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How Babies Learn to Crawl

Adapted from the BabyCenter article ''Developmental milestones: Crawling".

Crawling is your baby's first method of getting around efficiently on her own. In the traditional crawl, she'll start by learning to balance on her hands and knees. At the same time, she'll be strengthening the muscles that will soon enable her to walk.

Most babies learn to crawl between the ages of six and ten months. Your baby may opt for another method of locomotion around this time ? like bottom shuffling (scooting around on her bottom, using a hand behind and a foot in front to propel herself), sliding on her stomach, or rolling across the room. Some babies skip crawling altogether and move directly to pulling up, standing, and walking. Don't worry about her style; it's getting mobile that's important, no matter how your baby does it.

Your baby will likely start crawling soon after she's able to sit well without support (probably by the time she's six or seven months old). Your baby will gradually (over a couple of months) learn to move confidently from a sitting position to being on all fours, and she'll soon realize she can rock back and forth when her limbs are straight and her trunk is parallel to the floor. Somewhere around the age of nine or ten months, she'll figure out that pushing off with her knees gives her just the boost she needs to go mobile.

As your baby gains mobility, be sure your home is child proofed. A crawling baby can get into a lot of mischief. Also, as your baby uses her hands and legs to move along the floor, she's much more likely to get dirty, her skin may get dry, and she can become more prone to nicks and cuts. For a quick and easy way to keep your baby clean, dampen a soft wash cloth and use JOHNSON'S® HEAD-TO-TOE® Baby Wash to gently cleanse in between bath time. To keep your baby's skin soft, moisturized and protected from dryness, try a gentle moisturizer such as JOHNSON'S® Baby Lotion.

To learn more about crawling, visit babycenter.com.