3 Inexpensive Toys Can Teach Your Baby to Crawl

Are you tired of the one mom who keeps singing the praises of her genius baby? No matter what developmental milestone your baby reached, she has to one-up you. To hear her talk, her infant is well on her way to a Harvard degree fresh out of preschool. Of course, there are times when your child’s development can be cause for concern. Is your child crawling? What about making eye contact? Sure, the pediatrician says everything is fine and some kids are just slower to develop certain skills than others. But is there a way to teach your baby to crawl? In fact, there are three great toys that can jumpstart a baby who is a just a bit unmotivated to get moving.

When Should a Baby Start Crawling?

Experts at the March of Dimes say that a baby’s milestones — during the first year — include crawling and saying “mama.” If the first birthday is coming closer and your child is not yet crawling — but is otherwise healthy — consider some toys that could get him started.

1. Mirrors

Plenty of infant toys feature mirrors. The face they see fascinates babies. Buy inexpensive infant toys that feature larger mirror surfaces. Place these toys just out of reach around the infant when he is enjoying some tummy time. Sit just a little ways away and encourage the infant to come closer to look at the mirror. This is a great method to get an infant moving if he has already managed to get on all fours but simply does not move forward.

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Warning: Do not use a handheld or bathroom mirror. Infant mirrors are made of materials that do not shatter and are therefore safe to use.

2. Balls

Beach balls, toy balls that make music when rolled or simply colorful play balls are just some of the examples of available toys. Roll the ball enticingly in front of the infant but just out of reach. Curiosity may spur on your baby to make some effort at crawling to get a better look at the toys and also to touch them.

Warning: Do not use small balls or those that contain choking hazards.

3. Pool Noodles

Who knew that the humble but versatile pool noodle could teach a baby to crawl? I have found that cutting a pool noodle in half and putting the resulting roll under the baby’s armpits helps a child who is at the cusp of moving forward. By slowly and very gently twisting the pool noodle, the baby’s body is urged to move forward. It is the child’s natural response to let the knees follow the upper part of the body.

Caution: Do not allow the baby to chew on the pool noodle. Depending on the number of teeth already in her mouth, she could take a bite out of the material and choke.

More Child-centered Content by Sylvia Cochran

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