How to Crawl

Three Methods:Teaching a Baby to CrawlCrawlingSwimming the Front Crawl (Freestyle)

Crawling is the very first way we learn to move ourselves around the world, and is still useful for hiding, exercise routines, or escaping dangerous situations. Whether you are teaching a newborn how to crawl or dodging smoke, read on to learn the art of crawling.

Method 1
Teaching a Baby to Crawl

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    Know that all baby's learn to crawl differently. Between six to ten months old most babies will begin to crawl and scoot around, but they may go about it in different ways. Some will place each limb individually, others will drag their bellies on the floor, and some move quickly to walking. There is no "right" way to crawl, so encourage your baby no matter how they choose to get around. [1]
    • Give your child time to develop on it's own -- almost all children will find a way to move once they get used to their limbs.
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    Give them a good surface to learn to crawl on. You want a smooth, clean, and easy to navigate. A thin carpet is best, as it will be comfortable if they fall, stay warm, and provide a light grip for them to push off from.[2]
    • Lay in front of them so that they can see your face. This will help encourage them and make them feel safe.[3]
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    Schedule "tummy time" when they are around three months old. In order to learn how to crawl, babies need to practice pushing themselves off of the ground, which they can't do if they are always on their backs. Make sure you supervise them on their stomachs, however, so they don't get into trouble or try to eat something they shouldn't.
    • One on their stomachs, place your hands on the soles of their feet. Encourage them to push off, getting used to movement while prone.[4]
    • Having them stretch for 10-15 minute on their stomach a few times a day should be enough to begin with. Just put then down and supervise as the learn to move.
    • If you are nervous, lay on the floor and then place them, stomach down, on top of you.
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    Keep their hands, feet, elbows, and knees uncovered. Too much clothing restricts movement, and it makes the essential body parts slippery, making it harder to learn crawling.[5]
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    Put toys just out of their reach. Oce they are a little older, between 3-6 months, try putting some toys just out of reach on the floor so that they have an incentive to move. While you of course don't want to be cruel, encourage them to push, scoot, crawl, or stretch out to get what they want. [6]
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    Consider purchasing an infant crawling track. These devices are soft and can be gently slopped down. The slight decline encourages movement, and helps your baby get used to moving their limbs without feeling too burdened by the weight.[7]
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    Be careful of your baby's new-found mobility. While watching your baby crawl is a joyous occasion, it comes with a new set of risks. Babies can now follow after toys or a parent and explore new rooms unsupervised. Make sure you baby proof anything unsafe or off-limits, and keep and eye on your child at every moment.
    • The International Association for Child Safety estimates that most accidents happen within six feet of the parent, so stay vigilant as they learn to move. [8]

Method 2

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    Lay on all fours close to the ground. Crawling requires you to stay low, using all four limbs to propel yourself forward. Find a way to rest on your arms and legs so that you are comfortable and without pain.
    • For your upper half, you may place either your hands or your forearms on the ground, depending on what is more comfortable.
    • For your lower half, rest on your knees and shins, with your legs flat and your hips on the floor, or on the tips of your toes.
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    Learn the standard crawl. From your comfortable crawl position, move each limb individually forward to move across the floor. Though you can go in any order you want, the typical pattern is:
    • Right hand forward
    • Left knee forward
    • Left hand forward
    • Right knee forward.
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    The bear crawl is a modified version of the standard crawl, but instead of using your knees you stand up on your feet with your butt in the air. It is mostly used in exercise regiments. [9]
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    Learn the army crawl. The army crawl moves you quickly while keeping you as close to the ground as possible. It is also a staple of some cross-fit workout routines because it accesses a lot of different muscles and requires good core strength. To army crawl:
    • Prop up your torso with your forearms and toes, picking your hips off of the ground.
    • Alternate pushing off of each forearm to propel yourself forward.
    • Keeping your legs straight, pick up or drag your opposite foot forward along with your arm.
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    Learn the leopard crawl. This is one of the fastest ways to crawl while still keeping a low profile. A hybrid of the army and bear crawls, it requires strength and coordination to pull of quickly.
    • Start on you hands and toes like your are preparing to do a push up.
    • Reach forward with your right hand while moving your left knee up towards your left elbow, along the side of your body.
    • Repeat with the other side.
    • Focus on keep your hands and feet straight and your back flat. [10]
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    Use an army crawl or low standard crawl to escape from smoke. When there is a fire, hot smokey air goes moves to the top of the room while cleaner air rests along the floor. By crawling to safety instead of running you avoid breathing in dangerous amounts of smoke and carbon monoxide.
    • Do not focus on technique so much as staying low and finding an exit.
    • Try to keep your head between 12 and 24 inches off the ground. [11]

Method 3
Swimming the Front Crawl (Freestyle)

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    Line your body up parallel to the surface of the water. Floating near the top, lay your body out in a long, streamlined position. Imagine that you are floating at the top of the pool and that your back is facing the sky.
    • Try to keep your body as flat as possible, but keep your feet underwater. [12]
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    Kick your legs in a fluttering motion to start moving. This is known as the crawl kick, or the flutter kick. You want to move your legs from the waist while leaving a slight bend in your knees and your ankles loose. Kick each leg individually and alternate one after the other. [13]
    • If you're having trouble, practice in the shallow end by pushing off the wall and using only your legs to keep moving.
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    Reach one hand in front of your head and "pull" the water back towards your waist. Keep your hand in the water for the entire stroke. Your fingers should be close together and your hand flat so that it pulls through the water like a paddle.
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    Pull your arm out of the water. As you finish your stroke near your waist, bring your arm out of the water, arcing it back towards your head as you get ready to repeat the stroke.
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    Repeat the process with your other arm. As you are pulling your first hand to your waist, begin bringing your other arm in front of your head and make an identical stroke with your other arm.
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    Tilt your head to the side to inhale. Look to the up out of the water and sideways as you arm reaches your waist, and breath in. Most swimmers suggest breathing every three strokes and developing a rhythm with each breath. Exhale into the water as you return your head. [14]


  • Bringing your baby around an older child who's crawling can speed up the crawling process.


  • Once a baby gains more power in their limbs, they can crawl as fast or faster than you walk. Keep an eye on them at this stage of crawling, or they can get into some big trouble.

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Categories: Body Tricks