baby development


Babies reach milestones in their own time, but we help you recognise the signs your baby is getting ready to start crawling

The next milestone: When will my baby crawl?

Crawling is a huge milestone for your baby, find out when you can expect it and how to help them along

Baby crawling 474

Every baby is different and does things in their own time. How many times have people said that to you? And we know it’s true, but as parents we still find ourselves wondering, when will my baby sit up? Or when will my baby roll over? Some parents go so far as to make comparisons and get themselves in a tizz with development anxiety and worry about when their little one will reach the next milestone.

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So here’s our guide to what to expect when it comes to crawling. But remember, it’s only a general guide, not all babies will reach the stage at the same time as it can span anywhere between 6-11 months. Although some babies skip it altogether.

Encouraging your baby to crawl

It’s important to give your baby plenty of tummy time. Experts say that babies who don’t get much tummy time may be slower to develop than babies that do. This is because tummy time helps babies learn to push up, roll, sit up, crawl and eventually pull themselves up to standing. 

What is the commando crawl?

Once your baby is comfortable on their tummy you may notice they start to wiggle and shuffle, not moving far but starting to move from the spot, this is known as the commando crawl.

When will my baby start to commando crawl?

In very general terms, babies tend to start lifting themselves up on to their knees and forearms between the ages of six and seven months. It starts with learning to balance on hands and knees. Once they can balance well enough in this position they may start to move forwards and backwards. Once they have mastered getting up from the ground, you may notice them doing little push-ups and rocking back and forth. Some ‘belly crawlers’ don’t progress to being ‘four on the floor’ crawlers and stick with the method of getting around until they learn to walk.

When can I expect my baby to crawl?

Once they are closer to eight months old, your baby may have mastered sitting without support. This tends to be the stage they start to move from ‘belly crawling’ to ‘four on the floor’. 

The next stage is to start pushing off with knees to start moving in the ‘classic crawl’ style of getting the arm on one side to hit the floor at the same time as the opposite leg. Going backwards often comes before going forward, so don’t be surprised, your baby may just feel stronger in their arms rather than their legs. 

By a year old, many babies have mastered the skill of crawling and are eager to try any challenge including the stairs! How they do it is really down to them and experts recognise that many babies develop their own style of scooting, shuffling, wriggling or rolling.

My baby doesn’t seem to show signs of crawling, should I be worried?

There is no need to be concerned. Some babies miss out the crawling stage altogether and get around by shuffling on their bottom instead. Some even move straight to pulling themselves up, to begin standing, and walking without ever crawling. Don’t worry how they go about it, the important thing to remember is that they are working towards becoming mobile which is the ultimate aim.