how to encourage baby to crawlIt's an exciting time when your playful little one is sitting up confidently. You can tell he's about to crawl and you can't wait to tell your family and friends. If your baby looks like he's ready, but hasn't made the attempt yet, don't fear. Use these five tips to encourage your baby to crawl.

1. Give him space.

You want to make sure that your baby has plenty of room to explore and potentially crawl. If you’re trying to get your baby to crawl in your living room, and it has a lot of large furniture in the way, it’s going to make it harder on your baby to crawl. Give him/her a space with plenty of room and things to explore. A common trick is to have several people sit around the floor, far enough apart so baby has to crawl but not so far that the distance seems impossible. Coax baby to each person one at a time.

2. Stabilize him.

When your baby is on all fours, place the palm of your hand behind their little feet. This will help stabilize them and give them something to push off from. This is a great technique when trying to help your baby to first crawl. It will teach them the cause-and-effect part of crawling so they can work out the details later.

3. Don't stress him.

Although you may be really excited for your baby to start crawling, you have to make sure you aren’t stressing over it happening. Your baby will crawl when they are ready to, and you shouldn’t push them too hard.  If it’s not happening, it’s not happening. Trust me; it will happen, just on your baby’s time.  If you push your child too hard, she/he might resist entirely.

4. Tummy time!

One way to get your baby ready to start crawling is by giving them a little tummy time every day, even several times a day. Try giving them tummy time five times a day for ten minute intervals on a comfortable play mat. Tummy time will strengthen your baby’s head, neck, shoulder, and arm muscles, which will prepare them for crawling.

5. Put toys just out of reach.

During one of your baby’s many scheduled tummy times, place a few of their toys just out of arms reach. This will serve as an incentive for them to push, pull or drag themselves forward. As your baby learns that moving in one direction will get them what they want, increase the distance between them and the toy.

baby play matGuest blog by Jennifer Jacobellis, founder of Baby J

Jennifer Jacobellis started Baby J when her son was just a few months old. She ventured out to mommy and me classes and play groups, armed with just a blanket for him to lie on. After class, she would fold up her blanket and stick it in the diaper bag, knowing that when she got home it would have to go straight into the laundry basket. There had to be a better way! 

One day she decided it was time to solve this problem. She ran to the fabric store and began tinkering. She designed this baby play mat with her germ-a-phobe tendencies in mind, as well as being soft, baby friendly, and chic. The Baby J play mat was born!

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