Most parent worry when their baby is a little late in starting to crawl. Lest we forget, crawling is a natural process. And babies need to figure out for themselves the complex movements involved in crawling.
This begins with their understanding which parts of the body they need to help them move. Then figure out how to get these parts to work together. Learning to crawl, stand up and then walk. All this will seem like rocket science for a baby.
The struggle the baby goes through is very much like when we try moving a wheel barrow without wheels. Imagine that, and you will level the playing field and grasp what it might be like for the baby to crawl, stand and then walk.
Let’s try and break it down for easy reckoning. By the time babies are eight months old, they usually sit up on their own. By nine months, most babies will have started to roll or creep to reach a new location. The 10th month is when babies start experimenting to crawl or move around in some way. These things happen at a pace the baby decides, not we. Hence, no need to fret or worry. Give your baby the time, try not to rush.
How you can help
When an infant or young child babbles, gestures, or cries, and parents respond appropriately with eye contact, words, or a hug, neural connections are built and strengthened in the child’s brain.
Experiencing stress plays an important role in ensuring healthy development. However, when negative reactions remain active at abnormally high levels and for extended periods, it create stress that is toxic.
Exercise releases the feel good “endorphins” which reduce stress, anxiety and stabilises moods. It also boosts self-esteem, independence and positivity.
No shoes or baby socks, please
While baby shoes do look cute, slipping and losing their footing will be disappointing to the baby and for you as well. It is best for the baby to go barefoot on the floor. Babies need to feel the use of their feet and toes and how they can use the muscles to grip surfaces firmly.
Tummy time is push-up time
Turing your baby over onto their tummies will make them want to use their tiny hands to lift themselves up. Think of this as their version of doing push ups. This position helps your baby develop shoulder muscles, the biceps and triceps, the back and torso. Build a strong spine, as they get ready for crawling.
Helping babies reach out for things
Babies tend to move towards something that interests them. A favourite toy or object they identify with will do the trick. Laying them out in front and out of their reach, will make them want to stretch. Your baby may decide to even move towards the object on its own. A playful family pet will also incentivize the baby to move about and enjoy doing it.
Sprinter’s starting block
Remember those starting blocks for an event like the 100 mtr dash at school? Well, you can imitate something similar and help your baby. When you spot your baby trying to position itself for a crawl, gently cup your hands around the baby’s feet. This will stabilize them and will give them something to “push off” from when they are learning to crawl.
Little turtles & crabs
Like we said earlier, one can’t predict how and when the baby will begin to crawl. Some babies may lie on the floor and make rapid movements, like baby turtles using their flippers to move towards the waves. Or some babies may like moving sideways like crabs do. They may even go backward on their stomachs, then stop suddenly, realizing they are going the wrong way. While some others will scoot on their bellies without warning. So be careful.
Put safety first
Always make sure your baby has enough of safe space to explore. Join in the fun of rolling over in front of your baby, and pull-up. Remember, babies learn through imitating adults. At times, you will find your baby move so fast that it will catch you on the wrong foot. So be careful. Don’t take your eyes off the baby when at play with them.
When with your baby, avoid watching the TV. Keep the box switched off, period. There is never anything on the telly that can be more riveting than your baby. Beside you can always watch a re-run later.
One other thing. there’s no right or wrong way to teach a baby to crawl. Nor one way is any better than the other. If you have questions about how else you can help develop your baby’s physical skills, just drop My Gym an e.mail or call 8248 7702.
Needless to say, everything about your baby is perfectly fine with your baby. It is just that some babies start crawling at a, well, crawl. One thing is however certain, pretty soon you’ll be chasing your baby trying to keep up!