Is there anything more exciting than when a baby begins to crawl? They develop more fine and gross motor skills, gain some independence, and can finally move on their own! The last one is a blessing and a curse. It’s amazing to watch your baby move and get the things that they want to make themselves happy. Say goodbye days of washing dishes while your baby plays on the floor next to your feet. Now they are crawling after the dog, under the kitchen table and inevitably up the stairs. Do we really want our babies to begin crawling? Yes! But how do you teach them how to crawl? Are their toys that can help with this? Let’s discuss how to teach your baby how to crawl and talk about some pretty amazing toys that can help with this major milestone.
How to Teach Your Baby to Crawl
This sounds like a silly thing. Babies just figure this stuff out, right? Well, not always. Some babies may need a little help in learning how to crawl and others may need just a nudge to help them out.
Start with Tummy Time
The first step in teaching your baby to crawl is to make sure that they get plenty of practice with tummy time as an infant. Tummy time helps with neck strength, and it’s good for their heads so that they don’t get a flat spot. They will also learn how to push up on their arms and eventually, they will push up on to their knees. Tummy time is important so remember to start it early and make it a daily exercise for your baby.
As your baby grows, they eventually get up on their hands and knees from the tummy time position. Once babies can do this, many of them will begin rocking back and forth trying to figure out how to go forward and move. This is where you and toys come in.
Lead by Example to Help Your Baby Learn to Crawl!
Once your baby is rocking back and forth on their hands and knees, show them how to crawl. Get down on your hands and knees and slowly move your hands and knees forward, one step at a time. Watch your babies’ eyes grow with excitement as they realize what you are doing and how you are doing it. We all learn from example, so showing your baby what to do is very helpful.
You can also gently move your babies’ hands and knees for them one at a time. This can be tricky so just be patient and work with your baby. Watch their cues and if they don’t like it, don’t push it. No one learns anything when they’re frustrated. You can also lift your baby up by their waist and shoulders to gently lift their hands and knees just slightly off the floor. See if your baby moves their hands and knees to try to move forward. If they do, help move them along while still holding them. They might be close to crawling but just don’t have the strength yet. Be patient, this is a big deal for your baby!
Toys to Help Your Baby Crawl
There are so many amazing toys out there to help teach your baby to crawl. Some are simple and some have all the bells and whistles. When shopping for baby toys, get something that you think your baby will actually like (not what toy is least annoying to you). Babies like lights and music, so many of these toys are going to have them. Sorry, but your baby will thank you for them someday.
Balls to Help Your Baby Learn to Crawl
Pretty simple right? Balls can come in many shapes, colors, textures, and technology. When a baby plays with a ball and throws it, they have the incentive to crawl and get it. If they throw a ball, resist the urge to go retrieve the ball for your little cutie. Instead, encourage them to crawl and go get it. Show them how to crawl to get it. Again, if they begin to get too frustrated, help them out. Here are a few favorites:
- Infantino Balls, Blocks & Buddies Activity Toy Set
- VTech Move and Crawl Baby Ball
- Roller-Pillar Activity Balls
- Toys Ballyhoo Baby Ball
This is how we got our firstborn to crawl. She got a play tunnel for Christmas and someone would sit on one side of the tunnel opening and we would put her on the other side. She so badly wanted to get to the parent or grandparent that was sitting on the other side of the tunnel. One person would crawl through the tunnel to get to her, tickle her, and crawl back out. This worked for us! They’re fun to crawl through, sit in, and play in. There are a few different types of tunnels out there. Some you can add on to and some may come in a kit that your baby can grow in to.
- Playz 6 Piece Kids Play Tents and Tunnels
- Hide N Side 6 ft. Crawl Through Play Tunnel (additional pieces can be purchased as your baby grows and wants more activities)
Cars and Trains
Kids love cars and trains. It doesn’t matter the gender, there is just something fascinating to babies about the way they move. It’s perfect though, isn’t it? You push the play cars or trains, they move, and then the baby has to go get them to keep playing with them. Here are some favorites:
- Melissa and Doug Pull-Back Vehicles
- Toys Mini-Wheeeels
- Fisher-Price Learn Laugh & Learn First Words Crawl Along Learning Train
This one doesn’t have to be complicated. Many doctors and baby experts will tell you that setting up a mirror in front of your baby during tummy time is a good idea. It gives them something to look at, they may begin to recognize themselves, and they will reach for the cute little baby that is staring back at them. You can use a sturdy mirror that you already have at home for this. Just be sure that it is secure and won’t fall on your baby. B. Toys Looky Looky Crawl Along Mirror is a great mirror toy to help get your baby moving.
Playmats are great. Not only do they give your baby something soft and squishy to play on, but they also protect your floors from your baby’s throw up, drool and blowouts. Look for a play mat that has more interest in it, such as one with a farm scene or one with lots of animals on it. As your baby gets older and can sit on their own, having something to look at on the floor and interact with may help them crawl. This playmat from Baby Care is one of my favorites. It can easily be cleaned, rolled up, and has two sides to help keep your baby’s interest for longer periods of time.
Music, Lights and More!
Kids love music and lights. They easily grab a child’s attention and keep it for a long time. Luckily, or maybe not so lucky, for us, there are so many toys out there with music and lights. You can find toys that are designed specifically to help teach your baby to crawl, or you can simply take a toy that your baby likes, turn it on, and set it across the room to encourage your baby to get it. Here are a few toys to help encourage your little one to crawl:
- Skip Hop Explore and More Follow Me Bee 3
- Fisher-Price Zoom and Crawl Monster
- Fisher-Price Linkimals Musical Moose
- Baby Einstein Glow and Discover Light Bar
Crawling is such a huge milestone for your baby. Once they begin to crawl, they get a taste of independence and will be eager to see what else is out there. But fear not, they’re not leaving for college any time soon. You’ve got years and years of snuggles, toys, and memories to make. Enjoy the journey of watching your baby grow and learn.
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