One thing’s for sure, when it comes to babies: no sooner have you got the hang of the stage they’re at, they move on to something entirely new!
It can often be that way with crawling: a few weeks of trying and not getting far, then *boom* they’re halfway across the lounge floor before you can say Speedy Gonzales.
But exactly when – and even how – can you expect the crawling to begin? The general consensus is it usually happens between 6 and 10 months, although not all babies are the same, and some, believe it or not, skip this step altogether.
What the expert says
We spoke to Dr Tim Ubhi from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, who told us:
“There is a broad age range for when a baby will start crawling – but, most commonly, it happens between the ages of 6 and 10 months. Some babies don’t crawl at all, and instead do what’s known as ‘bum shuffling’, or they just start pulling themselves up into a standing position by holding onto furniture.
“Others go straight from lying down to walking, and miss out this stage altogether. The important thing is that the baby is beginning to strengthen the muscle groups that will allow them to become mobile and, ultimately, stand up by themselves and walk.
“If parents see no signs of mobility by the 10-month age, they should seek advice from their GP or health visitor.”
What our mums say
We asked mums on our Facebook community and on our Chat forum how it worked for them. A fair few said their little ones started crawling at around 5 months, although most agreed it was probably towards the 8 to 10-month mark…
So, while Vero85 says: “My daughter was 7 months when she started to crawl”, Jennifer D, for example, says: “My daughter didn’t crawl until 10 months.”
And Jen R says: “My daughter’s 10 months and has finally managed to get on her front. I’m not expecting her to crawl anytime soon – she was very premature.”
Although quite a few babies get the hang of crawling (at whatever age) nice and quickly, some ‘assume the position’ but don’t really get going for a few more weeks yet:
“My little man has started to crawl last week, says LouiseB88. “He’s 8 1/2 months. He had been up on his hands and knees and rocking back and forth for a couple of months, so I spent atleast 2 months thinking, ‘He’ll do it any day now’…but it took him til 8 1/2 months. He’s now whizzing about the place being a right pain in the a*se!”
And some babies have a few direction problems at first…
“My daughter started crawling at 11 months,” says Purple Star, “but only backwards initially! My son is 8 months and is almost crawling but currently does a sort of vibrating caterpillar motion..”
“My boy was a bottom-shuffler,” says Hannah W and, we have to say, lots of you said something similar.
In fact, there seem to be a fair few babies out there who skip the crawl totally.
“My little boy, who is now 2 years old, didn’t crawl,” Lisa A says. “He only started walking at 16 months, then crawled.”
And Kayleigh R says: “Mine didn’t [crawl]. She just walked at 9 months.”
The other thing to note, too, is that, just because 1 of your babies does 1 thing, there’s no guarantee they’ll all do the same.
As Donna O says: “My 1st didn’t crawl; just stood up and went straight to cruising at 11 months. But my 2nd crawled at 5 and a half months, started cruising at 7 months and is now walking with a push-along walker, and she is 11 months old.”
And Lucy M says: “My first (a boy) crawled from 8 months but didn’t start walking until after his 1st birthday. My 2nd (a girl) crawled from 6 months and was walking by 8 months.”
Crawls vary too: as well as the bum-shuffle, there’s the commando crawl (a sort of stealth stomach slither): “My son’s 9 months and commando crawling – it’s very efficient!” says fludu.”I am hoping he goes up on his knees. :-)”
Maybe he needs ‘encouraging’ as Sarah M says she found out: [Mine did the] ‘army’ crawl from 8 to 9 months, then a proper crawl at 10 months.
“He was quite lazy but started getting really frustrated when not being in arms reach of a toy or snack… so he had to make a move!”
Now there’s a tip if you want to get them crawling 😉