It’s always exciting to see your baby reach another major milestone — and crawling is definitely a big one. Crawling signals a rapid acceleration of your baby’s ability to explore, and of course, means you should be extra vigilant about babyproofing.

So when can you expect to see your baby start to crawl?

The answer is usually somewhere between 8-12 months, when your baby will have the strength to push up onto the hands and knees and take those first wobbly motions forward.

But how babies crawl varies. Some get on their hands and knees, and move around on all fours. Others travel on their bellies and pull themselves forward with their hands or elbows. Still others wiggle, squirm, and push their way along, all without getting far off the ground.

What if your baby doesn’t crawl at all? Don’t worry. Many experts say that some babies skip crawling altogether, and that’s fine, because it’s not a necessary milestone on the road to walking.

There are, however, advantages to crawling, including muscle development and coordination in the shoulders and arms. If you’re concerned that your baby isn’t crawling or seems headed to skipping this developmental stage, try to encourage crawling with longer periods of “tummy time.” To make it even more enticing, you can sit on the floor just out of reach or offer your baby a toy as a reward.

Babies who get more tummy time as infants are more likely to crawl successfully. Tummy time has been shown to strengthen the muscles of the head, neck, and shoulders, all of which are used in crawling. Babies between 3 and 4 months can do up to 20 minutes per day of tummy time.

If your baby shows no interest in crawling, and you’re concerned about possible developmental delays, or if after one month of crawling, your baby drags one side of his or her body, check with your pediatrician.


  • Babies develop at their own individual rate and crawl using a variety of styles.
  • Many experts believe crawling is not a necessary step toward walking.
  • Crawling does help build strength and coordination.
  • Supervised “tummy time” helps babies develop muscles and can encourage earlier crawling.


  1. Mayo Clinic. Tummy Time.
  2. American Academy of Pediatricians. Developmental Milestone, 12 Months.


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