7 months old

10 Ways to Help a Frustrated Baby Learn to Crawl


Ivy desperately wants to crawl, she is constantly on her tummy shouting and crying in frustration because she can't get anywhere. Well, she can actually wiggle her way quite far backwards, but she doesn't seem to notice that she's actually moving, so we need to get this baby crawling to cheer her up!  (Then once we've got her crawling it will be time to think about learning to walk!)

Here are my top 10 Ways to Help a Frustrated Baby Learn to Crawl

1. Don't - well, this is for those of you with babies that aren't frustrated and shouting at you because they just can't do it.  If your baby is happy to sit and play or to roll around and play, just sit back and enjoy it!  They've got a lot of years to come when they'll be whizzing around, there is definitely no need to rush things (no matter how competitive the other parents can be!)

2. Set goals - put their favourite toy (or their big brother!) just out of their reach and encourage them to make their way towards it.

3. Roll on something - I use a ball to put Ivy on and hold onto her as I roll her back and forth on her tummy for her to get the feeling of moving forwards.  I also use a toy to get her reaching and building up that upper body strength.  You can buy a roller toy that works in the same sort of way (but is much easier for your baby to stay on).

4. Distract with other fun toys to play with while sitting - Sometimes all of this crawling and getting frustrated can just be too much, so we need a break.  This is when I have to get out a really fun and distracting toy like this flashing lights sensory ball that Ivy loves, to keep her occupied for a little while sitting up.

5. Watch other crawlers - I take Ivy to a weekly baby class now, and she absolutely loves to watch the older babies crawling around, she really seems to be taking it all in and processing what they're doing so that she can try to do it herself at home.

6. Get on the floor and crawl around with them - This really seems to help Ivy to be less frustrated, I think that she likes everyone to be on her level and it gives me the chance to help move her arms and legs for her and to model how she should be moving.

7. Get a big ring to climb into - We've already got the Galt Playnest that Ivy loves sitting in and playing, but now I use it in a different way, but placing her on her tummy outside the ring, and putting a toy inside for her to reach for.  Again she's working on her upper body strength and learning to reach her arms forward.  If you don't have a play nest you could try propping your baby up on some cushions instead.

8. Pull along on a blanket - Ivy loves a magic carpet ride!  I put her on her tummy on the blanket, and pull her around the room.  She's not actually working on her crawling skills, but it does give her the sensation of moving around and it gives her the opportunity to see parts of the room that she doesn't usually get into.

9. Push on their feet - As one of Ivy's main issues is that she crawls backwards, she really does have a lot of the other movements right.  So if I just place my hand under the soles of her feet, she pushes against it and then moves forwards instead of backwards.  

10. Try different floors, carpet, tile, etc - In the main part of our house we have wooden floors, and a few of our play mats are quite slippery, so it's no wonder really that Ivy is having trouble moving forwards, because she just can't get a good grip.  So as often as I can, I take her upstairs to one of the bedrooms with different carpet for her to try crawling there and see if it makes any difference.

We've been doing all of these for about a week now, and Ivy is making definite progress.  She is still mostly moving backwards, but she has inched her way forwards a couple of times.  I think that the big day is coming very soon!

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  1. Shame there is no mention of the cosyplay mat, since it features in 3 out of 4 pictures and certainly isn't slippery to crawl on.

    1. You are absolutely right, Ivy actually spends most of her time playing on the Cosyplay mat, we love it! The only problem for us is that she wriggles her way off of it and onto the hard wood floor, then slides around. So it is fantastic when I manage to keep her on it, but she's like some kind of magnet to that wood floor and that's where she gets frustrated! That's why in our house I often take her upstairs to where it's carpeted for more room to crawl around. I would always highly recommend the Cosyplay mat though, we are big fans :)

  2. These mats are very colorful and comfortable as well as being water proof and easy to clean. baby mat

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