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Crawling is a milestone in any baby’s life that’s exciting (yay, they’re moving on their own!) and also slightly worrisome (oh no, they’re moving on their own). But because some babies need a little nudge to get moving, there are many toys that not only help motivate them but also help them learn and develop fine motor skills as well. The best toys that encourage crawling are engaging enough to get babies to move toward the toy — think sounds, lights, movement — and eventually chase after it. Girl Pretend Play Toys
Scary Mommy reached out to pediatrician Dr. Mona Amin, DO, FAAP, and the early childhood development experts at the Fisher-Price Play Lab to learn more about babies starting to crawl and what parents can do to help encourage them.
Dr. Mona Amin is a board-certified general pediatrician with an interest in child development and neonatal medicine. She shares educational information on child health and wellness on PedsDoc Talk, as well as on Instagram, her podcast, and YouTube channel. She currently works at Pediatric Associates in Florida. She is also a mother to a toddler herself.
Lisa Lohiser is an early childhood development expert at the Fisher-Price Play Lab, which helps design toys that are tested by babies and kids.
“Give them lots of floor time!” says Dr. Amin, adding that floor and tummy time help with rolling, crawling, and even walking. “Put them on their back, on their side, on their belly, and see what they can do. Start in small increments of time and build up as they get used to it. Utilize rattles, toys they can manipulate and put into their mouth, and toys they can transfer from hand to hand. You can put toys they are interested in slightly out of reach to help encourage crawling.”
She also says to look at what items they already love, whether that’s you calling their name, a toy, or even a remote control, to encourage movement. “If you notice them constantly trying to grab for something in their environment, put that a distance away from them and let them try to trouble-shoot how to get to their desired item by moving a.k.a crawling,” she says.
Lohiser says to give your baby a crawling buddy to show them how it’s done — you (or an older sibling) can get down on all fours and crawl along with them, which will be a great incentive (and model) for them to get moving.
Children may crawl anywhere from 4 months to 13 months, but every child is different. Dr. Amin says the goal is not for your child to reach a milestone compared to another child, but to help foster their own individual trajectory.
How will you know if your child is ready? Lohiser says to look for these signs:
Ahead find more than a dozen toys that will encourage your baby to make a move. Before you know it, they’re going to be cruising, and then walking, and then running. (Pro tip: install the baby gate, outlet covers, and furniture anchors now.)
In a hurry? Here are the top picks for the best toys for crawling:
1. The Expert Pick: Yookidoo Musical Crawl N' Go Snail Toy
2. A Versatile, Budget-Friendly Toy: Sassy Developmental Bumpy Ball
3. This Cult-Favorite Crawl Ball: VTech Wiggle and Crawl Ball
This musical toy, recommended by Dr. Amin, is a two-in-one. It’s a battery-powered snail that rolls and spins its shell, and the shell also detaches and becomes a stacker toy with pieces babies can transfer from hand to hand. The snail plays music as it moves (there’s also a silent mode, for parents’ sake), and playing with it encourages both crawling and fine motor skills.
Helpful review: “I researched toys last year to find something my infant daughter would find interesting enough to crawl after. I chose this item because of the versatility and positive review for operation on carpet. It works well on our carpet and the music is fun! My daughter STILL loves this toy and she is 18 months old. It’s really 2 toys in one because the stackable top is a fun toy on its own.”
If your household doesn’t have a dog (or even if you do), this Fisher-Price puppy will make a great addition to the family. It wiggles its tail, shakes its bottom, and scoots backwards and forwards to encourage babies to follow it around. It has a soft tail and ears for little hands to grab onto, and there are more than 55 songs, sounds, and educational phrases to keep your little one stimulated and entertained.
Helpful review: “Our son tripods and it's great for him. He can play with it on his belly. He has transitioned from tripod to belly because of this. The buttons are easy but not too easy to press. It didn't take him long to figure out, but he really enjoys it. This is by far the best toy to encourage your not-yet crawling baby to try moving. It's a little loud, but the volume helps fight the tears and gets him happy.”
Your baby will love chasing after this colorful crawling ball that wiggles and wobbles to encourage baby to go after it. They can press the different buttons to learn their numbers, letters, and animals, and it plays over 45 songs, sounds, and phrases to motivate movement. It’s an especially engaging toy that shoppers love — it maintains an impressive 4.7-star rating with over 21,000 reviews. The ball is available in two colors: multicolor (pictured) or purple.
