Worried your infant’s not going places? Wishing you understood how they get crawling? Wondering how you can help them to do this?
Our guide to crawling and movement is worth a read if these questions are on your mind!
Make sure that your baby has some tummy time every day. Babies spend a lot of time on their backs, when asleep for instance, so it is important that they spend some time on their bellies to help develop their neck and core muscles, which will become key in crawling and later walking.
Your baby might not enjoy spending time on their tummy at the start, and if they become too upset, just let them spend a few minutes on their belly before moving them to a different position. Letting them lay on their sides, back and tummy can be a good way to break up exercise and rest muscles. Laying down alongside them during this time can turn these exercises into play and fun, and help comfort your baby as they can see you. Babies learn by seeing as well as doing, so your presence will reassure and encourage them.
2. Move from walkers and bouncers to floor time!
Walkers, baby seats, swings and bouncers can all be excellent tools to help build your babies strength. However, they will need to build more strength to be able to crawl effectively, therefore there really is no replacement for giving your baby time on the floor to use their muscles and body.
Plus moving on the floor lets them learn about their own coordination and how the body responds to movement. Babies love to explore and will gain loads of enjoyment eventually from being able to move around their environment.
3. Motivate your baby!
You can bring a baby to the floor, but you can’t make them crawl. If your little one is being stubborn and refusing to move, try encouraging them by putting something they want just outside of their grasp. This can be a toy, a blanket or even yourself! Babies love mirrors as well, as they will be naturally interested in their own reflections.
Hopefully, they will want to check out these objects of interest, and will crawl toward them. If they are new to moving, then they will probably try some interesting, or funny, methods of travel, including rolling, stretching and flopping. This is all natural, but be aware of your child falling, particularly if they’re on a hard surface.
You should not help them too much though; this exercise is designed to encourage them to use their own bodies to solve the problem, not to learn that you will do it for them!
4. Create a crawling space for them to explore!
Create a space for your baby to practice. Soft and hard floors have different advantages for them. Soft floors can help with falls and knocks, but will be harder for your baby to move on. Hard floors provide less friction, meaning that when dressed in long sleeved clothes they will be able to scoot more easily when starting. This area should also be filled with toys and other objects that will encourage them to move.
5. Show your baby how to crawl and move!
As we talked about earlier, babies are visual learners. They see you doing things, and this gives them an idea about how a new skill can be learned. The most common skill we see this with is talking, where a child tries to communicate through baby talk with their parents. They also do this for learning how to move. So showing your baby how to crawl by demonstrating for them can actually help them begin to move better and faster!
We hope that you have enjoyed these tips and tricks for getting your baby mobile. Hopefully, they will be going places before long, and you’ll be wishing for the days when you didn’t have to chase them around the house!
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