When Do Babies Start Climbing: A Milestone Guide for Parents

Watching your baby grow and develop is one of the most exciting experiences for parents. From rolling over to crawling and eventually taking their first steps, every milestone is a significant achievement.

As your baby approaches each new stage of development, you may wonder when you can expect them to start climbing. Crawling and climbing are an essential part of a baby’s motor skill development, and knowing when to expect these milestones can help you support your baby’s growth.

Key Takeaways

  • Motor skills development plays a crucial role in climbing behavior in infants
  • Understanding the different stages of climbing in infants can help you track your baby’s progress
  • Crawling often serves as a precursor to climbing and is closely linked to motor skills development

Understanding the Stages of Climbing in Infants

Climbing is an exciting and important developmental milestone for babies. However, it is not a skill they develop overnight. It requires a lot of practice and physical development. In this section, we will explore the different stages of climbing in infants and how they gradually develop the strength and coordination necessary for this achievement.

Early Signs of Climbing

Before babies are able to climb, they will display early signs of the behavior. These signs include pulling themselves up onto furniture or attempting to climb up an object such as a low step. It is important to note that while these signs show that the baby is getting ready to climb, it may take several months before they are able to climb independently.

Exploration Stage

During the exploration stage, babies will begin to experiment with different ways of moving their bodies. They will crawl, roll, and scoot their way around, discovering their environment, and practicing their motor skills. At this stage, babies may also begin to pull themselves up onto furniture and other objects to stand.

Vertical Movement Stage

Once babies have developed enough strength and coordination, they will begin to climb up stairs and other objects. This is the vertical movement stage. At this stage, babies are starting to understand the concept of climbing and can move their feet and hands in a coordinated way to make it to the top of an object.

Expert Climbing Stage

After months of practice, babies will become expert climbers. They will be able to climb up and down stairs without assistance, and climb onto furniture easily. At this stage, they will also be able to navigate obstacles and move their bodies with greater confidence and ease.

Understanding the different stages of climbing in infants is important for parents to support their baby’s development and ensure their safety. By recognizing each stage and providing age-appropriate opportunities for climbing, parents can encourage their baby’s motor skills and physical development.

When Do Infants Start Pulling Themselves Up?

One of the most exciting moments for parents is when their baby starts pulling themselves up to a standing position. This milestone typically occurs between 6-10 months of age, but every baby is different. Some may reach this milestone earlier, while others may take a little longer.

At first, babies usually start by pulling themselves up to a kneeling position using nearby furniture or their parents’ legs for support. As they become more confident and stronger, they begin to pull themselves up to a standing position, often with the help of furniture or a parent’s hand.

Physical development plays a significant role in a baby’s ability to pull themselves up. They need to have strong enough leg muscles and the coordination to shift their weight from a crawling position to standing up. Encouraging activities that strengthen their legs and core muscles can help support this milestone.

The Connection between Crawling and Climbing

As babies grow and develop, their motor skills evolve in important ways. One of the key milestones that parents should watch for is crawling. Crawling is often seen as a precursor to climbing, as it requires the same kinds of skills and coordination.

As babies learn to crawl, they are building strength and coordination in their arms, legs, and core muscles. This process helps to prepare them for the more advanced movements of climbing, which require even greater strength, balance, and coordination.

The Link between Crawling and Climbing

Experts believe that the link between crawling and climbing is related to the development of spatial awareness. Crawling helps babies to understand how to move their bodies in relation to the space around them. As they become more confident and skilled at crawling, they are better able to navigate the environment and tackle new challenges.

Similarly, climbing also requires a high degree of spatial awareness. Babies need to be able to judge distances and angles, balance their weight, and reach for handholds or footholds as they move vertically. By building on the skills they developed during crawling, infants can gradually master the art of climbing.

Early Signs of Climbing in Babies

As your baby grows and develops, there are several early signs that may indicate they are preparing to climb. These signs can begin as early as 6-9 months old, and can vary from baby to baby.

One early sign of climbing is when your baby starts to push up onto their hands and knees. This is a crucial movement that helps build the strength and coordination necessary for climbing. Another sign is when your baby begins to pull themselves up onto furniture, such as a coffee table or couch. This action helps develop the muscles in their legs and core, which are essential for climbing.

Other early signs of climbing include your baby exploring their environment by reaching for objects out of their reach, or even attempting to climb over obstacles such as pillows or soft toys. Keep in mind that while it’s essential to encourage exploration, you should always ensure your baby is in a safe environment and supervise them at all times.

