When Should Your 9 Month Old Crawl?

Watching your baby grow and develop is one of the most rewarding aspects of parenthood. In no time, your precious infant is able to stretch out, sit up, and grab toys from your hand. But if your baby's peers are all crawling around, while your little one seems content to hang out in a more stationary way, then you're likely concerned. You probably wonder: is it OK if my baby isn't crawling at 9 months?

To begin with, it's helpful to remember that developmental milestones are based on averages, and many babies are happy to reach these stages in their own time. In fact, according to Baby Center, most kids learn how to crawl at any point between 7 to 10 months old. In this light, babies who are not crawling at 9 months old are not even that unusual.

What's more, beginning to crawl at 9 months or later is perfectly fine for plenty of babies. As noted in Parenting, it isn't abnormal for babies to delay crawling until the one-year mark in some cases. In fact, some babies skip the crawling phase entirely and start pulling up on things to stand. As long as your little one does not show any signs of developmental delay, then late crawling is generally not a reason to worry. Of course, if you do have questions about your baby's development, then discuss these concerns with your pediatrician.

With that in mind, it's understandable if you want to encourage your baby to crawl. There are a few tips you can try to put your baby in motion. According to Zero to Three, making sure your baby has lots of tummy time will encourage the development of the arm and shoulder muscles used for crawling; strong muscles will make crawling easier and more appealing. Another favorite tactic: using toys as bait. As noted in What To Expect, putting your baby's toys just out of reach might encourage your little one to crawl toward them — sometimes your baby just needs some motivation in the form of a stuffed animal. Whatever the case, chances are your kid will be at the toddling stage in no time, whether or not crawling comes first.