Baby Crawling Backwards – Do You Need to Worry?

Baby Crawling Backwards - Do You Need to Worry

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When your little one starts crawling for the first time, your happiness knows no bounds. Crawling is a major development milestone and if your baby is not crawling in the right manner or at all, as parents, you will obviously worry. If your baby is crawling using a single leg, or if he crawls backwards, then no doubt you will think there is something wrong with your child.

When Does a Baby Start Crawling

Not all babies will crawl at the same time. Babies start crawling at different times. Some may begin to crawl when they are just about 7 months old, while others may take close to a year to begin any kind of movement. Their styles of crawling may vary as well. Some babies slide their entire body along the floor at times or combine crawling with rolling their body around. Some crawl a bit and sit and crawl a bit and sit again. Therefore, if you are imagining there is an ideal crawling style your kid will adhere to, then you should know that he may not follow the ideals.

Is It Normal for a Baby to Crawl Backwards

With all these unique and strange styles of moving around that babies seem to adopt, your kid might be one of those who has learnt to crawl backwards. Since crawling backwards is not common, hence you may get worried. But put your mind to rest, as it is not a sign of any disorder as such. Many kids tend to crawl in such a manner before understanding the proper way of doing it. But with time, your child will learn to crawl the right way.

Why Do Babies Crawl Backwards

Many doctors and paediatricians focus on the crawling aspect of a child. This is the stage when a baby starts getting aware of how his limbs function and how to use them together in coordination. The aspect of crawling is a strong sign of a baby’s motor skills being developed in the appropriate manner. But it isn’t as simple as it seems as the baby takes his own time in putting it all together. And this could result in a backward crawling style. Here are some possible reasons why a baby may start crawling backwards:

  • As your baby grows, you might have observed him using his arms a lot more as he learnt to support himself. This dependency on his arms tends to result in a crawling style that makes use of the arms the most. This strength of the arms manifests in the form of pushing instead of pulling ahead, which results in a backward movement.
  • Many mothers do undertake the exercises of letting their baby rest on the tummy and encouraging them to use his arms to lift himself up as well as support his neck. This ends up in the upper body developing the strength that’s needed and the baby knows that as well. Therefore, the initial crawling generally starts depending a lot on the upper body instead of the legs.
  • Since all the strength is primarily focused on the upper part of the torso, your baby might need some time to understand the mechanics of crawling and start pushing his body ahead with his legs. The backward movement might be quite good as well, getting him to reach the point he wants to. But sooner or later, he might realise the necessity and benefits of crawling forward as his legs start getting stronger.A baby crawling

How to Help Your Infant Crawl Forward

Most babies learn to crawl forward by themselves or sometimes they may directly switch to walking. But if you want to help your baby learn the right way of crawling, there are a few indirect ways you can try.

  • Turn It Into a Game

Play a game of catch and chase with your child as you spend time with him. When the baby attempts to crawl away speedily from you or comes to catch you, he will realise the necessity of using his legs and may attempt to crawl forward.

  • Exercise the Right Way

Babies function a lot on muscle memory. Which is why, once they start learning to crawl backwards, they will continue to do so. Therefore, every time you place your baby down and play with him, use his arms and legs to teach him the right way to crawl to give him a hint.

  • Repeat the Tummy Time

Remember those exercises you would put your baby through in the initial months of his life? Repeat them again and try to show him how to use the legs properly to support his body as well.

  • Use Toys

Guide your baby’s attention with some toys that make noise. If not the noise, the sight of the toy could make him want to grab it and learn how to push himself forward to get it.

A baby playing with toys

  • Use Temptations

Avoid doing this if your baby is extremely hungry. But just before his feeding time or by using his teething biscuits, you can place them before him and ask him to grab it. He will realize the limitations of moving backwards and figure out ways to push himself ahead.

  • Resist and Push

Do not come in the way when you baby is crawling. However, you can place your hand behind your baby’s feet or his bum to act as a resistance. When your baby attempts to crawl, he might end up moving forward, surprising himself and giving him the hint to move forward.

  • Let Them Watch and Learn

Babies learn a lot by observing their parents. If your baby is sitting upright and playing with his toys, get down on your fours and crawl in front of him. Crawl forward and backwards so that he knows there is more than one way to do it.

Learning to crawl is not an easy thing for a baby. Once you know how to make your baby crawl forward, you might meet some resistance, crying, and frustration on your baby’s part since he has to relearn the entire process. Don’t force it on him and let him figure it out on his own, or skip ahead to walking if he feels like it.

Also Read: Rolling Over: Developmental Milestone in Infants