Crawling is a very important milestone, as it gives the actual unaided mobility to the baby for the first time. A baby is ready to crawl once he becomes independent in coming to sitting position on his own. Strong back, shoulders, arms and knees are prerequisites to support the baby’s weight and help maintain his balance while moving.
Babies use both eyes together to focus on a target (read toy:)) and then tries to reach it. Little aspirant first tries to move back and forth on his tummy (creeping) with straight limbs. Later, he discovers the required push and technique to use both arms and knees while moving. In initial attempts to crawl, baby will need you to put him back to the sitting position after, he is tired practicing his crawling skills. Later, baby becomes independent enough to change positions.
Babies crawl in different styles before graduating to the real crawl on all fours. Don’t be surprised or worried if you see your baby scooting (crawling on one leg and dragging the other leg or just moving on bottom while sitting upright) in a funny way, rather than crawling. Bear walking on hands and feet with arms and legs straight and hips in the air is also common in the early attempts of crawling. Leapfrog style on all fours using legs to jump forward is another method of amateur crawling.
Every style is perfectly fine as long as your baby manages to move. It need not be a perfect crawl coordinated on both arm and knees for every baby. After all, baby doesn’t have to crawl for life. The final milestone in mobility is walking. Some babies like to stand and walk early.
You can expect your baby to reach this milestone around 9 months; some babies reach as early as 7 months, others take more time to reach it and few might even skip this milestone. Parents should try to access the willingness of baby to become mobile. If your child is inactive and just likes to sit and enjoy himself. Try to encourage him to become mobile by luring him to reach a distant colorful toy or just you.
Crawling boosts the baby’s navigational skills and memory. Isn’t it amazing to see the little explorer come back to the same position each time after he has accomplished his mission of finding his target?