Hesperian Health Guides
Activities to help your child learn to sit and crawl
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If your child can see a little, be sure to adapt these activities to best use his remaining sight.
To help your child sit by himself
Place your child in a sitting position with his legs apart and his arms in front to support himself. Show him some toys and then put them in different places, like between his legs, and on the right and left sides of his body. As he moves to find the toys, he will use and develop his balance.
Here’s your spoon, Noi — and your rattle.
Where did the spoon and rattle go? Can you find them?
To help your child learn to crawl
When your child can lie on his stomach and push his upper body up with his arms straight, he is ready to start learning to crawl. The activities in this section can help him learn to move his upper and lower body separately, to put weight on his arms and legs, and to shift his weight from side to side. All these skills are important for learning to crawl and should be done in the order shown here.
- When your child is lying on his stomach, put some toys at his side near his waist. Then help him push up on one hand and reach for a toy with the other hand.
- Place your child over one of your legs so that his arms are straight and his knees are bent. To help him bear weight on his arms and legs, and to shift his weight from side to side, rock your leg from side to side while pushing down gently on his shoulders and lower back.
- Place your child sideways across your leg. Have some toys within reach in front of him on the right and left sides. Encourage him to reach for a toy, first with one arm, then the other.
- If your child drags his stomach as he starts to crawl, support his stomach with your hands or with a towel. As he moves toward a toy, pull the towel up slightly on one side, then the other, so that he learns to shift his weight from side to side. As he becomes more able, give him less support.
- Once your child can stay in a crawl position on his hands and knees without help, encourage him to reach for a toy. Try to keep him moving forward so he does not sit back on his bottom.
- Once your child can crawl easily, encourage him to crawl up stairs. Place his hands on the first step and move up with him. Then help him turn around and come down the stairs by sitting on his bottom.
As soon as your child is crawling, you will need to make sure that the places where he crawls are clean and safe for him.