Baby on the Move: Tips for Encouraging Your Baby to Crawl and How to Keep Them Safe - Blog

Baby on the Move: Tips for Encouraging Your Baby to Crawl and How to Keep Them Safe

Published Date: 10/30/19

Crawling is one of the movement fundamentals that are absolutely essential to a baby's motor development. For parents, the process of encouraging their baby to crawl is one of the most important and exciting transitions when watching the child grow up from an infant to a toddler. Many factors are important in encouraging your infant's muscle development and essential motor skills so that they can successfully crawl toward their first steps. Here are some things to watch out for as your baby makes the transition.

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Tummy Time
If you've seen baby pictures, you might have noticed that many times babies are lying on their backs when sleeping. However, when they are awake, they are usually lying on their tummy. This is called tummy time and serves an important function. Tummy time for your baby builds up the muscles that will eventually help them learn to crawl. In short, it is a form of supervised muscle exercise for babies. When babies are lying on their tummies, they are forced to develop the muscles to help them look up and around at people and the surrounding area. These efforts develop and strengthen those muscle groups. Eventually, babies can be encouraged to start using their arms and legs to reach out for or attempt to approach objects of interest.

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Babyproof Your House
As your baby begins to move about, it is important to keep them protected. This may involve babyproofing your house. When your baby is learning to crawl, it's important to remove any common household hazards in order for your child to be safe. Hazards such as electrical outlets, wires, and sharp edges can greatly harm and injure a baby. This is the time to invest in some precautions such as outlet protectors, edge and corner cushions and cabinet locks. Make sure that pieces of tall, heavy furniture such as bookshelves and dressers are secured to the wall.

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Teach Discipline
In addition to helping develop your infant's movement, you'll also need to begin developing your baby's basic discipline. For example, as your baby's movement space increases, you'll need to begin instilling rules for safety and behavior. These include such fundamentals as keeping fingers out of electrical outlets, not yanking the dog's tail and not pulling on wires. The important thing to remember is that consistency is essential to maintaining discipline. Changing your mind about what is acceptable from one day to the next is a huge pitfall that parents should try to avoid.

This period of child development is highly important to your baby’s motor skills, coordination, and behavior. Babies grow and learn fast, and it is important to give them a safe environment in which to develop their abilities.

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