Your baby will reach many milestones during her early years. Becoming mobile is an exciting one for which many parents watch and wait. Creeping is often a precursor to mobility and involves your baby's early attempts to move forward and backward or get to her hands and knees. Once your baby begins creeping, she typically follows soon after with crawling, walking and running.
Creeping takes many forms and you might see your baby scooting on his tummy, rocking back and forth on his bottom, rolling or belly-crawling around his play space. Most babies begin to creep around 6 months of age, according to MayoClinic.com. Creeping usually follows the milestones of sitting without support, holding the head steady and bearing weight on the legs, which typically occurs between 4 and 6 months of age for the average baby.
If your little one was born prematurely, chances are she'll start creeping around the time she'd have turned 6 months old, if she'd been born at term. This is called her adjusted age. For example, if your little one was born two months early, she'll probably be nearer to 8 months old before you notice her starting to creep. As long as you notice progress, there's usually no need for worry, notes HealthyChildren.org, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Preemies generally catch up by age 2, so you won't have to use her adjusted age for her entire childhood.
Sometimes a baby has physical limitations that delay creeping or that make it difficult. You might not be aware of such problems until your little one fails to reach the creeping milestone. It's normal for a baby's legs to bow or his feet to turn inward, according to Charles Shubin, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University in "Parents" magazine. This is often due to the cramped position in the womb, but is not insurmountable. Mention the issue to your little one's pediatrician to ensure that there isn't a problem, then try to enjoy the last fleeting moments of knowing your baby is going to stay put.
It's important to remember that infant milestones aren't set in stone. Every baby grows and develops at her own pace, so you might notice your little one creeping before 6 months or after 6 months. Try not to compare your baby with her siblings or cousins. As long as she's progressing forward, you likely have nothing to worry about. Some babies skip creeping altogether and go straight to crawling. However, if you're ever concerned about her growth and development, talk to her pediatrician.