I am a very firm believer that babies will get to their milestones when they are good and ready to. However, saying that, my 8 month old baby boy showed no signs of crawling, or in fact, anything that remotely looked like crawling. We definitely needed to be encouraging crawling in him. I can’t even say that he hated being on his stomach, because he was never on it long enough for us to know! As soon as we put him on his tummy, he would roll over on to his back. And that is where he would stay! He had no intention of crawling at all.
He loves walking and being upright. He loves pulling himself up on things. He loves to climb. I really was beginning to worry that he would go straight from sitting to walking. I know….I know… 4% of babies don’t crawl and that if he didn’t crawl it wouldn’t have been the end of the world. But it was very important to me that he did crawl, even if only for a week and then move onto walking.
So the big question is, how do you keep a baby on their tummy and encourage them to crawl when they really don’t want to?
I read as much as I could and I specifically found this blog really helpful. Can Do Kiddo Then I made some activities for baby N that would encourage him to stay on his tummy for longer periods of time.
Here are some of my activities.
I made a sensory bag and taped it to the floor so that baby N would have to stay on his tummy if he wanted to play with it. It held his attention for a few minutes, so we did it a couple of times a day for a couple of days.
I took old milk bottle lids and put them inside a muffin pan. This activity held his attention for much longer than the sensory bag. He just loved playing with them and shaking the pan around so that they all fell out. It might be the noise factor that made this activity so appealing! He had to push himself up a little bit and hold himself in that position if he wanted to get to the lids. This one worked very well and it was a very successful activity.
I tried to keep him on my lap and over my knees as often as possible as well. This is supposed to help develop strength in the shoulders and arms. He didn’t like being in this position, so we only did it for short periods of time, but as often as we could.
I couldn’t believe the results! We focused on these activities for a week and by the end of the week he had started to crawl. I really couldn’t believe how fast these activities made a difference. He was obviously almost ready in the first place and just needed a slight nudge in the right direction.
I am not an OT or a physiotherapist. Just a mom who did some research and I hope these activities can help you too!