For young babies, crawling is usually the first activity that gives them some physical autonomy. Typically, a baby will start to crawl when they’re around 7 to 10 months old.
But that doesn’t mean that all babies will learn how to crawl at this point; in fact, some babies never crawl at all! The most important thing is that your baby acquires some form of mobility. While it’s true that most babies do this by crawling, others like to roll, scoot on their bottoms, or slither on their bellies.
Other babies completely skip crawling and go straight to walking. These babies will usually learn how to stand up using an object — like a bed, for example — to support themselves. In fact, crawling is considered to be an “optional skill” that isn’t used to measure your baby’s physical development. Some of the babies who never crawl end up walking earlier than babies who do crawl.
Babies don’t simply go from lying on their tummies to crawling with confidence in a matter of days. First, they need to learn how to sit upright without support.
This usually happens when they’re around seven to eight months old. Being able to sit means that their arms, legs, and back are strong enough to support their own weight and prevent them from hitting the floor if they fall down.
Once your baby can sit upright, they’ll learn how to get on all fours. After this, they’ll soon realize that they can rock back and forth in this position and that they can get mobility by pushing their knees off the ground.
With time, your baby will get better at crawling. They’ll be able to return to a sitting position after crawling. When they’re approaching their first birthday, they might learn to “cross-crawl,” which is done by moving their leg and arm on opposite sides, rather than moving both limbs from the same side. “Cross-crawling” provides more balance and speed.