Read about when your baby is most likely to sit, roll, crawl, walk and dance. We will also show you how you can help them on their way.
We know that it’s extremely important and exciting for you to see your baby develop and achieve physical milestones. Watching them learn how to sit, crawl, talk and eventually take those first wobbly steps will be one of the proudest moments you’ll remember as a parent.
On the flip side, we understand that it can be very stressful when you wait for your little one to reach their next physical milestone; especially when your friends’ baby has been crawling for 3 months and yours is still learning how to roll over. Saying that you have to remember that no 2 babies are the same!
Initial control – less visible developments start straight after birth. After around 10 weeks, a baby should have developed basic head control where they are able to turn their head and bring it back to the centre in a smooth, controlled movement. It’s important to engage with your baby in these early stages; getting really close to them with your face, laughing and moving your face from one side to the other so the baby follows and develops their muscles.
Your baby should learn to sit when they are around 4-6 months. It’s extremely important that the child gets as much time on the floor as possible so that they can practise turning and developing the strength to support themselves eventually.
How can I help my baby learn to sit?
Around this time your baby’s movement will become more purposeful. Initial hand support and a toy will help develop this skill. Help your baby sit up and support them with your hand behind their back when they start to wobble, gradually moving your hand away – this will help them develop their back muscles and sit up. In addition, a toy can also help. Sit your baby in a supported position and lift the toy to eye level and down to the floor so they’re following the movement. This will also help build muscle control.
TIP: This skill takes a while to finesse; your baby might still tumble after you think they’ve nailed it. Remember to stick to soft surfaces until you’re really confident they won’t fall.
Around 6 months is when babies will have the strength of rolling over. If you notice your baby turning and lifting their head randomly and/or reaching for objects while they are lying down, it’s a sign that they might be ready to learn how to roll.
How can I help my baby learn to roll over?
They will naturally learn to roll over by themselves once they are strong enough. However, you can shake a toy to the side of them in order to pique their interest and invite them to roll.
TIP: Again, remember that to stick to soft surfaces as a baby can hit their head when rolling. Also, a single roll can have a lot of momentum – ensure your baby isn’t placed on a raised surface which they can fall off.
A baby should develop this skill at around 7-9 months. Once a baby learns how to roll from side to side, they would have built enough strength to eventually start crawling and pulling themselves forward/sliding backwards. Everything is built upon the stage that went before.
Saying that don’t panic if your little one doesn’t crawl. Some babies bum-shuffle instead and then go straight into walking.
How can I help my baby learn to crawl?
Lie in front of your baby with your hands out in front of them, inviting them to come towards you for a cuddle. If the baby is ready to engage, is rested and alert they will eventually start crawling towards you.
TIP: Make sure you childproof your home before your baby starts crawling. Once they crawl, they will move into anything and everything at the speed of light. We know it sounds silly, but the best way to do this is by getting down on your hand knees and taking a tour of your home/room from a baby’s eye view.
Learning to walk is a lengthy process. It can happen anytime between 6-18 months. Again, it depends on previous development stages – a baby has to have built enough strength to pull up, stand and begin to step.
How can I help my baby learn to walk?
The moment your baby is able to pull themselves up and stand, hold their hands to help them practise walking. Once they’ve mastered the leg movement, be next to them when they cruise from wall to furniture and back. Maybe, place a trail of support objects for the. To follow across the room.
TIP: If you haven’t already and you have stairs in your home, install gates to stop your baby from attempting the stairs. Any low table/shelf edges need to be covered with foam to stop you baby bumping their head.
Babies will start dancing between 15 and 20 months. Moving to the beat means that your toddler has discovered a way to challenge their body and is learning to integrate a variety of movements into sequences.
TIP: Dance with them!
Should I be worried if my baby isn’t sitting, rolling, crawling or walking yet?
Remember to look at the bigger picture here. If your baby is progressing with their milestones in general, but some take longer than others to master – be patient – every child is different and takes their own time. However, if your baby is behind on all their milestones and it doesn’t look like they are developing their muscle strength/co-ordination they need, speak to your doctor.