9 - 10 Months

3 tips to encourage crawling

Baby crawling to a yellow ball

Is your baby resistant to crawling? Perhaps they haven’t even tried it? Some babies are slow to crawl or skip the stage altogether, but try not to let them 😉

Crawling helps your baby develop critical motor and cognitive skills. It requires both sides of your baby’s body to work together, which builds pathways between the left and right sides of their brain.

3 ways to get your baby crawling

Pediatric developmental therapists recommend these play positions for reluctant crawlers:

1. Sidesitting: position your baby to sit with one leg bent in front of them and the other bent behind, both feet pointing in the same direction. This is an intermediate position between sitting and crawling and is excellent for developing core strength. Once your baby is in this position, give them something exciting to reach for. This will help them shift their center of gravity and put one or both hands on the floor for support.

2. Tall kneel: Kneeling is an important body position that engages your baby’s trunk, pelvis, and spine to stay upright. A ‘tall kneel’ is when your baby’s bottom is lifted off their heels, which works their core muscles and helps them practice balance.

A tall kneel also requires your baby to bear weight on their legs, which is necessary for crawling. To encourage this, place a fun toy on a low surface, like a couch or coffee table. Position your baby so they are sitting on their knees in a low kneel. Help them reach for the toy and shift forward lifting their bottom off of their knees onto a tall kneel. 

3. Hands and knees: Help your baby learn the feeling of being on all fours while bearing weight on their hands and knees and strengthening their core: 

  • Place them on their belly over one of your legs, so both their hands and knees are touching the floor. Gently rock them back and forth.
  • Place your baby on all fours by gently lifting their hips off the floor and back toward their heels. If they don’t bear weight through their arms, they aren’t quite ready for this. If they do, you can place one hand under their belly for support, if needed. 
  • Try a ‘towel hammock’ or bolster under their belly, which raises their trunk. Roll your baby into tummy time with a folded towel or blanket, about 10 to 12 inches wide, under their torso. Hold onto both ends of the fabric as you stand or kneel over your baby and gently lift their belly a few inches off the ground and back toward their heels. If your baby helps support their weight through their hands and knees, continue to offer support while they experience the sensory feedback of this position. You may even see your baby attempt a few ‘crawling steps’ forward with this support.


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Posted in: 9 - 10 Months, Crawling, Gross Motor, Milestones, Lovevery App, Child Development

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