Empowering Your Little One: Tips for Encouraging 9 Month Old to Crawl!

Are you tired of seeing your little one stuck in one place, looking at you like they deserve an Oscar for acting helpless? Fear not! As a seasoned child whisperer (aka parent), I've compiled some tips and tricks guaranteed to turn that stationary baby into a mobile menace.

Empowering Your Little One: Tips for Encouraging 9 Month Old to Crawl!

The Importance of Crawling

As adults, we may take crawling for granted because we're either too busy adulting or were never given the opportunity as babies. But crawling is actually vital in a child's development as it strengthens their muscles, improves coordination, and aids in spatial awareness. Plus, crawling leads to walking which means fewer piggyback rides for you!

Is My Baby Ready?

Before pushing your baby off the couch and yelling "CRAWL!", there are a few telltale signs that indicate whether or not they're ready to crawl:

  • They can push themselves up on their hands and knees.
  • They have good head control.
  • They show an interest in moving by reaching out towards objects.
  • They express frustration when unable to reach desired object.

If you answered 'yes' to all four criteria above then congrats! Your little one is ready to crawl straight into mischief.

Make it Fun with Games

Let's be real, if it isn't fun then why bother? Incorporating games during playtime can encourage movement while keeping things exciting. Here are some examples:

Tunnel Fun

Grab some boxes or pop-up tunnels/ball pits (extra points if they glow-in-the-dark) and create obstacles for your baby to maneuver through from start-to-finish.

Musical Chairs

Place toys just out of reach from where your baby is sitting/crawling; once music starts playing (because silence is overrated), guide them towards the toy but remove it once the music stops so that they're motivated to keep moving.

Peek-a-Boo Race

Hide behind furniture or a doorway and pop out at different locations to get your baby from point A to B; just make sure you're not scaring them too much otherwise they'll develop trust issues in the future.

Clear Up Top

A cluttered living space can discourage babies from venturing out. Ensure any potential hazards are removed or kept higher up so that your little one can roam without getting hurt (or locking horns with their domineering toys). Remember, "out of sight, out of mind" works for both adults and children.

Create Safe Zones

Although not practical all the time, creating designated crawling areas will encourage exploration while enabling parents/caregivers some peace of mind that there aren't any lurking dangers nearby. Think foam floor matting, activity centers, playpens–I could go on but you get the gist.

Encourage Solo Playtime

While we all love playing with our babies ("awe look who said 'mama' for the first time!") it's essential to provide solo play opportunities where they're free to explore under supervision. Babies need this alone time as it allows them independence and room for self-discovery. Plus, it provides uninterrupted parent TV time which is crucial (pun intended) .

Incentivize Movement

Just like when we successfully complete a task at work/school/home and get rewarded with food/gifts/praises/etc., babies should also have something tangible motivating movement success. This doesn't mean buying a pony every time your baby crawls two centimeters further than last week because ponies are expensive (and poop everywhere) . Try implementing these incentives:

  • Verbal praise – Everyone enjoys hearing positive comments about themselves.
  • High fives/fist bumps – Build good habits early by promoting celebration through high-fives/hugs/chest-bumps.
  • Smarties or Skittles - A sweet reward for a sweet moment!(but don't overdo it with the candy) .


Encouraging your baby to crawl doesn't have to feel like a chore; these simple tips can be surprisingly effortless and fun too. Watching them develop and grow is one of life's greatest joys, even if they're heading straight towards that antique vase you like that will hit the ground shattering into millions of pieces ('tis just materialistic things anyway!) . So let's empower, incentivize, and set up safe crawling spaces because before we know it those babies will turn into walking/destructive toddlers which requires an entirely different playbook.

Happy crawling!

Disclaimer: The author does not take responsibility for any broken vases nor emotional damage caused by skimping on candy incentives. Parent with love and humor at all times.

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