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Baby Activities That Encourage Crawling

As a baby builds motor skills such as coordination and strength, he'll start down the path toward independent movement. Many -- but not all -- babies begin to crawl between 8 and 12 months, according to the KidsHealth website. If the pediatrician has ruled out a problem, and the baby still isn't crawling, you may have to play some games and break out some eye-catching objects to get him going.

It's Tummy Time

If you're always holding a baby or keep him sitting up, he has no reason to try to crawl. That's why the AAP suggests you put the baby on his stomach in the proper crawling position. This tummy time should run for three to five minute spells two to three times each day. You can gradually increase the amount of time as the baby shows more interest in moving around himself.

The Toy Method

Some babies just need motivation to get in motion. At this age, the best motivation might be a lure. Place your child on her belly and sit a few feet away. Let her see some well-loved item, such as a stuffed bear or rattle suggests the early childhood organization Zero to Three. Keep it just out of her reach. This may not get immediate results, but, if she truly wants it, she'll eventually figure out she'll have to crawl to you to get that item.

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Palm Press

The baby gets up on all fours, but doesn't seem to want to go anywhere. Pediatrician Alan Greene suggests placing your palms against the backs of the child's feet while he's on his hands and knees. This palm-to-heal activity will help to stabilize the baby and give him something to press off of to start the crawling motion, according to Zero to Three.

Follow the Leader

You do want to let the baby choose her own way to crawl. It's entirely possible she'll use the traditional hands and knees method. However, some babies will keep their elbows and knees straight. Some will roll, slither along on their stomachs, or push themselves forward on their bottoms. As long as the baby is making motion progress under her own power, don't feel you have to force her to use the traditional style.

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