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Baby Creeping vs Crawling: Understanding These Development Milestones

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Creeping and crawling are two important developmental milestones in your baby’s life. And like with most things, one can’t happen without the other. Below, we’ll be looking at what these childhood development milestones are and when parents can expect their children to creep and crawl their way around the house.

Creeping vs Crawling: What Are These Developmental Milestones?

As your baby’s gross motor skills develop, they’ll begin to start moving around independently. While many parents are aware that tummy time eventually turns into scooting, crawling and walking, etc, there is so much more going on behind the scenes. 

Your child’s mobility goes through its own milestones. Understanding each of these developmental milestones is an important part of parenting. It is normal for parents to get excited seeing their baby make its first attempt to crawl. But, parents can get confused about what’s happening developmentally during this time. 

Below, we’ll discuss two important gross motor milestones that your child will hit in the initial movement stages of their early childhood: baby crawling and baby creeping. 

Never heard of baby creeping? Many parents often aren’t aware that this mobility milestone even exists. In reality, we often believe that creeping and crawling are the exact same thing. But, this isn’t true. Let’s have a deeper look below. 

Baby Crawling: Explained

The first major mobility milestone that your child will reach is that of crawling. Referred to as “commando crawling” or “belly-crawling”, this developmental milestone is often misunderstood by parents. This milestone is a precursor for creeping – one can’t happen without the other. 

Crawling happens once your child has developed enough strength in their upper body, usually around the 7 to 9 months mark. Typically your baby’s tummy will stay in contact with the floor and they use their arms and legs to push themselves forward. It often looks very similar to a soldier in combat crawling in a trench.

This means of mobility not only requires muscle development but is also a sign that your child’s vision and cognitive skills are progressing as they should be. In fact, it means that your child has reached the next step of brain development. As the crawling period continues, your child’s strength will develop even more and they will progress into the baby creeping stage. 

Baby Creeping: Explained

The creeping part of childhood development is often mistaken for what we think is crawling. When a baby learns how to creep, it means that they are able to move around without their tummy being in contact with the floor. This happens when a child is able to lift their belly off the floor and put their full weight on their hands and knees. 

Baby creeping is a sign that your child is gaining tremendous muscle development and is also learning how to balance and coordinate their hand and leg movements. This is the main difference between baby creeping vs crawling.

From another perspective, it also gives them a new view of the world around them (quite literally). Up until now, your child had a ground view of their surroundings. Once they have mastered creeping, their view of their world expands – aiding their vision and cognitive development. 

Why Are They Important for Early Childhood Development?

Both baby creeping and crawling offer your child so much from a developmental perspective. For example, crawling is responsible for improving your baby’s muscle strength, vision and balance. Creeping, on the other hand, improves body rhythm and allows your child to begin developing fine motor skills

Yet, that’s not all. These mobility milestones provide strong neurological foundations that are essential for skills that are learned throughout early childhood such as:

  • Sensory skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Concentration skills
  • Balance and coordination
  • Visual tracking
  • Spacial awareness, etc

While there are some babies that will skip crawling altogether, parents should do their best to make sure their children have plenty of opportunities to spend time mastering these mobility milestones. 

My Baby Isn’t Crawling or Creeping Yet. Should I Be Worried? 

Although you should expect your baby to reach these milestones by 9 months of age, if your child is a late crawler or creeper it is no reason for concern. Each child develops at their own pace. So, take these timelines as a rough guideline rather than something that is set in stone. However, if you are concerned that your child isn’t developing as they should, it is always a good idea to speak with your doctor. 

There are simple ways that you can encourage your child to begin crawling and creeping during tummy time. Creating a safe space free of hazards for your child to explore, or putting your baby’s favorite toy just out of their reach can encourage them to start creeping and crawling their way to independence. 

Here at Vivvi, our early learning program celebrates and nurtures all of your child’s milestones. From the first time they shuffle their way over to their favorite teddy bear to when they are running around with their friends. Our early childhood educators incorporate activities that encourage those all-important developmental milestones while also fostering your child’s personal interests. 

For more information on our inquiry-based learning model or to schedule a visit to one of our early learning NYC campuses, get in touch with our team today. 

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