Mother and Baby

When do babies start crawling?


The first few months of babyhood go by so quickly, and before you know it you can see those little legs getting eager to move. 

Watching your baby grow and reach new milestones in their lives is incredibly heartwarming. But when babies learn how to crawl it can be a bit exhausting, as they'll start exploring the room and you'll have to move almost everything onto the top shelves now. 

If you think your baby is ready to crawl, or if you're just wondering when he'll start, here's what you need to know about when babies learn how to crawl and how to encourage them!

In this article:

What age do babies start to crawl?

Most babies start to crawl between 6 months and 10 months old. Whilst this is the most common age for little ones to crawl, it might take some babies longer to learn to crawl or they might skip the phase entirely and start pulling themselves up to learn how to walk. 

How can I encourage my little one to crawl?

While you can't teach a baby how to crawl, you can encourage them in a few different ways. These steps are great for helping your little one learn how to crawl.

1) Give them plenty of tummy time

Tummy time is important for a babies development as it helps to strengthen their muscles. Give your little one plenty of supervised tummy time play, as this will help them develop the strength to crawl by using their arms, legs and head control.

2) Make sure there's plenty of space 

Child-proofing is very important, especially when you think your little one is getting ready to start moving! Make sure there's plenty of space for your little one to move around and move any potential safety hazards out of the way, such as coffee tables and ornaments. 

3) Encourage him to reach for toys

Lay interesting toys near your baby when he's doing tummy time to encourage him to reach for them. Toys that move and make a noise are great to use to attract your little ones attention, and they will eventually start moving towards them.

4) Help him to move

When your little one is just learning to crawl, a good way of helping him is by putting the palms of your hands against his feet so that he can push off against them. It's a great way to help him get control of his movement, and once he realises he can move forward, he will start pushing his feet against the ground to crawl.

What if my baby doesn't start crawling?

The important thing to remember is that all babies are different. Some start crawling early and others might not crawl at all and could just go straight to walking! Don't push your little one to crawl if he isn't ready as it can slow down development, just gentle encouragement when he shows he's ready will help him to figure it out. 

However, if you have any concerns about your little one's movements then mention it to your Health Visitor or see your GP. 

What's your baby's crawling style?

Starting to crawl is a huge deal for your tot - and each baby has a different way of doing it. From the crab crawl to the bottom scoot crawl, see if you recognise your baby's technique...

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The Classic Crawl

Baby alternates arms and legs, getting the arm on one side to hit the floor at the same time as the leg on the opposite side.
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The Belly Crawl

Also known as the commando crawl! About half of babies begin crawling by keeping their tummy against the floor as they move. Belly creepers usually begin crawling earlier than four-on-the-floor crawlers because they don't get up on their hands and knees, which requires greater strength and balance. Some babies use belly crawling as their only method of crawling until they learn to walk; other babies shift to the classic crawl before they start walking.
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The Bear Crawl 

Baby walks on all fours, arms and legs unbent.
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The Crab Crawl

Baby pushes with arms instead of pulls -- which has the unintended, and frustrating, consequence of sending baby backward.
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The Leapfrog Crawl 

Baby makes a bridge with his arms and legs and then thrusts forward.
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 Some babies get so good at rolling that it becomes their primary way to get around.

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Having worked across a variety of magazines, on topics from food to travel to horses, Stephanie now works as a Digital Writer for Mother&Baby online. 

She loves taking her lurcher puppy Moss for long walks in the country, and spending time with her niece and two nephews. In her spare time she writes fiction books and enjoys baking (her signature bake is lemon drizzle cake).

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