The Importance of Crawling for your Baby's Development

The importance of crawling for your baby's development comes from the motor and neurological skills they develop. Keep reading to learn more!
The Importance of Crawling for your Baby's Development

Last update: 22 September, 2021

Crawling, like all motor activities in children, progresses in parallel with, helps, and complements your baby’s development. This is your child’s first act of independence. In today’s article, we’ll discuss the importance of crawling for your baby’s development.

These benefits take place in the brain. Your baby starts to recognize where they live and they begin to explore the spaces around them, which will reinforce their visual capacity. They’re attracted to things, they move toward them, and they start to interact with their surroundings.

Therefore, you need to make sure they’re safe as they start moving around. Parents need to check the areas where their babies are moving around. Look for electric cables and sharp edges. Also, you should remove or cover any objects on the ground or at their height. Your crawling baby is curious and will go towards anything that catches their eye at a surprising and swift pace.

The importance of crawling for your baby’s development

When your baby crawls, they’re able to gain awareness of the space around them. They can move around and make the space their own as they explore. Anything that’s within reach could grab their attention. Therefore, you must ensure the space is safe for them to explore. 

Your child’s hand-eye coordination will allow them to select and grab objects. In addition, it will help them move their arms and legs in rhythm. Also, crawling strengthens and provides musculoskeletal stability in your shoulders, arms, and palms. It also helps with your baby’s neuromotor activity.

The importance of crawling also relates to your child’s sight. As your baby crawls, they’ll be developing their capacity for visual convergence and divergence.

Precautions to consider

To avoid accidents, parents need to check the crawling area. You should limit the areas and places they’re allowed to explore. Then, be sure to close off any areas that aren’t safe for them.

When your child is in the crawling phase, you shouldn’t take your eyes off your baby for a minute. Also, you should be aware of any potential dangers or risks. 

A woman encouraging a baby to crawl on the rug.

Falls

It’s important to remember that crawling gives your baby independence. So, they’ll just want to keep moving around and won’t be worried about any potential dangers. If they’re in bed or on their changing table, they may try to get off by themselves. That could lead to a possible fall.

You should also be very careful with the bathtub. We recommend getting a non-slip mat that will keep both you and your baby safe.

High-risk spaces

There are some places in the home with more risk than others. For example, the kitchen, bathroom, stairs, hot water tanks, places with chemical products, laundry room, and the swimming pool. Of course, any space in the house can be dangerous for your baby. They will constantly be exploring, touching, and picking things up to put in their mouths.

You should block off any high-risk areas so your baby can’t crawl in those spaces.

Unevenness

Uneven floors are very decorative, but they’re also high risk for a crawling baby. As a new parent, you’ll be surprised by how many challenges your baby’s crawling could pose. Therefore, it’s always best to do everything you can to avoid potential dangers. 

You may want to consider using non-slip or crawling mats in the bathroom while your child gets used to the space. But don’t worry, they’ll get used to it very quickly. 

Plugs, cables, and electrical outlets

Your baby’s natural curiosity will lead them to put their fingers in anything they can find. Outlets will catch their eye, so it’s important to cover them. There are a lot of stores that sell outlet plugs.

However, you should still cover them even if you don’t have the actual plugs. Try using tape or blocking the area off for the time being. This is especially important for the outlets that you don’t use very often.

Furniture

Most of the furniture in our homes is safe for older children or adults, but not for babies. For example, a bookcase could fall on them as they’re exploring. In an attempt to get up onto it, your baby will use the furniture legs or ledges to pull themselves up.

Therefore, you need to ensure that furniture is fixed to the floor or wall. If possible, you should remove any dangerous furniture from spaces where your baby crawls. 

In addition, parents can put foam edges on corners and sharp angles. However, it’s always best to just clear anything dangerous from the room. 

Tips for encouraging your baby to crawl

The first thing you should do is get the crawling area ready. This will depend on your baby’s exercise needs. Parents need to understand that during this stage of their baby’s life, from 6 to 10 months, motor and neurological development are essential. Therefore, you shouldn’t try to get your baby to stand up and walk. Remember the importance of crawling for your baby’s development. Everything will come in time.

To help you avoid becoming more interested in getting your baby to stand up than getting them to crawl, your child mustn’t spend too much time in their playpen. You should put them in the crawling area with stimuli like toys. That will encourage them to move. For example, if you use a ball, your baby will notice how it moves when your baby touches it. Then, their eyes will be developing convergence. 

After four months, we recommend putting your baby face down in their crib when they’re awake. This will make them try to get up. In doing so, they’ll be working their hands and arms that they’ll need to start crawling. Also, between six and ten months, after they’ve learned to sit up, they’re likely to start crawling. You should note that your child will do it their unique way since there’s no one single way to crawl.

To help encourage them, you can lay them face down with their hands forward and their legs positioned like frog legs. You can also put a cylindrical cushion on their abdomen. In addition, you can help by grabbing their hips so their weight falls on their arms and hands. However, the best way to encourage them is to make happy noises on the ground with them so they want to keep trying.

Lastly, you can try a fun trick. Roll up a small blanket and put it underneath your baby. Then, lift it slightly and move it back and forth. This will help you support your baby while their hands are on the floor.

mother and baby, baby crawling towards the camera and mother supporting baby smiling

The importance of crawling

Some parents like to get on the ground with their babies in the crawling area. If they pretend to chase their babies or make their bodies into obstacles for their babies, crawling time will be more fun. For example, you can put yourself in the way of your baby’s favorite toy. Then, they need to climb over you to get to it. This can be a great way to bond as your baby learns to crawl.

To start crawling, all your baby needs is time and space. And remember the importance of crawling, you don’t want to push them to walk or stand by having them use walking devices.  

This stage of development is short and you’re going to miss it when your baby gets older. However, you need to remember to take any necessary precautions to help your baby avoid falls or injuries. In addition to clearing any hazards, you should also clean and disinfect your baby’s crawling area. 

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