Essential Stages: When Do Babies Typically Start Crawling?

Many parents are curious about when do babies start crawling. As a special educator and rehabilitator, I have heard this question frequently. Typically, babies begin to crawl between 6 and 10 months, although there is some variation. Some babies may start crawling earlier or later, while others may skip crawling altogether and begin walking directly.

when do babies start crawling

Crawling is a sign that your baby gains muscle strength and coordination. Watching your baby progress from rolling over to sitting up to crawling can be quite the spectacle. Remember, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that these are simply guidelines, and each child’s development is unique. If you notice your baby is making moves and seems ready to crawl, it’s time to encourage them and ensure their environment is safe for exploration. Don’t worry if they are taking their time—babies do things at their own pace.

Key Takeaways

  • Babies typically start crawling between 6 and 10 months old.
  • Crawling signifies growing strength and coordination in babies.
  • Development varies; some may crawl earlier, later, or not.

When Do Babies Start Crawling?

Is your baby crawling around? That means they’re growing up and becoming more independent! It’s like they’re a little explorer discovering the world around them.

Now, you might be wondering when exactly this adventure starts. Believe it or not, babies set their schedules. Some might take off between 6 and 12 months, with closer to 9 months being typical. Yet others, may skip the crawling stage, impatient to stand and stride into walking.

Have you ever wondered what determines the starting point when your baby starts to crawl? There are several factors that could come into play.

  • Temperament: Some babies may start crawling immediately, while others might take time to get comfortable.
  • Personality: Your baby’s personality shows here.
  • Weight: Babies who are heavier might start crawling later.
  • Environment: A safe and inviting space can entice those tentative first moves.

Why Do Babies Crawl?

Babies typically start to crawl on all fours as a natural means to explore their surroundings and grow. This developmental stage is a joy to observe, and it has many benefits for the baby. Crawling helps the baby to develop physically and mentally. Here are some of the ways that crawling can help your baby grow and develop:

Physical benefits:

  • Builds Muscle: Every attempt to move forward strengthens muscles.
  • Fine-Tunes Coordination: Coordinating arms and legs is like a dance, getting smoother with practice.
  • Sharpens Motor Skills: Like a mini workout, it channels their inner athlete, honing those gross motor skills.

Cognitive benefits:

  • Spatial Skills: Navigating the living room aids their mental mapping prowess.
  • Problem-Solving: Obstacles? No problem! Crawling turns them into tiny tacticians figuring out how to get from point A to B.

Social benefits:

  • Boosts Interaction: Getting your baby into social settings is like giving them a passport to the world. It helps them interact with others and develop social skills at an early age.
  • Independence Day: Watch as they become self-assured explorers, setting the stage for future milestones.

Table 1: The Crawling Curriculum

Development AspectBenefit Gained
Muscle StrengthEnhanced muscle tone
Balance & CoordinationBetter stability and grace
Cognitive AbilitiesAugmented exploration and learning
Social SkillsEncouraged play and communication

Babies usually start to prepare for crawling during tummy time. This is an important step towards crawling. While some babies might skip crawling and go straight to walking, most will crawl first, which is a classic baby move.

Remember, each baby hits this milestone at their own pace.

Signs Your Baby is Ready to Crawl

Are you curious about when your baby will start to crawl? Before babies start to crawl, they typically show certain developmental milestones that signal their readiness. Watch for some signs to get an idea of when your baby might start crawling.

  • Rolling Over is a Rolling Start:
    Keep an eye on your baby as they may start to roll over from their back to their belly and then back again. This is a good sign that they are getting ready to crawl.
  • Rock-a-bye Baby on Hands and Knees:
    Babies who push themselves into a hands-and-knee position and rock back and forth are not just doing it for fun. They are actually preparing to crawl.
  • Sitting Pretty and Reaching Out:
    Is your baby able to sit without support and reach out for toys? If yes, it’s a sign that they are almost ready to crawl and explore their surroundings.
  • Eyes on the Prize:
    As your baby becomes more interested in moving around, it could be a sign that they are close to crawling. If they seem excited to explore their surroundings, be prepared because they might start crawling soon.

