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As a new parent, you’ll fuss about being involved in every aspect of your baby’s development. You want to be at the center of it all, worried lest you miss a spectacular moment in your baby’s growth. You’ll get very excited as your baby gets older and becomes more capable and is able to sit down on his own. You begin to prepare yourself for crawling, walking and the baby’s first words! However, in your excitement, do not leave the baby out of enjoying the experience as well.
One of those milestone moments is when your baby becomes ready to crawl. Don’t freak out about any part of it, it’s a natural developmental stage in their growth. Most babies begin crawling within the ages of six months to one year. Some babies start earlier, others start late and some confident little fellas skip it altogether and go straight to walking.
Below are tips and tricks you can use to teach a baby to crawl:
#1. Location, location, location!
Do you know how we get weird and edgy in a new place that doesn’t really fit our specifications? Yes, that happens to babies too. If they’re going to feel comfortable enough to try out this new skill then your house should be baby-friendly. Ensure that:
- Your floors are cleaned with a mild disinfectant. This will keep your baby safe from having skin irritations that may cause rashes.
- Make the terrain free of obstacles; there shouldn’t be things your baby may knock over or bump into on his path.
#2. Ensure that your baby is ready
Challenging ourselves to get out of our comfort zones and try new things allows us to find and explore new horizons, true but we have to be ready first. Don’t over challenge the little bundle of joy! Allow the baby to naturally transition to this stage. Don’t make the baby begin to do things his body is not ready to handle.
#3. Introduce floor time
Once you have a clean environment and your baby is ready to take that first crawl then the next thing to do is reduce the amount of time your baby spends in walkers and bouncers. Get your baby off the bouncer onto the floor for a bit and allow him to explore. This process allows the baby to get his bearings and become accustomed to being on the floor and encourage him to go forward.
#4. Get toys that can teach a baby to crawl
There are toys that can help to teach a baby to crawl. They are:
a. Vtech chase me Casey: This is a little sensory monkey that moves to encourage your baby to dance and crawl after it as he moves on the floor. It has sensors on his feet that show when the baby is near it and it quickly plays sounds and moves further.
b. Vtech explores and crawl learning cub: This beautiful bear encourage your baby to crawl after it as it moves on the floor. It crawls and produces fun sounds to entice your baby to follow it.
c. Fisher-price Laugh & Learn smart stages crawl around car: The baby sits in the driver seat and the car encourages the baby to develop crawling skills, imagination and motor skills.
d. Fisher-price Go Baby Go: 1-2-3 crawl along snail: This toy has three play modes that help baby to crawl, do tummy time and sit & play. It has music and sounds to stimulate the baby to crawl.
#5. Use a mirror to teach a baby to crawl
Having something to work toward is a great motivator for all us including babies. When a baby sees his reflection in front of him, he would want to get closer to that other small person to play with! The baby gets excited and the image becomes a prize he wants to receive when he gets there.
#6. Call it off!
Just like the rest of us, when a task gets tedious, babies get frustrated. When this happens and it will – do not insist! Take the baby off the floor and feed him or play with him. Insisting on continuing is counterproductive because the baby will begin to associate the crawling exercise with a time when he feels uncomfortable and overwhelmed and this may make the baby oppose it and cry.
#7. Motivation is your new North
Do not underestimate the power of good motivation. Even as adults, we enjoy having some positive comments thrown at us every now and again so do that for your baby. Stay happy and positive through it all, smile and acknowledge when the baby makes an effort, you can even ooh and aah to catch the baby’s attention!
#8. Be the reflection!
If your baby isn’t too interested in going towards his reflection in the mirror then become the reflection. Get on the ground and encourage your baby to crawl toward you. Sing and be goofy to motivate the baby to make the effort. Don’t forget to hug and kiss and appreciate the baby when he reaches you!
#9. Let the baby have fun!
Let’s do away with the misconception: your baby is not likely to get in the first few tries and begin to crawl expertly. It’s going to take time and lots of patience on your part. In the meantime, let the baby have fun! If he wants to roll or drag on his belly towards you then let him! Don’t always interrupt and correct, it will make the baby develop an extra cautiousness which wouldn’t allow him to explore.
#10. Get on all fours!
To make the process more effective you have to be willing to get down too. When your baby sees you on the floor crawling about, it will show him practically what it is you expect from him and how it’s supposed to be done. Support the baby when he is able to get on his hands and knees and keep him from sitting back down while gently encouraging him to go forward.
#11. Safety is the first policy!
Trying out crawling is exciting but can also bring about some challenges. Don’t let the challenges make you compromise safety; your baby’s safety is of paramount importance and this is why you must consider baby-proofing. Therefore, you must ensure that:
- There are no sharp edges from which the baby can fall off,
- If there are then you must be close by to assist and gently move the baby from the edge.
- Get a good playmat that is suitable for the baby to crawl on. It is safer and cleaner.
#12. Patience is everything
Your baby can sense your frustrations and can sense whether or not you’re fully committed to what is being done. Your baby will zone out when you zone out, he will cry out when you become absent-minded, he will protest when he feels neglected. You cannot expect your baby to figure it all out on his own just because he got it wrong the first few hundred times! So, persist and persevere, do not leave your little one-half way through your tutelage to carry on alone.
Teaching a baby to crawl is not as difficult as you think
Above are tips and tricks to teach a baby to crawl. Despite the challenges, your baby trying to acquire a new skill under your loving watch will be rewarding for both of you. So, enjoy every moment of it, your baby only gets to crawl once!