Crawling is an important developmental milestone for babies, as it helps them build strength and coordination in their arms, legs, and core.
While there are many different styles of crawling, most babies go through a series of stages as they learn to move around on their own. In this article, we will explore the 7 stages of crawling and what to expect during each one.
It’s important to note that not every baby will go through all 7 stages of crawling, and some may skip certain stages altogether.
Every baby develops at their own pace, so there is no need to be concerned if your little one takes a bit longer to start crawling or moves through the stages baby crawling in a different order than what is outlined here. That being said, understanding the different stages of crawling can help parents and caregivers better support their baby’s development and encourage them along the way.
In the following sections, we will break down each stage of crawling and provide tips for how to help your baby progress through them.
Whether your baby is just starting to show an interest in moving around on their own or is already crawling like a pro, this article will provide valuable insight into the different stages of crawling and what to expect at each one.
Stage 1: Prone
The first stage of crawling is called prone, which means crawling baby safe lying face down on the floor. This stage is important because it helps babies develop the strength and coordination they need to lift their head and chest off the ground.
During prone, babies also learn to push up with their arms and extend their legs behind them, which will eventually help them move forward.
Prone is usually the first position that babies learn to control, and it’s also an essential part of tummy time.
Tummy time is important because it helps babies develop the muscles they need to crawl, sit, and walk. Experts recommend starting tummy time as early as possible, even if your baby doesn’t seem to enjoy it at first.
During prone, babies may also begin to explore their environment by reaching for toys or other objects within their reach. This helps them develop hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness, which are important skills for crawling and other forms of movement.
Overall, the prone stage is an important foundation for crawling and other forms of movement. By spending time on their stomachs, babies can develop the strength, coordination, and confidence they need to start exploring their environment and moving around on their own.
Stage 2: Rolling
Rolling over is one of the first major milestones in a baby’s life, and it’s a sign that they’re well on their way to crawling. At around 4 to 6 months old, many babies will start to roll from their back to their stomach and vice versa.
This is a crucial stage in their development, as it helps them to build strength and coordination in their arms, legs, and core.
Rolling is also an important precursor to crawling, as it helps babies to learn how to shift their weight and move their body in different directions. It can be a bit scary for parents at first, but it’s important to let your baby explore and practice their rolling skills in a safe and supervised environment.
Here are some tips to help your baby develop their rolling skills:
Give them plenty of tummy time to build strength in their neck, arms, and core.
Place toys or other objects just out of reach to encourage them to reach and roll.
Use a rolled-up blanket or towel to prop them up on their side and help them practice rolling.
Be patient and give them plenty of time to practice and explore on their own.
Stage 3: Creeping
Creeping is the stage where your baby starts to move themselves around on their tummies. At this stage, your baby develops increased strength around their hips and begins moving their weight onto one side of the body, allowing the other leg to bend up.
Your baby starts crawling and will start pushing themselves forward with their arms and legs, using their toes to push off the ground. This is an important stage in your baby’s crawling development as it helps to strengthen their arms, legs, and core muscles.
During the creeping stage, your first baby crawls may shuffle forwards, backwards, or both. This movement is often referred to as the “army crawl” or “commando crawl.” It’s important to note that not all babies will go through this stage, and some may skip it altogether.
As your baby becomes more confident with their creeping, they may start to lift their tummy off the ground and crawl on all fours. This is the next stage in your baby’s crawling development, and it’s an exciting milestone to watch.
To help your baby during the creeping stage, you can encourage them to move by placing toys just out of reach to encourage crawling around. You can also place a pillow or cushion under their chest to help support them as they push themselves forward. Remember to always supervise your baby during this stage and ensure that they are safe and secure.
Stage 4: Crawling on Hands and Knees
Once your baby has mastered the army crawl, they will start to crawl on their hands and knees. This is a major milestone in their development and opens up a whole new world of exploration for them.
At this stage, your baby will start to bear weight on their hands and knees and move one arm and the opposite leg or knee forward at the same time. This classic hands-and-knees or cross crawl is the most common crawling style and is a sign that your baby is developing their gross motor skills.
As your baby practices crawling on their hands and knees, they will become more coordinated and confident. They may start to pick up speed and crawl longer distances, which can be both exciting and exhausting for parents! Do be aware of things your little one might bump in to, such as the coffee table or lamps.
Stage 5: Bear Walking
As your baby continues to develop their crawling skills, they may begin to transition from belly crawling into bear walking. This is when they bear weight on their hands and knees and then move one arm and the opposite knee forward at the same time. It’s a great sign that your baby is developing their coordination and balance.
Bear walking is an important stage in your baby’s development because it helps them build strength in their arms, legs, and core. It also helps them develop their gross motor skills, which they will need for other physical activities as they grow older.
It’s important to note that not all babies will go through this stage of crawling. Some may skip it or begin crawling altogether and move straight to standing and walking.
If your baby is bear walking, you can encourage them by giving them plenty of opportunities to practice. Set up a safe and secure space for them to crawl and explore, and provide them with toys and other objects to play with. You can also get down on the floor with them and show them how to move their arms and legs.
Stage 6: Walking with Support
Once your baby has mastered standing and cruising, they may start to take their first steps! Walking with support is the sixth stage of crawling and is an exciting milestone for both you and your little one.