Want to give your baby a helping hand? Encourage them with these simple tips:

  • Plenty of Playtime:
    Give your baby ample floor time to practice their moves.
  • Toy Teaser:
    Encourage your baby to move around by placing toys just out of their reach.
  • Applaud Their Efforts:
    Encourage and celebrate every small movement and adjustment your child makes. Your encouragement is their biggest source of motivation!

What Are the Different Types of Crawling?

Babies start crawling at different times and in different ways. This milestone gives them more freedom to move and explore their surroundings. It’s important to note that there is no single “right” way to crawl. Every baby finds their own way that works best for them.

Here are some of the crawling styles you might see:

  • Classic crawl: This is probably what you picture when you think of a baby crawling. It involves moving forward on hands and knees and alternating hands with the opposite knee. Picture little adventurers with their tummy off the floor, almost like a mini four-legged sprint.
  • Bottom scoot: Some babies have a more relaxed approach to crawling. They sit on their bottom and use their hands to move forward as if they’re on an invisible scooter.
  • Rolling: Who needs hands and knees when you can roll? Some babies use a rolling technique, going from one side to another to get where they want to go.
  • Combat crawl: Also known as the commando crawl, imagine your baby as a little soldier, lying on their tummy and using their arms to pull or push themselves along.
  • Crab crawl: Here, babies move forward, supporting themselves with their hands and keeping their knees bent. It’s like a sideways dance move on all fours!
  • Bear crawl: Now, this is strength! Babies doing the bear crawl walk on their hands and feet with legs straight, resembling a little bear on the prowl.

Babies have their unique style of crawling. They may stick with one method or switch between a few until they find the best way to move around and explore the world. Remembering that they’re on the move and discovering new things is important.

How Can You Teach Your Baby to Crawl?

Crawling is a natural stage in your baby’s development, and seeing them explore the world independently is exciting. But did you know you can gently steer them along? With patience and strategies, you’ll create a nurturing environment that might give them that extra boost.

  • Practice Tummy Time: Start with the basics—tummy time. Just a few minutes a couple of times a day can work wonders. It helps build those neck, arm, and back muscles vital for crawling.
    • How to: Place your baby on their stomach while they’re awake and hang out with them. Gradually increase the time as your baby gets used to it.
  • Mirror, Mirror on the Floor: Babies love faces, even their own! Use a mirror to draw their attention and get them moving.
    • How to: Sit with your baby in front of a mirror during tummy time and watch as they attempt to reach their reflection.
  • Tunnel Vision: Create a tunnel with everyday household items. This is a sensory and physical challenge in one!
    • How to: Prop a blanket over some cushions or use a box. Place a favorite toy or yourself at the other end and coax your baby to come to you.
  • Peek-a-Boo, I See You: This game can become a crawl-encouraging adventure.
    • How to: Hide just out of sight and pop out to delight your baby. They might crawl towards you for more giggles.
  • Obstacle Course Extravaganza: Cushions, pillows, and toys aren’t just for comfort. They make great training tools!
    • How to: Arrange them in a way that tempts your baby to move over, under, and around. It keeps their mind and body engaged.

Creating a safe and enjoyable space for your baby to crawl is key. You can use toys to encourage them. Over time, their muscles will become stronger and improve their balance. Always be present and cheer them on, celebrating every milestone they achieve. Your kind words and applause are very important to them, so don’t hesitate to encourage them!

How to Keep Your Crawling Baby Safe

As your baby begins to crawl, it’s a moment of excitement and joy, but also one of new worries. We want to ensure that your explorer stays safe while discovering their world.

Babyproofing 101: Your baby is now an adventurer, exploring every corner of your home. What’s your plan to keep them safe?

  • Lock Down the Area: Get on your baby’s level—literally. Look for anything they might find intriguing, like electrical outlets, and cover them. Use safety gates to block off stairs, secure loose cords, and anchor heavy furniture.
  • Keep It Clean: Check the floors for small objects that could be a choking hazard. Keep the crawling area free from sharp edges and dangerous items.

Dress Code for Success: Consider the crawling outfit. You want cozy clothes that allow freedom of movement while protecting little knees and elbows. Opt for snug fits to avoid catching or tripping, and maybe even knee pads for extra protection.