Helpful review: “Such a cute toy for when your baby is learning to crawl and sit. We bought it for our boy during that stage and he looooved that it moved on its own and I believe it really helped him develop those skills faster. The sound has two volumes, which is always great. The lights and colors make it perfectly interactive and keep the baby's attention. A great buy and highly recommended. Very durable and we only had to change the batteries once in a whole year. It was in such great condition after our son was done with it that we passed it down to our niece.”
This crawling toy has different features and movement patterns to accommodate pre-crawlers, beginner crawlers, and advanced crawlers — and it’s so nice to have a toy that grows with your baby to hold their interest for months. It has colorful lights, sounds, and music, and there are sensors built in to avoid obstacles as it roams around your house. This one is another absolute favorite with fellow parents; it’s amassed an impressive 4.7-star rating after 10,000 reviews.
Helpful review: “My son really seemed to love this toy. How could you not when it looks that cute. Before he could crawl he was extremely interested in what was making all that noise and roaming around. Sometimes he'd try to grab at it and I believe that really motivated him into crawling. He started crawling at 6.5 months! I do believe this toy encouraged him to get the move on, but at the same time we gave him lots of tummy time.”
For something that doesn’t require batteries, this clutch ball is a soft and quiet toy to encourage motor skills and movement. With different colors, textures ,and materials, there will be plenty for your baby to touch, see, and grab. Some of the bumps rattle as well. Put this just out of reach of your little one and watch them try to crawl to it; they may even bump it further out of reach to crawl more. For under $10, this toy is another shopper fave with an overall 4.7-star rating after more than 29,000 reviews.
Helpful review: “Our baby girl LOVES this bumpy ball so much! It’s our number one toy we bring with us when out and about. We purchased when our baby was 2 months and she took interest in it immediately. Our baby is now 3 months and is still loving all of the different colors, black and white patterns, textures, and the rattling sound it makes when shaken. It is still too big for her to hold, but she loves staring at it and it is great for eye tracking and using during tummytime. It will definitely be a toy she will grow into when she starts crawling too. If you are wondering if you should purchase this, YOU SHOULD!”
This set of four soft toy cars includes a school bus, police car, family car, and fire truck, which all have an easy-to-use pull-back mechanism that sends them zooming across the floor to a baby’s delight. Your baby can play with the cars as is, or help encourage them to chase the cars by winding them up and letting them roll across the floor. The wheeled bottoms are removable for cleaning, which is convenient because we all know how grimy kids’ toys can get. With nearly 10,000 reviews on Amazon, this beloved set maintains a near-perfect 4.9-star rating.
Helpful review: “Got these for my daughter when she really started to sit up and crawl she loves them and plays so well with them she’s now 11 months old and loves to try and wind them back and has helped her count 1,2,3.. go! These are cute and I love that I was able to wash them in the washer prior to using them since she is extremely sensitive so I was able to use our sensitive Molly’s suds detergent!”
Set up this foam play set and let your baby crawl and climb without worrying they’re going to hurt themselves. Each of the five different foam shapes are covered with vegan leather and have nonslip bases. Arrange them in different ways to encourage crawling, movement, and climbing — it won’t be long before your young crawler is agile enough to climb up and down from these pieces. This pick is more of an investment, but know your toddler will later enjoy building and stacking these, too.
Helpful review: “Great for crawling babies or to challenge your toddler to crawl/climb on crawling obstacles, tummy time work, etc. As a physical therapist, I bought this for my home for my kids. It's a inexpensive alternative to the other therapeutic grade sets”
Add some magic to playtime with this crawling unicorn (there’s also a dinosaur version). It has a discovery mode with lights and sounds for pre-crawlers, and a chase mode for babies who are ready to make a move or starting to crawl. When your baby catches up, simply press a button to change the unicorn’s direction to send it — and your baby — off on a new adventure. A button on the bottom switches between carpet and hardwood floor modes, so this crawling toy can keep moving optimally on either type of flooring.
Helpful review: “We got this for our 6 month old daughter for Christmas and couldn't be happier with the purchase! When she received it she couldn't yet crawl, but is crawling now. I would say this is probably her favorite toy right now. She loves that it lights up, plays music, rocks, and gallops! I like that you can switch it from hard floor mode to carpet mode, because we have both. I also like that you can play with it stationary (for pre-crawlers) and galloping for older babies.”
