8-12 Months Baby Motor Development Characteristics (1)

01 Basic Motor Development

By 8 months, babies should no longer need support when sitting. As their trunk muscles become stronger, they'll also start reaching for objects while sitting. Eventually, they'll learn to crawl and sit back up. If your child can't sit up on their own by around 9 months, you should contact a pediatrician.

Babies at this stage are constantly on the move when lying down. When on their tummy, they lift their heads to look around; when on their back, they grab their feet (or anything nearby) and try to put them in their mouths.

They quickly get tired of lying on their backs, and now they can roll over easily and rapidly. This poses a danger, especially during diaper changes, so it's best not to use changing tables but instead change them on the floor or a large bed where they won't easily fall. Never leave your child alone, even for short periods.

02 Practicing Crawling

These activities strengthen muscles in preparation for crawling. Babies typically master crawling between 7 to 10 months old. Initially, they may just use their hands and knees to move back and forth. Because their arm muscles are stronger than their leg muscles, they may even push themselves backward instead of forward. But with practice, they discover they can move their bodies forward toward where they want to go.

A few babies may never crawl. Instead, they find other ways to move, like scooting forward on their bottoms or dragging themselves on their bellies. As long as a baby can coordinate both sides of their body and use both arms and legs simultaneously, there's no need to worry excessively. What matters is that they're now exploring their surroundings independently, constantly strengthening their bodies in preparation for walking. If you feel your child isn't learning to move normally, discuss this with a pediatrician.

03 Encouraging Crawling

Try placing interesting objects just out of reach. As your baby becomes more agile, use pillows, boxes, or cushions as obstacles for them to climb over or around. You can also hide behind one of these obstacles and surprise your baby by playing peek-a-boo.

However, never leave your child alone near these obstacles, as they may fall between pillows or under boxes and be unable to climb out on their own. This can be frightening for them and pose a risk of suffocation. Keep small objects off the floor, under sofas, or anywhere else your child can reach, as they'll find them and put them in their mouths. Small objects like balloon fragments, button batteries, and coins are extremely dangerous.

Stairs are also natural obstacle courses, but they can be dangerous. While children need to learn to go up and down stairs, you should never allow them to play on stairs at this stage. If you have stairs at home, your child may try to climb them whenever they get the chance, so install child safety gates at both the top and bottom of the stairs to prevent them from going up or down on their own. When playing with them on the stairs, you can encourage them to crawl backward when coming down the stairs; they may quickly learn this skill.