Babies typically start to crawl around the time that they are 8 months old. Some babies never spend much time crawling because they are go-getters and walking seems easier and more fun. So they transition very rapidly from the beginnings of crawling into walking everywhere. Just as with with any developmental stages, babies cannot be forced to do anything that they are ready for, either physically or psychologically. Remember that when you take these steps to try to get your baby to crawl, don’t be overly critical of yourself or your baby. The process should involve a lot of love and time together, and that will be more valuable than anything.
In any physical accomplishment, baby will be building more and more strength. The more complex the developmental stage, the more core muscle strength baby will need. Your baby will need adequate muscle strength to lift his or her head, roll over, sit up, walk and crawl. You can work on building the right core muscles by giving your baby plenty of time on his or her tummy. Tummy time helps strengthen a baby’s neck and back muscles, and eventually baby’s abdomen as well.
Getting On Their Knees
Before babies can begin to crawl, they will need to either be able to lift themselves up onto their hands and knees from lying on their tummy, or they will need to be steady enough in their sitting position to be able to roll from sitting to their hands and knees. Both of my daughters went from the sitting position to crawling rather than doing the wiggly worm (wriggling on their tummy towards something, which eventually turns to crawling). In either case, your baby needs to get down on hands and knees, and one way that can help baby get the feel for that position is to put something underneath his or her tummy for support. I have seen people use a rolled up bathroom towel to get the right muscles trained for supporting a baby on his or her hands and knees.
Rockin’ and Movin’
Once they are on their hands and knees and feel comfortable there, many babies will start to rock back and forth in an effort to test out this new position. Babies also love to imitate their mommies and daddies, so get down on all fours with them and rock back and forth. Place a toy that they love, or a small snack, in front of them and then show them how rocking back and forth can lead to moving one hand forward. You want to make sure that you place the toy far enough in front of baby that he or she can’t reach it by just moving his or her hands, and also far enough away that if your baby were to tumble forward (quite likely at the beginning), he or she would not fall on a toy and get hurt.
Before long, the rocking back and forth will lead to moving one hand and then another. The knees will follow soon after, and before you know it, your baby will be moving crawling.