How to encourage crawling

My baby is 8 months old and is showing interest in crawling. However his go to position right now is a kind of “downward facing dog.” Extended legs and arms, head looking between his legs. How do I encourage crawling from this point?

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Hey @Jill_Jefferies and thanks again for posting this question here. I know I could’ve answered you on IG, but I know soooo many parents have similar questions. :slight_smile:

It sounds like your little one would benefit from some time in the quadruped (4-point position to strengthen his arms, postural muscles, and the muscles surrounding his hips. From the pictures you sent, it seems like you are promoting lots of floor play and, which is awesome, and it seems like he’s very motivated to explore his environment to move!

I’m going to tag some amazing therapists to see if they have any posts, resources or tips on how you can help facilitate this play position or others that may help in preparation for crawling @Starfishtherapies @Tinytotspt @TheMovementMama @AL-InclusiveTherapy @tots-allison - and any others I forget to tag, feel free to chime in :slight_smile:

Hey @Jill_Jefferies ! This is Rhea, the PT from @walktalkplay. It’s great your kiddo is pushing into the floor. It sounds like he’s on his way to figuring it out.

A couple simple ideas to try (if you haven’t already):

  • When on tummy, place some exciting desirable toys or interesting objects (bottle? keys? remote?) a couple feet in front of him to see if he work his way forward.
    -You can slide your leg under his trunk while you’re seated on the floor to promote the quadruped position @tots-mary was talking about above.
    -You can also try placing his hands on a diaper box and help gently guide him forward (like he’s pushing the box) while his knees are on the floor. Just be sure to guide and help him for safety. Playing in this position (like hands on couch knees on the floor can be a great way to strengthen and get used to being on his knees too).

I hope these help! It will be any day now and you’ll have to kiss your freedom goodbye (since you will be likely chasing him around all day once he figures it out!).


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Hi! This is pretty common! If you have stairs I always recommend helping crawl up stairs. I also have them push toys while on their knees (you can help the toys move). Crawling over your legs or cushions can help too. I have a bunch of highlights on my instagram for crawling as well as posts. I’m also going to link a blog round up which has resources for crawling!

If you are looking for more step by step details to help with crawling we have a 6 week program as well.

And don’t hesitate to reach out with more questions!

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Hey @Jill_Jefferies! Thanks for posting your question here!

All the above answers are spot on…I’m just going to add that when babies are on the verge of crawling, it’s very common for them to have to build the core strength to hold themselves in that quadruped position the others therapists are talking about so trying it out, flopping down or sticking his bottom up is not uncommon in the process of learning.

They are also figuring out how to coordinate their upper and lower bodies so that downward dog is likely him figuring out what to do with all those limbs-very typical.

You can definitely try those activities mentioned above cause they’re great suggestions and likely with lots of floor time he’ll figure out what to do fairly soon.

Good luck and keep us posted!!

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Ever since following you guys, I’ve been really trying to make play on the floor a priority with my daughter. She’s almost 9 months old and still isn’t crawling the typical way. She is sort of dragging her body with her arms but isn’t getting up onto her hands and knees. Would all of those wonderful tips help her too?

Yes they would! And that’s great that you have been prioritizing floor time! Let us know how it goes when you start to implement some of the ideas!

Hi Ladies! I just wanted to jump back on because my daughter is crawling! I’ve been really focusing on the floor play and trying all of the wonderful strategies that you all have mentioned, and she’s doing it! Thank you, thank you!!!


Amazing news!!! Thank you for sharing!

That is so great!!! Thank you for letting us know! Way to go mom!