Getting your baby crawling is probably one of the major concerns and goals of many first time and other parents. Why is that so?
Well, most folks instinctively know that crawling is one of the major noticeable development milestones. It's simply easy to spot and detect whether it is mastered or not. And it gives parents some high level assurance that their child's development is still on track.
Secondly, today folks also know that there are several other long term physical and other perceptual development advantages gained if a baby masters crawling.
There are several techniques folks can use to encourage baby crawling. But what many parents do not realize is that we can also use a few toys and aids to playfully induce and encourage crawling.
All these toys try to accomplish one or both of the following goals:
They raise and support your baby's upper body just enough so the elbows can still reach the floor. This position closely imitates the real crawling position. It also allows your child to develop muscle strength needed for crawling and time to use his or her hands to play and discover things around - both of which are needed to crawl.
Encouraging tummy time. Focus your child's attention on some interesting activity and the surroundings while spending time and getting accustomed to tummy time… which many babies don't like.
Ultimately the goal is for your baby to naturally develop being at ease on his or her tummy and a sense of using both legs and arms to support and going forward.
So, let's look at a few toys and aids to encourage baby crawling:
The roller will be placed underneath your baby's upper body for support and to allow your child to discover the surroundings with hands and eyes – very similar to the sketch.
Make sure that the diameter of the roller is such that your baby’s elbows can still reach the floor when supported by the roller. Probably the biggest mistake you can make is to get one that’s too big.
There are a number of variations of the simple roller that also encourage the same baby crawling development, but which some babies find more enjoyable.
Here are 3 toys to stimulate and encourage tummy time which we know is the first step to mastering crawling. Click any of the links below to go directly to our description of that learning toy lower down on this page.
The Lamaze Crawl Mirror toy is designed to intrigue your baby and encourage her to move forward. It's the perfect combination of safety, utility and beauty. The toy works by tickling almost all the sense of the baby and luring her towards the toy.
Remember just like adults, kids will also be attracted to colorful things rather than dull ones.
Visually this toy is a delight from a toddler's point of view. The lovely array of primary colors combines with the animal pictures on the side of the wheels to excite the visual senses of the baby. We particularly like the 2 fat wheels this mirror comes with.
The baby proof mirror gets your child to squeal with delight ever so often on seeing her own reflection in the toy. The lights help grab your child's attention and beckon the baby to come closer. As the toy rolls slightly, the need for further visual stimulation drives the child to move closer to the Lamaze Mirror Crawl toy and explore it some more.
The Lamaze Mirror Crawl toy comes with something for the auditory senses too. The music and the rolling sound of the beads are highly fascinating for your child. Wanting to have a closer look at a toy that creates this music, your child is tempted to crawl behind the toy while it rolls.
The best stimulation of the toy comes in helping your baby understand the cause and effect relationship as a default advantage to learning how to crawl. As the baby pushes the Lamaze Mirror Crawl toy, it rolls further, creating some light and sound.
Over time your baby learns that in order to create the desired music and light effect, one has to push the toy with some force. Soon enough the child will learn that to create a certain effect, it is important to cause it. Wanting to repeat this action over and over and take pride in her discovery, your child will make all efforts to crawl along with the toy.
Lamaze Crawl Mirror toy is a great, yet very effective toy for stimulating baby crawling. Every aspect of the toy is designed to attract your baby and then entice her to move and crawl towards it.
The First Years Happy Flyer Tummy Time is a toy designed mainly for encouraging tummy time and eventually baby crawling.
This 3 pound (1.4kg) toy helps children to develop the muscles of both their upper and lower body. The happy flyer seat is where the baby is placed tummy down. As the child uses her arms and legs, not to mention tummy muscles, to move the seat round and round, she gains strength in these body parts.
Stronger tummy, leg and arm muscles assist your child to crawl. The experience of being suspended in air adds to the magic of the toy and children seem happy to play around in a floating mode.
Shaped like an airplane, the multicolored mat serves as a great tool to stimulate the mind of the child in order to build on her physical facilities.
The baby proof mirror, the teething ring, the soft squeezing toy and the several textures of the mat combine to entice the child to spin the flyer seat in order to examine each aspect of the mat.
By focusing on your baby’s sense of touch, sight and sound, the mat serves the dual purpose of stimulating both her mental and physical abilities.
Safety is given primary importance. However, it is suggested that you use the toy only under adult supervision.
The seat is properly padded to avoid any bruising. And the edges are smoothened out to prevent any injury.
Bottom line is, there are no pokey parts in the toy that could cause discomfort or injury to your child while she is enjoying her flying time.
It would not be wrong to say that the First Years Happy Flyer Tummy Time creates the desired environment to encourage baby crawling. Once your baby learns to move and starts crawling all over the place, the seat of the toy can be removed. Even if you then only use the mat, it's still great to fascinate, stimulate and entertain her!
The Lamaze Spin & Explore Garden Gym is another popular baby crawling toy that aims at stimulating physical and mental development, while at the same time being an effective aid for your baby.
The Lamaze Spin & Explore Garden Gym is ideally suited for those infants who are learning to hold their head and gain control of their spine. Most importantly, the gym targets developing the stomach muscles of the child, since they help the baby to crawl in the coming months.
Aptly named, the Lamaze Spin & Explore Garden Gym provides for all aspect of a child’s physical development. The baby is placed on the toy with her tummy perched on the ‘saddle’.
As the child pushes her way around in order to see the petals of this flower shaped gym, she automatically exercises her stomach muscles and thus makes them strong. The arms and the shoulders also come into play here as the child moves in the saddle.
Learning to hold their heads up and balance it properly is another important lesson the babies learn with this toy. The legs are often used by the baby in order to seek that much needed push to gain momentum in the saddle and therefore are strengthened also.
In short, the Lamaze Spin & Explore Garden Gym is providing exercise to all the parts of the body that will later be used in crawling smoothly.
Interestingly, the Lamaze Spin & Explore Garden Gym teases the child’s senses in order to stimulate the baby into a physical workout. This flower shaped toy has five petals. Each petal excites the baby in a different way. While the squeaking red bird bearing petal and the petal with the peek-a-boo leaf flap are ideal for the child’s auditory senses, they also drives the cause and effect point home.
This toy also throws in a riot of colors on the child’s visual platter. All these aids are used in order to keep the baby interested in the variety that the toy offers and continue moving, thus gaining physical strength.
It would not be wrong to say that the Lamaze Spin & Explore Garden Gym offers a good development to the baby.
A few other toys we've tried and found to work wonderfully well to encourage tummy time and ultimately stimulate baby crawling are:
So once your baby crawls, also have a look at the crawling tunnels to further develop these skills while giving loads of fun. These are very good value-for-money playthings our children used for many years after the initial period of learning to crawl. You may also want to look at this page for more information.