Changing Colors: The Blog of Spectrum Pediatrics

January 23, 2017

Crawling Part 3: Tips and Tricks

As I mentioned in the first edition of our crawling series, I like to encourage parents and children not to give up on crawling due to the many benefits. Here are a few tips and tricks to help both you and your child work on crawling.

Tummy time

Most of the time, I see babies who are not crawling simply because they hate being on their tummies. The first, and toughest, step is to get them accustomed to experimenting with movement on their tummies. Refer back to our blog post here for some ideas to make tummy time more enjoyable and easier for both parent and the baby.

Belly crawling

If your baby is stuck on their belly and reaching their hardest for those toys out of reach but just not crawling, try making that forward motion easier. You can slip your baby into long sleeve shirts and pants or a long-sleeve footie pajama suit and let them play on their belly on a slick floor. By reducing the friction, belly crawling becomes much easier. You can also let your baby kick off your hand with their foot to help get that forward motion initially. Once they begin to move forward, they will learn to pull along with their arms to help get that motion.

Blanket under the belly

A lot of the time, the core muscles that help keep the trunk upright and supported in a variety of positions is weak. We see this when the baby might have difficulty getting their belly up off the ground. Try rolling or balling up a small hospital or receiving blanket and sticking it under the tummy when playing on the floor to help teach them to bring the belly up. If your baby has longer arms, you can place your shin under than belly rather than a blanket.

Wheelbarrow walks

Sometimes, we see little ones having difficulty moving onto the next stage of crawling due to weakness at the shoulder muscles. The term proximal stability refers to keeping the shoulder blade still and supported against the back of the rib cage. Wheelbarrow walks is an easy, and sometimes fun, way to help promote more core strengthening and proximal stability. I like to start holding baby at the hips while having them wheelbarrow walk on their hands. As they get stronger, I move my hands to their thighs, knees, and then ankles.

Make crawling fun!

You can encourage crawling most easily by placing favorite toys out of reach. Other fun games include playing near a mirror or a diaper box as most babies love to see their faces or other baby’s faces. Some little ones enjoy crawling through a tunnel or over obstacles and learn or to problem solve their way around the home.

Have fun crawling!

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