My 6,5 month daughter despises her tummy time. She has to be kept occupied all the time with toys while on her belly, otherwise she starts fussing and, very soon after that, crying. While playing with us, she has little need to crawl, since she's ok and busy where she is. When she's fussing or crying, she won't be trying to crawl, she just tries to roll to her back (not too good at it yet).

We tried to put toys in front of her so that she would try to reach them, but it hardly affects her non-fussy time span. We tried putting her on various surfaces (her mat is not the best for crawling) like a carpet or panel-floor. Didn't make much difference either.

  • I thought our son would never crawl, as he never showed any intent to even try. Then he started, and I only wish he would forget again ;) He went from not being able to sit up himself to sitting/standing/crawling/walking with one hand in the course of a week. Progress is crazy with these little buggers. Commented May 17, 2014 at 4:34

4 Answers 4


Tummy time is not explicitly 'learn to crawl' time. It is a combination of several things.

  • Building strength and balance
  • Increasing activity
  • Getting the baby used to different positions
  • Usually is more active than back-time
  • Improve head shape (avoiding 'flat head')

Certainly give her toys during this period. Don't push crawling very hard; she'll do it when she's ready, and this time is part of getting ready. Make sure she's getting plenty of tummy time (a few hours a day at this age), but other than that let her do her own thing. That's the best thing you can do to help her learn to crawl: let her develop strength and balance, and begin to become more active.

6.5 months is very early to crawl; most babies at our daycare crawled at closer to 8 months, and many took longer than that. Don't stress too much about it. Relish this time now, where she stays in one place - once she starts crawling you'll never have a calm moment until college.


I know it's hard to have your daughter pitching a fit at tummy time, and all you want is to keep her happy and let her learn, but let her fuss. The frustration of tummy time actually encouraged both of mine to start crawling. Think of it this way; by having her do tummy time, even if she's not a fan, you're encouraging her to find a way to either make it more fun or get away from it. Both of those can help her find the key to crawling, or cruising, or whatever she decides is her preferred method of locomotion.

Also, keep in mind that not all kids crawl, and not all do it soon. My daughter started scooting around at 9 months but would just go backwards and then get HACKED when she found herself in a corner. She decided then that crawling wasn't working for her so started pulling up and then walking, just before she turned one. My son crawled at 6 months and walked at 10 months, because he saw his sister zooming around and wanted to be part of it. My niece and nephew on my side of the family both skipped crawling entirely and went straight to pulling up, cruising and then walking. (In other words, kids are weird and do their own thing.)

  • 1
    We let her fuss, we only intervene when she cries, when she reaches this point-of-no-return-(without-parents)-cry.
    – Dariusz
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 12:27
  • Two of mine did the crawling backwards thing! One didn't crawl at all, but sat until the day she decided to pull up to a walk.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 12:37
  • 1
    @Dariusz Just gonna back up what Valkyrie said with this (I was gonna answer your other question, but the answer is more relevant to this question): You can't force a baby to crawl or really encourage her beyond putting her in mildly uncomfortable positions and hoping she wants to get out of it. Infants will crawl when they're physically and mentally ready, and only if they want to.
    – Noah
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 13:24

One of the hardest things for me to learn when my son was your daughter's age was "be less helpful." He didn't have too much need to crawl because he'd reach for things outside his grasp and we'd get them for him.

That said, he simply was not much of a crawler, ever. He was pulling himself up on things and traveling before average but didn't "army crawl." He started doing a weird one-leg upright crawl-walk to get around - he'd just scoot himself forward on his butt that way, and get anywhere he wanted. Then one day he just boom, started walking. Every once in a rare while for the three months following that he'd actually properly crawl, but never before he walked.

Shrug. Some kids are like that. Maybe yours will be. The only thing I wish I'd done different, looking back, (and I don't know that it mattered) would have been to make him spend more time developing his muscles by thrashing around on tummy time. It's nice of they enjoy or don't loathe it, but I think sometimes you just have to let them get frustrated enough to make the effort.


Crawling is a motor development skill that develops naturally on each child's own developmental time table. Barring any severe physical or neurological disabilities, there is no need whatsoever to "teach" or "encourage" a child to crawl. Other than giving them ample safe space in which to explore, respect their stage of development (whatever that is), and sit back and observe!

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