Babies develop and grow at amazing speed. One day, they could be struggling to flip themselves over onto their stomach, the next day, they will be toddling around and grabbing at everything their tiny hands can hold.
Most babies learn how to crawl before they reach the walking stage. However, some babies skip the crawling stage and jump straight to walking.
“Babies usually learn to crawl at between 6 to 10 months of age. Most babies start taking their first steps at between 9 and 12 months of age. Around 15 months, they should be able to walk unaided,” says Dr Vanni Gunaseelan, a clinical psychologist.
If your little one does not start crawling or showing any interest in moving by 12 months, bring him to the paediatrician for an evaluation. Do note that premature babies may take a longer time to start crawling and reach other developmental milestones, as compared to their peers, Dr Vaani explains.
So, how do you encourage your little sprout to start crawling? Dr Vaani suggests providing a safe and comfortable space for your baby to move around, and also to encourage more tummy time. Letting babies play on their tummies – as this will help them learn how to roll, slither around on their tummy, and sit up.
Reducing the amount of time your cherub spends in restrictive baby equipment such as walkers and baby bouncers will help as well. “Make sure you do not forcefully push your child to crawl as that might affect the rate at which they learn to crawl,” Dr Vaani warns.
If you observe your munchkin wriggling about on the floor, or crawling backwards, don’t panic! He might have just found a unique way of moving about. “What matters is that the child is moving and getting mobile to strengthen their stability and muscles before they start walking.” Dr Vaani assures.
Want to know what to expect when baby starts moving? Here are unique (and sometimes hilarious) ways in which bubba goes from point A to B!
Infographic: Paulyn Ng
Dr Vaani Gunaseelan is a clinical psychologist at Think Psychological Services.
Photo and illustrations: iStock