Crawling gives babies their first taste of having the independence to explore their environment and choose their own activities. Keep reading to find out how the skills for crawling emerge, and what games you could play to encourage skill development.

Building blocks for crawling

Beginning to use and improve the muscle groups required for movement

Simple crawling

Becoming more proficient at crawling and being able to crawl in different ways, leading into climbing


  • Rolling from back to front

  • Rolling from front to back

  • Learning to control the head in a prone position (on the tummy)

  • Growing body awareness and a growing understanding of how body parts relate to each other

  • Postural stability

  • Upper body strength

  • Belly or commando crawling

    Developing from a primitive movement to a more advanced movement where opposite limbs work together at the same time (cross pattern commando crawl)

  • Getting in an ‘on all fours' position and bearing weight on hands and knees

  • Rocking back and forth on hands and knees

  • Crawling on hands and knees

    This may start with the hand and leg on the same side working together but should advance to opposite limbs working together (cross pattern crawling).


See what activities can help to support this core skill.

See Activities