Creeping vs Crawling: Differences, Benefits & More About It

Understanding creeping vs crawling. Creeping is a slow, gradual motion involving dragging or sliding along the ground. It can be stealthy, like a cat or shadow, and is associated with quietness and slowness.

For example, a snail creeps along a garden path, leaving a glistening trail.

Left side baby is crawling and the right side baby creeping

Moreover, crawling is a movement that entails the body staying close to the ground while utilizing hands, knees, or limbs for propulsion. It is a significant developmental milestone for babies, often occurring prior to walking.

Furthermore, crawling can symbolize perseverance and determination, as exemplified by a tenacious toddler who crawls determinedly across a room in pursuit of a beloved toy.

To summarize, creeping is a cautious and gradual movement, while crawling is moving close to the ground using hands and knees, commonly seen in babies. Crawling can also metaphorically express difficulty or struggle.

Importance Of Differentiating Creeping And Crawling

2 babies are crawling while 1 is trying to creep

Differentiating between creeping and crawling is important for several reasons. Firstly, it allows for precise descriptions of different types of movement, conveying specific shade and attributes associated with each term.

Secondly, it enhances effective communication by providing specific imagery and concepts to the listener or reader, ensuring accurate understanding and engagement.

Thirdly, creeping and crawling can hold symbolic meanings, representing cautious progress or resilience, adding depth to communication.

Lastly, in various contexts such as scientific discussions or creative writing, the distinction enables classification and evokes specific moods or character traits.

Stages Of Creeping

Early stage of creeping

In the early stages, babies may start by propelling themselves forward while lying on their stomachs and using their arms to drag their bodies along the ground.

As they develop strength and coordination, they gradually transition to a belly-crawling position, pushing themselves forward with their arms while keeping their legs extended.

Eventually, they refine their creeping technique, employing more coordinated movements and utilizing different techniques such as serpentine or caterpillar-like motions.

Moreover, each stage of creeping marks an important milestone in a baby’s physical development and lays the foundation for further exploration and mobility.

See also: Baby Hates Tummy Time

Stages Of Crawling

Baby is trying to crawl at early stage

In the early stages, babies may start by scooting or dragging themselves along the floor using their arms. As they gain strength and coordination, they transition to the classic hands-and-knees crawling position, moving with more control and purpose.

Eventually, they advance to more advanced forms of crawling, such as bear crawling or crab crawling. Each stage of crawling represents a crucial step in a baby’s motor skill development and their journey towards independent mobility.

Benefits of Creeping and Crawling

Creeping benefits: 

  • Strengthens upper body muscles.
  • Enhances coordination and motor skills.
  • Develops spatial awareness and proprioception.
  • Stimulates sensory exploration.
  • Builds confidence and independence.
  • They will consume more nutrition.

Crawling benefits:

  • Strengthens muscles and promotes physical development.
  • Enhances hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
  • Develops spatial and depth perception.
  • Stimulates cognitive development.
  • Supports bilateral coordination.
  • They will consume more nutrition.

Creeping And Crawling Age

Infants typically start creeping between 6 and 8 months of age, while crawling usually begins around 7 to 10 months, according to research published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics.

The study involved observing a large sample of infants and found that some infants began creeping as early as 6 months, while crawling typically started between 7 and 8 months, with most infants crawling by 10 months.

It’s important to remember that individual development can vary, and these age ranges are approximate.

See also: How To Stop Mouth Breathing In Child?

Crawling vs creeping vs cruising

Here’s a table comparing crawling, creeping, and cruising:

MovementDescriptionDevelopmental Stage
CrawlingMoving on hands and knees or with a body close to the ground.Transitional stage between creeping and walking.
CreepingDragging belly along the ground using the arms while keeping legs extended.Early form of locomotion before crawling.
CruisingUsing furniture or other support to move around in an upright position, holding onto objects and taking steps sideways.Preparatory stage for independent walking.

Creeping And Crawling Mechanisms And Techniques

When it comes to the creeping and crawling of babies, they utilize various techniques to explore their environment and develop their motor skills. Similar to the serpentine motion of snakes, babies can propel themselves forward by laterally bending their bodies while lying on their stomachs. 

Additionally, they may also employ a concertina-like movement, extending and contracting their body segments, akin to certain caterpillars. Additionally, babies can use rectilinear locomotion, where they stretch their bodies forward, pull themselves up, and grip the surface with their limbs to move in a straight line.

These techniques showcase the early stages of motor development and mobility in babies as they learn to navigate and engage with their surroundings.

See also: Exersaucer Age? 

Tips To Encourage Creeping And Crawling

To encourage creeping and crawling in infants, create a safe and stimulating environment with soft surfaces and interesting toys within their reach. Give your baby regular tummy time to strengthen their muscles.

Additionally, use colorful toys and objects to motivate movement, and cheer them on during their attempts. To stimulate their curiosity, you can introduce a mirror in front of babies.

Which will captivate their attention and encourage exploration as they observe their own reflection.

Moreover, create a crawling path with pillows or cushions as a visual cue. Allow interaction with siblings or peers to inspire imitation. Limit the time spent in baby gear to encourage independent exploration.

Related post: How Many Pacifiers Do I Need?

FAQs About Creeping vs Crawling

Which comes first creeping or crawling?

Creeping generally comes before crawling. Creeping refers to slow and gradual movement often associated with plants or objects, while crawling describes the movement of animals on their hands and knees.

Why is my baby creeping but not crawling?

Babies may start with creeping before crawling because it helps them develop strength and coordination in their muscles and limbs, preparing them for the more complex task of crawling.

Is it normal for a 9 month old to not crawl?

It is within the range of normal development for a 9-month-old baby to not be crawling yet. Babies reach milestones at different times, and some may take longer to start crawling than others. It’s important to focus on your baby’s overall growth and development rather than comparing them to specific timelines.

Can a baby walk without creeping?

While it’s uncommon, some babies may skip the creeping stage and go straight to walking. However, creeping helps develop necessary muscles and coordination, so most babies will go through this stage before walking.


Understanding the differences and similarities between creeping vs crawling provides valuable insights into the diverse ways in which movement occurs in nature and in the developmental stages of infants.

Creeping vs crawling play crucial roles in physical, cognitive, and sensory development, shaping the foundation for later motor skills and exploration.

By recognizing the importance of these movements, we can create supportive environments and engage in activities that encourage healthy development and growth.

Whether it’s observing a baby’s first attempts at crawling or marveling at the intricate movements of nature, appreciating the significance of creeping and crawling adds depth to our understanding of the world around us.

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