when do babies crawl

When do babies crawl? This is a very common question for new parents and although it's not the same for all babies, it normally comes between six and nine months.

After your little one learns to sit up unsupported, crawling is the next big step, and your baby is likely to be crawling well by the time he's one year old. Crawling is usually, though not always, a key achievement on the journey to walking.

When do babies crawl? How to help him

Tummy time will help your baby to grow stronger and develop the muscles needed to start crawling. You can do this by laying your baby on his tummy and playing with him for several minutes a few times a day while he's awake and alert. Once your baby has mastered this skill, he'll be one step closer to crawling.

 Though most babies crawl eventually, some will develop wildly different (and funny) methods or types of crawling. Bottom-shuffling or scooting around is also common for some babies and others may slide on their stomach in a kind of crawl. Babies can do whatever suits them!

Remember once your baby becomes mobile, in whatever way they choose, it's important to have safety-proofed staircases. Safety gates can be adjusted to fit your home and should be used to stop your newly moving baby reaching any unsafe areas.

A good way to encourage crawling, as with reaching practise, is to place toys just beyond your baby's reach. This will help improve his confidence, speed and agility. 

When do babies crawl? What to do if he’s not doing it yet

Don't panic. Some babies move straight to pulling themselves up standing and walking. Being mobile is the most important thing – not how they do it. If you're concerned about your baby's development for any reason, talk to your GP or health visitor. But remember, babies develop at different speeds and there is not set timetable for these baby crawling milestones.

When do babies crawl? Next steps

Once your baby can crawl, he will soon learn to walk. He'll soon begin pulling himself up on everything within reach and once balanced may be ready to stand on his own. But you don't have to invest in shoes just yet. It's not important until he's fully mastered walking and is going outside regularly.

Babies develop skills on different timetables and don't necessarily follow the schedules we might have for them. If your child hasn't shown an interest in getting mobile by some means (whether crawling, rolling, or bum-scooting), or learnt how to move his arms and legs together in a coordinated motion by the time he's a year old, bring it up at his next doctor's appointment. Keep in mind that babies born prematurely may reach crawling stages and other milestones several months later than other babies their age, so there’s no right answer for the question ‘when do babies crawl?’. Every child has his own development pace.