Crawling is an important milestone as it marks the way for a number of movement-related developments like walking, standing up, and eventually running in the future. Although crawling looks like a simple task of moving around, it is a tough job for your newborn. It requires the coordination of both the mind and the body. It also requires great strength in your baby’s back, neck, shoulders, arms, and core to support his/her weight and help maintain balance.
These muscles and strength gets developed in your baby through all the exercises he/she has done during tummy-time. Tummy-time allows him/her to lift his/her head to look around. This builds strength in the neck, shoulders, arms, and trunk. When he/she kicks his/her feet while on his/her tummy, it strengthens his/her hips and legs too.
Some common crawling patterns observed in babies are:
- Classic crawl – involves moving one arm and the opposite leg together at the same time to push forward
- Scooting – involves dragging the bottom across the floor
- Crab crawl – moving with one knee bent and the other extended, either forward or sideways
- Commando crawl – involves lying flat on the tummy and using the arms to move forward
- Backward crawl
If your baby is taking time to develop the crawling habit, as a parent you can make your baby experience tummy-time more often, or enact the act of crawling. He/she would mimic the gesture and may develop a liking for the crawling activity when he/she realizes the joy of being mobile.
Please note that some babies may not have an active crawling experience. Some may skip the crawling phase and go straight to pulling up, cruising, and walking. However, that is quite a leap for your child and it may pose certain challenges for him/her.
If your baby hasn’t shown any progress in becoming mobile by 12 months or so, or if he/she tends to drag one side of her body while crawling, it is best to consult the pediatrician for an assessment of the situation.