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May 06, 2020

Supporting the Desire to Crawl

Crawling is such an important part of a baby's gross motor development. And we are RIGHT there with Theodore. He is at the point where he is constantly up on his hands and knees rocking back and forth. Now, he's even starting to experiment with "bear crawling" where he goes up on his feet to try to move. While he is quickly army crawling around, he hasn't quite gotten to the point of moving efficiently on his hands and knees, but it's coming super soon. 

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Natural Gross Motor Development and Supporting Crawling 

Supporting his effort to crawl is really important for me. As he moves away from some of the earlier transitional movements, I want to make sure we continue to support his natural development. In particular because we know just how important movement is for babies! They are naturally driven to move, and it is through this movement that they learn. 

"One of the most thrilling achievements for a child is learning to move himself through space to get to a desired object." Susan Mayclin Stephenson, The Joyful Child 

There are a few things we do to support Teddy's desire to crawl. They include environmental changes and behavioral changes.


These are things that we do in our environment to allow for crawling to happen. These include:


These are changes to my behavior that I am conscious of to allow for freedom of movement. These include:

  • makings sure I'm giving lots of time for him on the floor 
  • avoid sitting him up which could cause him to get stuck in that position and limit his movement 
  • allowing for frustration - it's ok to let them get a bit frustrated and not always step in at the first sign of frustration to "help" 
  • respecting the forms of movement that they discover - I don't correct or encourage one form of movement 
  • respecting the path and timetable he's on - there is no one time when he has to be doing something, or one particular time he should be moving by

I suspect that any day now, Teddy will be crawling on his hands and knees all over the place! A fun new phase is upon us! 

Babies like to move in all sorts of fascinating ways. Montessori parents respect this gross motor development and help a baby to crawl by preparing a space and activities for them. Here are some Montessori tips to support a baby learning to crawl.

How do you support your baby's desire to crawl? 


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Stefanie said…
Hello, I love your blog, it is such a great resource for a first time mom! My little boy is almost 7 months and is already crawling everywhere and pulling up to a standing position all on his own (I was definitely not prepared for him to do this so early). We have hardwoods and rugs in our house and I am nervous about him banging his head against the hard surfaces. Do you have any tips? Thanks! any help would be amazing!