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Crawling Styles

Watching your baby learn to crawl and move independently can be a truly memorable time. Take advantage of this brief period; before you know it, your little one will be pulling up, standing, and walking. Not every infant crawls in the traditional manner.

Different crawling styles include:

  • Classic hands-and-knees or cross crawl. The infant bears weight on her hands and knees, then moves one arm and the opposite knee forward at the same time.
  • Bear crawl. It looks like the classic crawl, but the infant keeps her elbows and knees straight, walking on hands and feet like a bear.
  • Belly or commando crawl. The infant moves her body forward while dragging her belly against the floor.
  • Bottom scooter. The infant scoots around on her bottom using her arms to move herself forward.
  • Crab crawl. The infant moves backward or sideways like a crab, propelling herself with her hands.
  • Rolling crawl. The infant gets to her destination by rolling from one place to another.

Exploration and experiences affect a child’s earliest learning, which shows why it’s important for parents to encourage the development of their child’s motor skills.

Tummy time provides a foundation for the skill of crawling. Floor time and crawling play an important role in your child’s development!

Additional Information

Anne H. Zachry, PhD, OTR/L
Last Updated
Retro Baby (Copyright © 2013 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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