As a parent you can feel quite a lot of pressure on you and your child to reach this stage, as it is often a common question on many friends and family members lips, ‘Are they crawling yet?’
Relax. With daily tummy time and their general movements every day, your child is strengthening muscles and developing their gross motor skills. Once they have mastered rolling over, you will probably find that they will learn to sit up soon after, as these movements require a lot of the same muscle strength and head control. So, you may find that quite a few things happen in quite a short space of time – but your child needs time and practise to get there.
At Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries we encourage the babies in our care to sit independently by propping them up during activities to develop muscle strength when leaning for objects. We continuously promote tummy time throughout the day with engaging activities for example musical instruments and books. The babies will enjoy interacting with one another, observing their peer’s actions and development, and copying their friends’ movements.
Crawling can take different forms, extending from several different movements. From 6 months onward, your child may begin to rock back and forth on their hands and knees. This may start from their tummy time or they may lean and reach for toys from sitting, then go to hands and knees to push off and get mobile. Or you may find they commando crawl or prefer to bum shuffle to get around. Whatever style they decide to take (it may even be a combination of a few) there will be no stopping them now!
You can encourage their mobility by putting toys, food or yourself slightly out of reach. These activities will also boost your child’s determination and confidence to retrieve objects themselves, rather than being handed everything they need.
UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines state that 1 -2-year olds should spend at least 180 minutes (3 hours) per day in a variety of physical activities at any intensity, including active and outdoor play, spread throughout the day; more is better.
It is easy to be swept up in the excitement of your baby crawling, that you can forget just how mobile they have become – and how fast they can move! They will now be able to access areas of the house that you may never have thought of before. Make sure to safety proof the areas that are at your babies’ level.
To think like your baby, you may want to become your baby. So, why not go for a crawl around your house to see it (and potential dangers) from your baby’s point of view? It is best to baby-proof your home prior to your baby crawling as it can be a skill they acquire quickly. So, once they are rolling over, start baby-proofing to eliminate any dangers before your baby has a chance to find them.
Once your baby is on the move, they will want to practise their speed and mobility as much as possible on all fours. So, keep in mind every morning that it will be best to cover their knees with comfortable trousers to prevent any carpet burn or contact with hard surfaces when they are whizzing around your home.
If you have pets, it is also best to keep a constant eye on your baby and their furry friend, as it may come as a shock to your pet that your child can now follow and reach them. To keep your baby safe, be sure to show and teach them to give your pet space by not chasing or grabbing at them.
In the baby rooms at Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries, the environment is purposefully designed for all our baby’s safety and development. As the babies will be learning to crawl, we operate a ‘no shoes’ policy in all our baby rooms to make sure the floor is kept clean of outside contaminants and to keep little fingers safe. We also have designated baby outside areas, that can include sensory gardens, astro turf and are all shaded to allow the children to get fresh air, learn, play and watch the older children in the nursery whilst being in their own baby safe zone.
Throughout the different ages in our nursery we introduce a variety of different animals to interact with, from fish and reptiles via our Zoo Lab visits, to guinea pigs, chickens and dogs. This is to encourage ‘gentle hands’ when stroking and interacting with animals, as well as sparking the children’s curiosity and understanding of the world around them.