At this stage, your baby will need something to hold onto for support. This could be a piece of furniture or a walker toy. They will use their hands to hold onto the support and take small steps with their feet. You may notice that their steps are wobbly and unsteady at first, but with practice, they will become more confident and stable.
It’s important to remember that every baby develops at their own pace, so don’t worry if your little one takes a bit longer to reach this stage. Some babies may skip this stage altogether and go straight to walking independently.
Here are some tips to help your baby practice walking with support:
Make sure the support is sturdy and won’t tip over easily.
Encourage your baby to take steps by holding out your hands or a toy for them to reach.
Give lots of praise and encouragement to build your baby’s confidence.
Be patient and don’t rush your baby. Let them take their time and practice at their own pace.
Stage 7: Independent Walking
At this stage, your baby is no longer crawling or cruising but is walking independently. This is a significant milestone and marks a new level of development. However, it is important to note that not all babies reach this stage at the same time.
Some may start walking as early as 9 months, while others may not start until they are 18 months or older. When your baby starts walking, you will notice that their gait may still be unsteady, and they may fall frequently.
This is normal, and you should not be alarmed. With time and practice, your baby’s walking will become more stable and confident. As your baby continues to walk, they will begin to explore their environment more independently.
They will also start to develop their balance and coordination, which will help them to run, jump, and climb. It is important to provide a safe and supportive environment for your baby to practice walking. You can do this by ensuring that your home is free of any hazards that could cause your baby to trip or fall.
You can also provide your baby with soft and comfortable shoes that will help them to grip the floor and prevent slips. In conclusion, independent walking is a significant milestone in your baby’s development. It marks a new level of independence and opens up a whole new world of exploration and discovery.
With patience, practice, and a safe environment, your baby will soon be walking confidently and exploring their world with joy and wonder.
FAQS on 7 Stages of Crawling
What are the stages of learning to crawl?
Tummy time: Developing strength in the neck and upper body.
Rolling over: Gaining mobility and strength in the torso and limbs.
Sitting up: Building balance and stability for eventual crawling.
Rocking on hands and knees: Preparing the body for coordinated movement.
Scooting or commando crawling: Moving forward using the belly, arms, and legs.
Creeping: Traditional hands-and-knees crawling.
Transition to walking: Pulling up to a standing position and cruising while holding onto furniture.
What months are the stages of crawling?
The timeline for crawling can vary widely between babies. Some babies begin to crawl as early as 6 months, while others may not crawl until 10 months or later. The various stages of crawling typically occur between 3 and 12 months of age.
How long does the crawling stage last?
The duration of the crawling stage varies between babies. Some may crawl for only a few weeks, while others may continue crawling for months before transitioning to walking.
What are the first signs we see before babies crawl?
Early signs of crawling include increased tummy time, rolling over, sitting position pushing up on hands, and rocking back and forth on hands and knees.
Is crawling at 7 months advanced?
Crawling at 7 months is within the normal range of developmental milestones of development. However, each baby develops at their own pace, and some may crawl earlier or later than this.
What is the average age babies start crawling?
The average age for a baby to crawl is around 9 months. However, there is a wide range of normal development, with some babies beginning baby crawl as early as 6 months and others not crawling until 10 months or later.
Why was crawling removed as a milestone?
Crawling was removed as a milestone because it is not a necessary step in the development of motor skills. Some babies skip crawling altogether and go straight to walking, and their development is still considered normal.
Why is my 7 month old not crawling?
Babies develop at different rates, and some may not crawl until 10 months or later. If your 7-month-old is showing other signs of normal development, such as sitting up and rolling over, there may be no cause for concern. However, if you are worried, it’s always a good idea to consult your pediatrician.
Is crawling at 4 months early?
Crawling at 4 months is considered early, as most babies start crawling around 9 months. However, some other babies tend to develop their motor skills more quickly than others.
Is crawling at 6 months early?
Crawling at 6 months is slightly earlier than the average age of 9 months, but it is still within the normal range of development.
What are Different Crawling Styles?
There are several types of crawling that babies may use as they develop their motor skills. Some common types include:
Classic crawl: Also known as the hands-and-knees crawl, this is the most common type of crawling where babies move forward using their hands and knees in a coordinated manner.
Commando crawl: Also called the belly crawl, this type of crawling involves babies lying on their stomachs and using their arms and legs to pull themselves forward, with their bellies still in contact with the floor.
Bear crawl: In this type of crawling, babies keep their arms and legs straight, with their hands and feet on the floor while they lift their bottoms up in the air, resembling a bear.
Crab crawl: Babies move sideways, like a crab, by pushing with their hands and feet while keeping their bellies off the ground.
Rolling crawl: Some babies choose to roll their way across the floor instead of traditional crawling.
Bottom scooting: Babies sit on their bottoms and use their hands and feet to push themselves forward, scooting along the floor.
Leapfrog crawl: Babies move forward by pushing off with their feet while keeping their hands on the ground, similar to a leapfrog motion.
Does a crab crawl count? What if my baby decides to skip crawling altogether?
Crawling is crawling! Don’t stress too much about how your baby starts out, normally they just want to move about in whatever way they can.
And, yes, some babies will stand, coast and walk before they ever crawl. This is usually nothing to worry about.