Crawling allows babies some independence from their parents and caregivers and enables them to explore their environment, an irresistible need. However, while most babies learn to crawl between 7 to 10 months, when they have enough muscle strength and coordination, some will never crawl at all, going straight to standing and walking by clinging to the furniture. It is certainly a busy time for parents who must protect both their beloved children and their precious trinkets.

Many parents can't help but compare their kids with others and may worry if some early milestones seem to be late. The reassuring news is that most children follow a similar development pattern, even if the timing can vary. Actually, babies begin to crawl when they are ready, but there are some interesting tips for parents and caregivers who want to encourage this practice:

Show your babies how to get into a crawling position and do push-ups yourself to demonstrate how to move your belly to your hands and knees.

Place some favorite toy slightly out of reach to incite your babies to move toward and grasp it.

Give your babies supervised "tummy time" (they can benefit from it from birth). The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that babies under 1 year spend at least 30 minutes on their tummies daily - when they are awake and alert. It is, of course, important to supervise babies at all times when they are crawling or moving around.

Finally, should you worry if your baby is still not crawling? As explained above, babies reach milestones at different times, sometimes skipping this step entirely. Usually, they start rolling over before sitting up and then crawling. In any case, if you have the slightest doubt about your baby's development, do not hesitate to talk about it with your pediatrician.

Picture: Baby crawling (