Baby on the move: What is cruising?
What is cruising? And when you can expect your baby to start?
As your baby grows in confidence moving around, they will be trying to get to the next stage of standing and eventually walking. But this takes time to master and there’s a lot to go through along the way.
What is cruising?
Once your little one gains confidence holding on to things to help pull themselves up, they may even dare to try letting go once they are upright. They may then attempt to hold on to the furniture or your hands and try a few little wobbly steps. This early introduction to walking is known as cruising.
When will my baby start to cruise?
As with all baby milestones, there is no exact rule as every baby is different and will reach these milestones in their own time. Some babies can start to attempt cruising anytime between 8-11 months but some won’t start till after their first birthday.
Don’t feel you need to hurry them to start cruising, babies start when they have enough muscular strength and it can take some babies a while to work out how to bend their knees to help them move easier. When babies begin to cruise they take crab-like, sideways steps after pulling themselves up to standing and holding on to furniture.
How can I encourage my baby to start cruising?
Help your little one gain confidence initially with pulling themselves up using furniture or your hands for support. Praise their efforts even if they’re only on their feet for a second before bumping back down on their bottom.
Squatting up and down is also an important skill to encourage as it helps build thigh and hip muscles. Try placing your baby’s toys at their feet whilst they’re standing supported by a sofa and soon they’ll be standing on their own.
Once they have mastered standing alone, encourage them to come nearer you, maybe placing their cup nearer you on the table so they will need to shuffle their feet along to reach it. Loads of positive praise will help them to keep trying.
Does my baby need shoes when cruising?
No, it’s helpful to let your baby first explore without shoes to build their arches and strengthen ankles. You shouldn’t look into your baby’s first shoes until they can take a few steps unaided. It’s important to buy your baby’s first shoes from a trained fitter. Most retailers of children’s shoes offer a fitting service and sell a range of cruising shoes for this stage.