Your baby may prefer that you remain in a bent-over, back-breaking stoop, holding both hands so they can practice walking, but don’t let them give up on belly-scooting or crawling just yet.
Pediatric occupational therapist Rachel Coley explains:
“Some babies skip crawling, but it’s important to make sure they don’t or they’ll miss important foundational strengths and skills. Crawling is important for many reasons, including building hand-eye coordination and learning to coordinate movements where the two sides of the body are doing different things.”
There are a number of stages your baby will go through while building up to crawling:
Learning to scoot on belly backward (7 to 8 months on average):
Around 8 months, with their belly on the floor, your baby will likely start to scoot backward. Backward scooting usually comes before forward scooting. Ideas for encouraging forward movement can be found below.
Learning to sit and twist, hands-free (8 to 9 months on average):
Before crawling, your baby will work on sitting without hand support, twisting their body and reaching for toys while balancing. This happens around 8-9 months for most babies. You can help your baby work on hands-free sitting by enticing them with the dangling toys on The Play Gym.
Learning to scoot on belly forward (8 to 9.5 months on average):
While on their belly, your baby will move forward by pulling with their arms and pushing with their legs. You can help them get a better grip by putting them in a short-sleeved onesie with their bare legs on a hard floor. Entice your baby with a toy just out of reach and see if they are able to move toward you. On average, babies start moving forward on their bellies somewhere between 8 and 9.5 months.
Learning to self-support on hands and knees, belly off the floor (8 to 9 months on average):
Somewhere between 8 and 9 months, your baby will likely be able to get into the hands and knees position with their belly off the floor. If your baby is scooting, but not yet getting into the crawling position, you can help them learn to put weight on their hands:
Place your baby belly-down on a firm pillow or rolled up blanket tall enough to help them get familiar with the position. Make sure the support is high enough so that their arms are straight. Give your baby opportunities to feel lots of different textures with their hands while they are bearing weight on them.
Learning to crawl forward with belly off the floor (9 to 11 months on average):
Once your baby is on their hands and knees, you can encourage them to hit a ball or reach for a toy with one hand while putting weight on the other one. Stay close for support if they lose their balance.
Here’s how you can keep your baby crawling after they prefer other ways of getting around:
A crawl tunnel is a fun way to keep an early walker on their hands and knees. If your baby wants to skip crawling and go straight to walking, click here to learn more about possible reasons why and how you can help.
The Play Gym
Lovevery’s award-winning debut product includes everything you need in an activity gym—from batting to teething to learning to focus—for a whole year of play.Learn more
9 - 10 Months
What to do when your baby gets stuck in standing
Read our tips to help teach your baby how to get out of a standing position on their own.
7 - 8 Months
9 - 10 Months
Tips to help babies sleep
If your baby won't sleep in or seems overtired, try an earlier baby bedtime routine with help from Lauren Lappen, Lovevery's sleep consultant.
9 - 10 Months
Stand-up diaper changes
If your baby doesn't like being on their back during diaper changes, it may be time to for approach. Learn the four steps to stand-up diaper changes.