you can buy one instead of making it yourself. However, the roller is the only thing I recommend you buy. There are also things you should not buy.
What You Should NOT Buy
There are walkers, jumperoos, and exersaucers available for sale. None of these things can help your child progress earlier in terms of crawling or walking. None of these fancy devices actually help your baby train the correct muscles groups.
Walkers, Jumperoos, And Exersaucers Can Be Harmful For Your Baby
They build the wrong leg and thigh muscle groups that ends up developing wrong walking postures. Not only does this get in the way of correct walking later on, it can create problems that hard to fix. A good example of that would be toe walking.
Your Baby Must Never Be Left Alone
When you do floor time with your baby, you must have someone supervise at all times. Your baby might encounter dangerous objects in the house. Examples of that would be:
- electrical outlets
- sharp objects
- household cleaners (poisonous)
Another important reason you want to supervise your child at all times it that she might fall asleep while being in face down position. Your might think that it is no brainer to let your baby sleep face down on the floor. However, sleeping facing down is not actually a good thing for the baby.
Making your baby sleep face up has been recommended to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It is unclear why sleeping face down increases risks of SIDS, but allowing your baby to sleep face up does lower the chances. If your baby is less than three months old, the risks of SIDS are even higher.
Of course, safety is one reason for supervision, but the other reason is to try to motivate your baby to crawl. When adults move around the house, it motivates the baby to do the same. Of course, if that doesn’t motivate your baby, then you will have to use other methods.
What Motivates Your Baby To Crawl?
Any kinds of external stimulation can motivate your baby to crawl. Sometimes, that can be an attractive looking toy, or colorful snack that’s just within hands reach. Other times, it can simply be observing adults walking around the house. Of course, every baby is different. Some are more active. Some are more prone to give up.
Whatever you are motivating your baby to crawl or roll, should satisfy the following requirements:
- It should be something your baby already likes or…
- …something new, interesting and gets your baby curious
- It should be almost within your baby’s reach (your baby should almost be able to touch it)
- Your baby should be able to see it (don’t put it in your baby’s blind spot)
Nevertheless, there might be nothing you can use to motivate your baby to crawl. That is alright. Let her go at her own pace. Some babies even skip the crawling stage and just walks. That is perfectly normal.
It Takes Time To Motivate Your Baby
Obviously, your baby won’t be comfortable doing floor time in the beginning. Just practice one to two minutes per session and move on. To be able to crawl and walk properly, your baby will have to have stronger neck, back and shoulder muscles.
There are certain variations you can do to train those vital muscles. For example, you can try to motivate your baby to look up towards the ceiling as she is sitting on a chair. A chair is necessary because she probably doesn’t have the ability to sit up on her own in the beginning.
What You Should NOT Do To Get Your Baby To Crawl
You can be busy with a lot of things and lose patience when you are desperate to get your baby to crawl. However, never force your baby or push her. That doesn’t work. There’s been many that tried to force their child to crawl, failed and made their progress even slower. Some parents even try to buy fancy gadgets hoping it can help their child crawl or walk faster. Some works, but some don’t work.
When Should You Start Teaching Your Baby To Crawl?
You should probably start as soon as your baby is around a month old. However, be very careful because babies don’t have real control over their head and neck until they are at least six months old. That’s why you won’t see real visible results before then. In reality, most babies start crawling around nine months old. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t train her beforehand.
Just be realistic with the results. Don’t compare your child with other children. Every child reach milestone at their own pace. It is really no big deal whether your child is faster or slower. Also, don’t force your baby to crawl earlier.
Some traditions and culture might see it as a big deal for a child to reach milestones earlier. However, you might end up slowing your baby’s progress rather than making it faster. In the end, the parents will suffer from agonizing frustration due to having unrealistic expectations.
It is also common for heavier babies to take longer to learn to crawl. The reason is that their body weight makes it more difficult for them to move around. For premature babies, it also takes longer for them to learn to crawl.
Is A Non-Crawling Baby Less Intelligent?
Some babies skip right to walking. For these babies, apparently crawling wasn’t an option to them. This is pretty normal. Some people claim that babies that skip crawling aren’t as smart as babies that crawled.
It is unclear whether that is true or not. However, even if it is true, and your baby skips crawling, you can always make it up later by paying more attention to your child’s education. Don’t let a skipped milestone become a burden for you or your child.
There’s an old saying that talented children can only stand out as they continuously train themselves. Any talented child that doesn’t hone their skills will become “normalized”by the time she reaches twenty five years of age.
Usually, talent and intelligence can get in the way of a child’s development. The reason is that she feels that everything can be obtained with barely any effort. This kind of thinking makes it difficult to build skills that requires repeated trial and error and hard effort.
If your child is not talented, you should feel partially grateful, because she won’t be overly arrogant about herself. People improve themselves because we feel that there’s always a wall to overcome. It’s best to not let a child feel that there are no longer any challenges in life that’s worth pursuing.
I hope this article helped you. If you have any questions, please leave in the comment section below.