Crawling is a hard skill that requires so much strength, coordination and energy. As with any motor skill, it can take some time for your baby to learn the motor pattern of turning on the correct muscles at the appropriate time to crawl forward. We often see super motivated babies scooting backwards first on their way to crawling forward. If you see your baby doing the backwards crawl, just go ahead and get the celebration ready because crawling forward likely isn’t far behind! Rest assured this is a normal stage in the crawling milestone, although not all babies will do this! Basically whether your baby crawls backwards first or doesn’t, both are common, normal and perfectly fine!
Here are a few simple tips you can try to help your baby start moving forward:
- Tall kneeling with your baby’s arms resting on a stable surface. This helps your baby turn on the appropriate hip and tummy muscles needed for crawling forward
- Use motivating toys about 6 inches in front of your baby, just out of arm’s reach to encourage baby to move forward
- Help your baby tuck the knees under the hips by gently pulling up on the pelvis then tucking the legs. This helps baby activate the tummy and also associate movement with getting on the knees.
If you feel like you need more support in knowing how to set your baby up for crawling success, you can check out my many Crawling highlights on my Instagram page here. If you want an even more in-depth guide to all things crawling, check out my Crawling Guide here — you’ll find tons of purposeful play activities, FAQs and fun facts about crawling.