The Crawling baby

Crawling is an important milestone for the baby. It gives mobility without support to the baby for the first time. This milestone follows sitting without support. It indicates good neuromuscular and skeletal strength of the baby’s back, shoulders, arms and knees, which support the baby’s weight and help maintain his balance while moving.

Babies use hand eye coordination to move after focusing on a target like a toy and to try and reach it. They first move back and forth on their tummy (creeping) with straight limbs. Soon, they learn to use both arms and knees to move- ‘crawling’. Initially they need help to put them back to the sitting position after crawling. Later, they become independent and can change positions on their own.

Babies can crawl in various styles before learning to crawl properly on all fours. Scooting (crawling on one leg and dragging the other leg or just moving on bottom while sitting upright), bear walk (on hands and feet with arms and legs straight and hips in the air) is also common in the early attempts to crawl. Leapfrog technique- on all fours using legs to jump forward is another attempt at amateur crawling.

Every technique is fine as long as the baby manages to move. It need not be a perfect crawl coordinated on both arms and knees for every baby.We have to be patient. The final milestone in mobility is walking. Some babies like to stand and walk early.

We expect the baby to reach this milestone around 9 months; some babies reach as early as 7 months, others take more time to reach it and few might even skip this milestone. Parents should try to assess the willingness of their baby to become mobile. If your child is lazy and just likes to sit and enjoy himself. Try to encourage him to become mobile by luring him to reach a distant colorful toy or just you.Crawling boosts the baby’s navigational skills and memory. Babies like to return to the same position each time after they have  accomplished their mission of finding their target.

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