Remember that every baby develops at their own pace, so don’t worry if your little one hasn’t shown any climbing behaviors yet. Some babies may not start climbing until they are closer to a year old, while others may start earlier.

Supporting Your Baby’s Climbing Journey

As your baby develops their motor skills and begins to climb, it’s important to create a safe environment that allows them to explore and develop their skills without risk of injury. By following a few simple guidelines, you can help support your baby’s climbing journey:

1. Create a Safe Space

Clear the area of any potential hazards, such as sharp edges or unstable furniture. Use safety gates to block off areas that are not safe for climbing, such as stairs. Consider using soft play mats or cushions to provide a safe landing spot in case of falls.

2. Encourage Exploration

Provide age-appropriate opportunities for climbing, such as low-to-the-ground structures, soft play blocks or balls. Allow your baby to explore and climb at their own pace, without excessive assistance. This helps them build confidence and develop their skills.

3. Supervise Closely

Always keep a close eye on your baby while they are climbing. Stay within arm’s reach in case they need help or support. Praise and cheer your baby on as they achieve new heights, but also be ready to intervene if needed.

4. Be Patient

Every baby develops at their own pace, so be patient and don’t push your baby beyond their limits. It’s important to let them explore and develop their skills naturally, without forcing them to climb before they are ready. Celebrate each milestone your baby achieves, no matter how small.

By following these guidelines, you can help support your baby’s climbing journey and foster their physical development in a safe, positive way.

Celebrating Milestones and Seeking Professional Guidance

As parents, it’s important to celebrate every milestone in your baby’s climbing journey. Each new achievement represents a step forward in their physical development and should be acknowledged and celebrated. Remember to take photos and videos to capture these moments and share them with loved ones.

However, it’s also essential to be aware of any potential concerns or delays in climbing development. If your baby is not meeting the expected milestones or is showing signs of delay, seeking professional guidance from a pediatrician or early intervention specialist can be beneficial.

These professionals can conduct evaluations and recommend appropriate therapies or interventions to support your baby’s development. Early intervention can significantly improve outcomes and ensure that your baby gets the help they need to thrive.

Ultimately, by celebrating milestones and seeking professional guidance when necessary, parents can support their baby’s climbing journey and ensure their physical development is on track.


In conclusion, climbing is a significant developmental milestone that every parent should be aware of. Understanding the stages of climbing and the physical development required can help parents support their baby’s journey safely. Early signs of climbing in infants should be taken seriously, and parents should provide age-appropriate opportunities for exploration in a safe environment.

It’s important to celebrate every milestone your baby reaches, including climbing. Climbing provides a sense of accomplishment for your little one and supports their physical development. However, if you have concerns or notice any delays in your baby’s climbing development, seeking professional guidance from a pediatrician or early intervention specialist is crucial.

Remember, every baby’s journey is different, and there is no set timeline for climbing development. Embrace your child’s curiosity and provide a supportive environment for them to reach new heights. With your help, your baby will reach new milestones and develop important skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.


Q: When do babies start climbing?

A: Babies typically start climbing between 8 to 12 months of age. However, every child is different, and some may start earlier or later than this range.

Q: What are the stages of climbing in infants?

A: The stages of climbing in infants begin with early signs of climbing, such as pulling up on furniture, and progress to vertical movement. Babies gradually develop the strength and coordination necessary for climbing through these stages.

Q: When do infants start pulling themselves up?

A: Infants usually start pulling themselves up to a standing position between 6 to 10 months of age. This milestone requires the development of core strength and balance.

Q: How are crawling and climbing related?

A: Crawling is often a precursor to climbing. As babies gain mobility through crawling, they also develop the motor skills needed for climbing. These two milestones are closely linked in terms of physical development.

Q: What are the early signs of climbing in babies?

A: Early signs of climbing in babies include pulling up on furniture, attempting to climb stairs, and exploring vertical surfaces. These behaviors indicate that a baby is preparing to climb.

Q: How can I support my baby’s climbing journey safely?

A: To support your baby’s climbing journey safely, create a secure environment by removing potential hazards and providing appropriate supervision. Encourage exploration and offer age-appropriate climbing opportunities, such as soft play structures.

Q: When should I celebrate milestones and seek professional guidance?

A: Celebrate each milestone your baby reaches in their climbing journey. If you have concerns or notice delays in climbing development, it is important to seek professional guidance from pediatricians or early intervention specialists.

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