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Learning to crawl

Seeing your baby begin to make their first movements is really exciting.

Before your baby crawls, they will probably be able to roll over onto their front. Rolling generally takes place at around six months old, although some may begin earlier or later.

Speak to your health visitor or GP if you have concerns about your child’s progress with movement at any stage.

Time on your baby’s tummy with toys around them is beneficial. It will strengthen their neck muscles, helping to prepare them for rolling, crawling and eventually walking.

Never leave your baby unsupervised on any kind of raised surface, such as a sofa or bed, even if they haven’t begun to move independently yet.


Typically, babies will start to crawl by around 8 months of age. Each baby is different, and your baby will go at their own pace, with some babies shuffling around on their bottom or their front before beginning to crawl.

Crawling is a big change for your baby; for the first time they will be able to move around and explore their environment. But learning new physical movements can sometimes be frustrating for babies and may occasionally cause them some distress.

The first sign that your baby is ready to begin crawling is when they push themselves up onto their arms following tummy time. You can try to help them at this stage by gently bringing their bent knees under their body. If you have wooden or laminate floors, put them on a mat or rug to reduce sliding.

By placing toys just out of their reach, you’ll encourage your baby to move towards them. Give them lots of support and encouragement when they try to do so.

Your home needs to be a safe environment as your baby begins to explore for themselves, so keep a close eye on them and install baby gates where needed.

Click here for our tips on home safety.

Useful links

Health for Under 5’s – Learning to walk

Parentclub – When will my baby crawl?

NHS inform – Your baby’s development from 2 to 12 months

Page last reviewed: 22-06-2022

Next review due: 22-06-2025