5 Ways to Enhance Your Baby's Motor Skills


Crawling and Walking

Before crawling begins, a baby will likely get himself up on his hands and knees.
Before crawling begins, a baby will likely get himself up on his hands and knees.
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Between 8 and 13 months, your child will achieve some form of locomotion. Parents often view crawling and walking as the greatest physical milestones for their babies. While it's very exciting, you should remember that each child develops uniquely and at his own pace. If you have concerns about your baby's development about locomotion, discuss it with his pediatrician. But most babies will follow a recognizable pattern of learning locomotion:

  • First he'll likely get himself up on his hands and knees.
  • Next he'll rock back and forth in an effort to move forward.
  • He'll develop different ways of getting around, such as rocking, swiveling, rolling, and squirming on his tummy.
  • After about a month of this, you'll see him begin to progress toward a true crawl.
  • Many babies learn to crawl backward first, but it's not long before they learn to crawl in the right direction.
  • Not all babies crawl in the same fashion. In fact, some don't crawl at all and instead insist on walking with an adult holding their hands. Others bounce on their bottom, scoot along on their stomach, or do a "bear walk," crawling with arms and legs extended.

No matter which style of motion your baby chooses, this stage brings her unprecedented freedom and opportunity to explore.

Try encouraging your baby to learn locomotion skills with these simple games:

1. Play crawling "tag." This can be great fun for babies who are learning to locomote. Crawl after your baby, saying, "I'm gonna get you!" Then crawl away, encouraging her to follow. Try hiding behind a piece of furniture and letting her "find" you.

2. Create an obstacle course. Fill the room with things your baby can practice crawling over, under or around.