Create a Play Haven: Set up a secure spot, like a playpen, full of age-appropriate toys to keep your baby stimulated and in one place—at least for a little while.

Always in Sight: Keep a watchful eye on your crawling baby no matter how safe you think the area is. They’re fast, and they only need a second to find trouble.

Crawling is a huge step towards independence for your baby, but with these safety strategies in place, you’ll be ready to tackle this exciting phase together. Now, let’s keep those little explorers safe and sound!

Your Baby Hasn’t Started Crawling—Now What?

Is your baby not crawling yet? Don’t worry; every baby has a timeline, and some don’t crawl. There are several reasons why some babies take longer to crawl, but it’s nothing to be concerned about.

  • Personality: Is your baby a mini-observer? Some prefer taking in the sights rather than scooching across the carpet.
  • Weight: Chubby babies may have trouble moving their arms and legs.
  • Environment: Consider your space. Is there enough room and encouragement for your baby to start crawling?
  • Preference: Your child may have a unique way of moving around, such as shuffling on their bottom or walking quickly. This can be considered an alternative.

If your child is happy staying still and not very active, here are some things you can try:

  • Chat with the doctor: If you have any concerns, your child’s doctor is the best person to consult. They can provide you with support and reassurance and run a screening test to check your child’s development.
  • Encourage playfulness: Make playtime fun for your baby by setting up a baby-friendly obstacle course or placing a toy just out of reach. Remember that this should be enjoyable, not a chore.
  • Cheer them on: Every baby is special and does things in their way. We should celebrate them for everything they achieve, not just when they start to move around. Every step they take is important, and they’re all champions in their own right.

Remember, crawling is just one slice of the developmental pie. As long as your baby shows other signs of progress, they’re likely doing just fine. Keep things light-hearted, stay buoyant, and enjoy each moment of your baby’s unique development!


Babies usually start crawling between 6 and 12 months, with some starting as early as 7 months and others as late as 10 months. Although crawling is a significant milestone in their development, don’t be surprised if your baby finds a different way to move around.

As your baby learns to crawl, they’re laying the groundwork for more exciting ways to explore the world—which will soon include those cherished first steps.

FAQ: When Do Babies Start Crawling?

At what age should we expect a baby to start trying to crawl?

Most babies gear up for crawling between 7 and 10 months. However, each child has their own timeline, so some might start exploring earlier or later.

When do many babies typically begin crawling?

Many babies begin crawling around 8 months of age, although individual timelines can vary. Some babies may start the process of learning to crawl earlier, while others may crawl later.

Is it typical for an infant to show signs of crawling as early as 4 months?

At 4 months, infants may start showing early movement like rolling or pushing up on their arms, laying the foundation for future crawling, but actual crawling might take a few more months to emerge.

What’s the usual timeline for babies to progress from sitting up to crawling?

After mastering sitting, typically around 6 to 9 months, babies often progress to crawling, although the exact timing varies widely from baby to baby.

Could you tell me the signs indicating a baby is ready to crawl?

When your baby starts rocking back and forth on hands and knees, pulls themselves into a crawling position, or becomes more mobile by rolling and scooting, crawling is likely on the horizon.

How do milestones like rolling over lead to a baby beginning to crawl?

Milestones like rolling over usually precede crawling. They enhance the muscle strength and coordination needed to propel forward into the crawling stage.

What practical ways can you encourage a baby to start the crawling stage?

Encourage your baby by placing toys just out of reach, providing plenty of tummy time, and creating a safe, open space to move around and explore their abilities.

What should you do if your baby isn’t crawling yet?

If your baby isn’t crawling yet, it’s essential to make sure your baby is still in the normal range of baby development. Encourage crawling by creating a safe and stimulating environment, and consider consulting with a professional if there are concerns about the baby’s motor skills. Remember, some babies never crawl and instead choose to crawl on their hands and knees or find other ways to explore their surroundings.


I'm Andjela Antic, co-founder of DreamBabyGear. I have a degree in special education and rehabilitation from the medical faculty, and I've been a registered nurse since high school. Using my medical and education background, I understand child development well. I choose high-quality baby gear carefully to support the best development and well-being of children.
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