Oh, baby. Your little one is changing so much in her first year of life. I've heard the quote "blink and you miss it" when it comes to the entirety of childhood, but that can especially be applied to those first precious months of life. With each milestone, your baby is growing and developing monumentally. One of the very first big milestones? Crawling. As she begins her quest to explore and get around on her own, there are 5 major signs your baby is ready to begin crawling.
Now, while most babies learn to crawl between 6 and 10 months of age, according to Parents, there's of course a wide variation here. The process of learning to be mobile is actually pretty complex, after all. Your baby will need to coordinate the movement of their arms and legs, then develop the muscle strength in their arms, shoulders, and legs to support their weight. Your baby may even opt for another method of mobility around this time, like bottom shuffling (scooting around on their bottom, using a hand behind and a foot in front to hoist themselves forward), slithering on their stomach like a snake (a cute one, of course!), or rolling across the room. Or, your baby may skip crawling all together, and that's OK. If you're at all concerned about your baby's development, consult your pediatrician.
In an interview with Romper, Amanda Gorman, a nurse practitioner, mother of two and founder of Nest Collaborative, a group of lactation consultants who provide affordable online breastfeeding support, shares her thoughts on signs to look out for when baby is about to begin crawling. Get ready, parents. This next stage of babyhood is quite the on-the-move adventure.
1. Sitting without support
Gorman tells Romper that when a baby can sit up without support, "It is a good sign that core muscles are developing, which are necessary for balance and coordination... two vital steps that baby will need to be a successful crawler!
2. Pushing up
While tummy time may seem excruciating for baby (and parents), it's an important part of strengthening baby's muscles for crawling. Gorman writes that when you notice your baby trying to push up on their own, "All that tummy time is paying off! Keep it up. Just a few minutes a day allows baby to start to develop the neck and chest muscles she'll need to get into ready-to-crawl position."
3. Spending time on the floor
If baby seems more interested in the floor than hanging out in her bouncy chair, jumper or swing, they may be preparing to begin crawling. Gorman tells Romper, "I encourage parents and caregivers to get down on her level. By giving baby a chance to model your movement, you can show her how it's done!"
4. Interest in objects far away
Hmmm. You've started paying closer attention to what baby's looking at, and it's further away than it used to be. Gorman suggests helping baby with her newfound far off interests by setting a desirable object a few feet out of reach. You'll quickly realize what a determined baby you have on your hands.
5. Pulling themselves just using arms
Gorman notes that when your baby is able to do the "army crawl" (crawling using just arms), they've officially begun a common first step towards officially crawling. The act of crawling, writes Gorman, "requires coordination between the legs and arms... it's normal for baby to master using the upper and lower extremities separately, before together."