Types of Crawling Styles



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Updated on Jul 15, 2024 · 5 mins read
Types of Crawling Styles

Crawling is one of the most obvious signs your baby is growing up, and it’s exciting they can finally move with some independence. Before you had your baby, you might not have realised all the different types of crawling styles your baby will do. Yep, babies begin crawling in all different ways. The roll, they bend, they scoot – their hands and knees can do so many different (and cute) things! From belly crawling to the crab crawl or bear crawl, the types of crawling are (almost) too many to count! But nevertheless, we’ll breakdown some different crawling styles for you and give you some hot tips and where, when and why babies should crawl.

The Importance of Crawling for Babies: Milestones, Safety, and Styles

Why is crawling important?

Like most things when it comes to your little one, this milestone means more than you think. Beyond just being a new and exciting way of getting around, crawling actually has a lot of value for your little one.

It helps them reach new developmental milestones by supporting their fine motor skills, eye hand coordination, visual skills, spacial awareness, cognitive development and depth perception. Crawling helps babies build all sorts of skills. It’s also helpful for their self-confidence, as they can start to take risks and learn from them, build resilience and figure out that actually, they can do some pretty sweet stuff!

When do babies crawl?

Most babies learn to crawl between 6 and 10 months, but if your little one isn’t there yet, there’s no need for alarm. Many babies are late bloomers, or actually skip crawling altogether (very impressive.) Even if they skip crawling, they grow just as healthily and reach the same developmental milestones, just at a different rate (and that’s ok.) Some babies scoot, some shuffle, and others get right to the point and start walking.

How to keep your baby safe while crawling

There are a couple ways to keep your baby safe as they start to develop their crawling styles and figure out how they want to groove.

  1. Move cords – whether they’re electrical or just a window cord
  2. Cover up outlets or at least make sure they’re plugged up
  3. Lockup cabinets so they can’t reach anything dangerous
  4. Clear the floor of any items that could be choking hazards
  5. Get safety gates if possible to section off any unsafe areas
  6. Block off the stairs
  7. Add bumpers to sharp edges or corners
  8. Secure heavy furniture

How can you teach your baby to crawl?

Alright, so how do babies start crawling? Before we get into the types of crawling you might see, it’s important to know how you can support your little one so your baby crawls with confidence and flair.

First up, tummy time is everything. You can start to build their motor skills by helping your baby lift their head whilst lying on their back. By doing this, tummy time builds the muscles needed for crawling skills. Eventually getting into a sitting position will become easier for them, and then you’re one step closer to discover they’re crawling style. Giving them floor time is important so that they can get tummy time in get crawling.

Giving them some motivation to move towards their favourite toy could help encourage your baby crawling. It could also help if your get on your hands on knees and crawl with them, so don’t hold back!

Crawling styles

We’ve broken it down to a few types of crawling you might see your baby use whilst they’re trying to move. Just remember, babies crawl in so many different ways and don’t fret if your little one doesn’t fit into a crawling box. Baby crawling styles are all sorts of messy, and it’s definitely not one size fits all!

The classic crawl

The classic crawl is what you might have imagined your baby doing. The baby is able to balance their weight on their hands and knees and shuffle forward by moving in a crisscross motion (opposite hands to knees), much like how you would crawl yourself. It’s a classic hands and knees approach, and you’ve got to admire it.

Belly or commando crawl

This one is known as either the belly or commando crawl because your baby will use their belly to manoeuvre themselves (much like a soldier). By having their belly on the ground, they use their feet and arms to move forward. Hence, belly crawling.

Backwards crawling

The backwards crawl can often be the way your baby first starts to move. They are usually lying on the back and pushing their feet off the ground to shuffle back. This crawl usually doesn’t last or can turn into the crab crawl, which is when they waddle to the side.

Bear crawl

The bear crawl is very similar to the classic crawl; the only difference is that your baby’s elbows and knees are straight, which puts the balance onto their hands and feet. This makes their backs arch as they use the sides of their feet to propel themselves forward. Like a little bear, you could say.

Rolling crawl

You may find yourself with a rolling baby; this is when your baby rolls to move. They usually use their arms to roll themselves, and their heads are sometimes elevated.

The bottom shuffle

The bottom crawler gives rest to their feet and legs. Their hands are the main powers of movement as they use them to slide and drag their bottom around.

One-legged crawl

The one-legged crawl is similar to the bottom crawl, instead of using no legs, your baby uses one leg and both their hands to drag themselves around.

Crab crawl

In this on, your baby pushes forward with their arms, hence moving backwards or a forwards like a cute little crab!

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