Developmental milestones: When do babies crawl?


Crawling is one of the most exciting (and adorable) baby milestones. There’s nothing quite like that moment you see your little one take off!

It’s one of the first signs of independence that our babies show and it gives them their first real taste of the world around them. Crawling is a major step in their development, between when they learn to sit up and as they eventually move towards walking.

There are so many different ways your baby will learn to crawl – most will have their own unique style of doing it! 

When it comes to milestones, it’s important for parents to understand what’s normal, what’s not and when to worry. But when it comes to their development we know all babies are different and will get there in their own time. 

So remember that the key is being aware of milestones – but not living by them!

When do babies crawl?

Babies may start to show signs of crawling anywhere from around 6 months however some babies may not crawl until past their first birthday. Typically once they learn to sit independently this is the natural progression as they begin to test their own abilities and their curiosity for exploration takes over.

How do they go from tummy time to crawling?

Experts recommend getting our little ones to do tummy time right from birth, and whilst this seems cute and fun, there’s actually a good reason for this. Tummy time is actually helping their muscles and development which they’ll actually need to sit, crawl and eventually walk.

You’ll notice tummy time changes as they grow, they become more active, start to hold their head up and control their head movements, moving their arms and eventually learning to push themselves up with their hands. 

Some babies will get into a crawling position from this point, whereas others will prefer to crawl from a seated position.  

Get 10% off access to Mothercraft Nurse and baby whisperer – Chris Minogue
Use code ‘EXPERT10’ at checkout

What if my baby doesn’t crawl?

Whilst crawling is cute and a big developmental milestone, it’s actually not a crucial one. 

Some babies will actually skip the crawling phase altogether and go straight from sitting to standing. 

My baby isn’t crawling like other babies, is that ok?

All babies will have their own unique style of getting about. Many will be on all fours, shuffling on their hands and knees but some might shuffle on their bottom, some might do the one-legged kick and others might even go backwards!

More on baby crawling styles here.

How can I encourage my baby to crawl?

Tummy time is the ultimate baby exercise to strengthen their head, neck, back, arms and core muscles. Put toys and other interesting objects in their line of sight to help encourage them to look towards things and eventually reach out and start grabbing (always whilst supervised). 

As they start to reach and grab you can place things just out of their reach to encourage that movement.

Remember that no object or toy is as exciting to your baby as you, so get down on the floor with them and play, sing, read and encourage them.

Baby-proofing once your little one is on the move

Make sure that you make your home safe for your avid explorer. Once they get the knack for it – there’s no stopping them! So a good trick is to get down on the floor yourself, and crawl around and look for anything that might grab their attention and make sure it’s safe or secure or remove it altogether.

How long until my baby learns to walk once they’ve started crawling?

There really is no set time period for this phase, some babies will get a taste for freedom and move to walking very quickly. However, others will relish this crawling phase and may stay in it for 6 months or more.

When should I worry about my baby’s crawling?

If your baby is over 12 months and not showing signs of crawling yet, you may want to speak with your doctor or pediatrician about possible causes. As previously mentioned, some babies will just bypass crawling altogether.

Similarly, if your baby is crawling and not showing signs of walking by around 18 months, it is also a good idea to speak with your doctor or paediatrician.

Related articles
Developmental milestones: When do babies smile?
Developmental milestones: When do babies start teething?
Simple ways to encourage your baby’s development 

Sign up Image Heart

Don't miss a thing!

Stay in the loop on all things parenthood as we share tips, hacks, products, inspo & everything in between. We promise not to clutter your inbox.