Here’s a fun spin on a baby vacuum toy — it’s an adorable kitten riding a pretend robot vacuum, and your soon-to-be crawler will love going after it. This toy lights up and plays music, sounds, and phrases. There are three different ways to make the cat move: push down the head, push it forward, or pull it back.
Helpful review: “I can't get over how ridiculous this toy is, but I love it all the same! It's a cat on a robot vacuum - hahaha! But, it is also very cute, works well on hardwood floors, and does encourage crawling. The music isn't as annoying as music from other baby toys. And, while I got this for the baby, my five-year-old daughter is enthralled by it. I would easily give this as a gift and get a kick out of the parent's reactions to the silliness of it as much as the baby's love for it.”
If you’re looking for a soft crawling toy, this VTech elephant has flapping ears and multiple textures and patterns to give sensory variety to your little one. They can cuddle with it and dance along to 45+ songs, melodies, sounds, and phrases. You can press any button to get the elephant to start moving, and there’s volume control and automatic shut-off for parents. This toy comes in teal or pink.
Helpful review: “My favorite part of this elephant are his ears - they wiggle to the tunes, he's adorable. He's soft and has a pleasant child-like voice when he talks. The elephant plays multiple tunes to entertain your little one as he crawls across the floor.”
Here is a set of crawling toys that encourages babies to move but also delights at bath time. Each of the four bubbles features a fun figure inside, like a cute turtle and friendly penguin, that spin and rattle as your little one bats at these balls. Grippy rings on the outside of the bubbles make these easier to grab — in or out of the water. They’re an affordable favorite with an impressive 4.8-star rating and over 24,000 reviews.
Helpful review: “Bought these for the tub for our LO and she loves them so much we play with them outside of the tub too, she’s learning to crawl chasing after these cute balls of joy. Perfect size for her little hands. Great buy!”
This rolling baby toy is an inflatable one with engaging graphics, an LED light, and two rattle balls inside, which will give your baby something motivating enough to chase when you roll it around your home. There’s also a ball drop game inside that’ll introduce cause and effect and puzzle solving, too. When not in use, it can be deflated and stored compactly — or tossed in a suitcase for fun on vacation (or at grandma’s house). Several reviewers mentioned how their babies/toddlers also liked playing with it in the bath.
Helpful review: “This toy is awesome! I bought this for my 8 month older nephew and thought it was so cool because I've never seen a toy like this and he loves it ! I'll definitely be buying it for my daughter! Highlyrecommend and you can always deflate to store it so it takes up little to no room.”
It’s never too early to introduce baby to another language. This musical turtle toy plays music and teaches your baby letters, numbers, and shapes in English and Spanish. The friendly-faced turtle crawls to the upbeat songs, encouraging your little one to follow along. It also lights up to engage your baby, and you’ll appreciate the two volume levels.
Helpful review: “Favorite toy that I've bought my 6 month old son! It is very durable (he likes to hit the button on the shell really hard)! He loves to watch it walk across the floor and it encourages him to crawl. It is a very cute turtle and a great purchase!”
This adorable beet crawling toy moves to its own, well, beat. When you turn it on and roll it, motion-activated beatbox-style songs will play and encourage your little one to chase after it. The bright purple color will also make it easy to spot in the pile of other toys in your house. This toy also entices almost-crawlers with rattling beads inside that make sounds when the toy is shaken or rolled.
Helpful review: “This thing is awesome. It was instantly a hit with my 5 month old. She loves it and this toy definitely encourages her to crawl. She was determined to keep reaching for it and chase it around. She improvised and inch wormed/army crawled her way over to it.”
With a sensor instead of a button, this moving dino toy will nod its head, move, light up, and play songs. The ‘go’ mode encourages babies to chase and crawl, and the ‘stop’ mode allows babies to sit and play for a while. It plays sounds and the dinosaur roars as it moves. This toy’s universal wheels and sensors help it navigate around obstacles on the floor, which also keeps your baby from potential bumps.
Helpful review: “I love that it has the sensor so that when it bumps into anything, it will turn the other way! It does stop but continues for about 3 times until it goes on a standby mode, which is when the buttons on the sides are easily accessible. It has encouraged crawling for my baby and once she learned to crawl, loves going after this dino.”
Mona Amin, D.O., board-certified general pediatrician with Pediatric Associates in Florida and host of PedsDoc Talk, a popular Instagram account, podcast, and YouTube channel.
Surprise Toy Lisa Lohiser, early childhood development expert at Fisher-Price Play Lab