Baby learns something new every day, and it’s amazing to watch them grow. Some of the most frequently asked questions about baby development have to do with when babies sit up, roll over, and crawl. These are all part of a baby’s motor or physical development.
When do babies sit up?
As babies grow, they develop the skills they need to sit up on their own. Around 2 months, most babies can hold their heads up without support. By 4 months, they can usually hold their heads steady without support, and at 6 months, they may be able to sit with a little help.
By 9 months, many babies can sit well without support and may be able to get in and out of a sitting position but may need help. By 12 months, most babies can get into the sitting position without help.
Tummy time is essential for helping your baby build the strength in their upper body and neck that is necessary for sitting up on their own.
You can start around the 6-month mark by encouraging your baby to sit up with some help from you or by propping them up with pillows so they can look around and explore their surroundings.
When do babies roll over?
Babies can start rolling over as early as 4 months old. This movement is the first step in eventually rolling over. To encourage this, place your baby on a blanket on the floor with a toy or book slightly out of reach to one side.
This gives your baby something to strive for while also allowing him or her the space to move and explore safely.
When do babies crawl?
At six months old, babies will often rock back and forth on their hands and knees. This is a crucial building block for eventually crawling. As the child rocks, he or she may start to crawl backward before eventually moving forward.
By nine months old, babies typically creep and crawl around. Some babies do commando-type crawl, pulling themselves along the floor by their arms. To encourage your child’s crawling development, allow your baby to play on the floor in a safe area away from any stairs.
Place favorite toys just out of reach as the baby is rocking back and forth. Encourage him or her to reach for his or her toy.
As your baby starts moving around more, it’s important to take extra precautions around the house. Keep household cleaning, laundry, lawn care, and car care products out of reach and locked up.
Install safety gates and lock doors leading to the outside and basement. This is just a small list of things you can do to keep your mobile baby safe at home. For more tips, check out our website or give us a call.
Babies don’t have a set plan to start crawling. Instead, they try out different ways of moving until they find a way that works best for them.
Babies usually choose one of the following styles of crawling:
hands-and-knees crawling, or
However, some babies might prefer to move using alternative methods, such as:
There are several ways that babies get around, including bottom-shuffling (also known as “scooting”), step-scooting (a kind of tripod shuffle), cruising (walking while grasping handholds), or rolling.
I describe each of these in detail below. It’s not unusual for a baby to combine several techniques, or improvise his or her own, quirky mode of locomotion.
Why do some babies start crawling so much later than others?
Body type can affect when a baby starts crawling – usually, slimmer, lankier babies start sooner.
It’s difficult to move your body efficiently if you are carrying a lot of extra weight, so leaner babies have an advantage. In a longitudinal study of crawling, Karen Adolf’s team noticed that “smaller, slimmer, more maturely proportioned infants tended to crawl at earlier ages than larger, chubbier infants.”
In addition, babies who get ample “tummy time” tend to crawl earlier.
Studies have found that there is a correlation between when babies start to crawl and the amount of time they spend awake and lying on their stomachs. Babies who frequently engage in “tummy time” and other forms of exercise tend to crawl sooner than those who don’t (Kuo et al 2008; Lobo and Galloway 2012).
So if you want your baby to start crawling sooner, make sure they get plenty of tummy time and opportunities to move around!
Motivation matters, too.
As noted, belly crawling is difficult to work, and hands-and-knees crawling requires a lot of balance control. Some babies may decide it’s not worth the trouble and focus on learning other ways to move.