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What Age Can A Baby Cruise


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Saundra Gammon



Watching a baby’s developmental milestones is an exciting journey for parents. From the first smile to the first steps, every achievement brings a sense of pride and wonder. One milestone that often captures the attention of parents is when their baby starts cruising. But what exactly is cruising, and at what age can a baby start doing it?


Cruising refers to when a baby uses furniture or other objects for support to move around in a standing position. It is an important step towards independent walking and is a sign of increasing strength and stability. This stage allows babies to explore their surroundings and develop their balance and coordination skills.


While every child develops at their own pace, there is a general range when most babies begin cruising. Understanding the age range for this milestone can help parents better gauge their baby’s progress and provide appropriate support and encouragement.


In the following sections, we will explore the developmental milestones that lead to cruising, the motor skills required, factors that can affect the age at which babies start cruising, tips for encouraging cruising, the importance of cruising for development, and when to seek medical advice regarding delays in reaching this milestone.


So, if you’re curious about when your baby may start cruising and want to learn more about this exciting stage of development, read on!


Definition of Cruising

Cruising, in the context of child development, refers to the stage when a baby starts moving around while holding onto furniture or other objects for support. It is a transitional phase between crawling and walking. During this stage, babies use their hands to hold onto surfaces such as couches, tables, or even their parents’ hands while slowly moving one foot in front of the other.


Unlike walking, where the baby takes independent steps, cruising involves the baby moving in a sideways or forward direction, maintaining their balance and stability by holding onto something. This allows them to explore their environment from an upright position, gaining a new perspective on their surroundings.


Cruising serves as a stepping stone towards independent walking. It helps babies develop the necessary strength, coordination, and balance required to take unassisted steps. By using furniture or objects for support, babies can gradually build their confidence and stability before attempting to walk unsupported.


As babies become more proficient in this skill, they may start to cruise along longer distances, traverse from one piece of furniture to another, or even transition between furniture and crawling. It’s an exciting and pivotal stage in their development, as they gain greater mobility and begin to explore the world in a whole new way.


Developmental Milestones Leading to Cruising

Before babies can start cruising, they must first reach several important developmental milestones. These milestones lay the groundwork for the strength, balance, and coordination needed for cruising. Here are the key milestones leading up to this exciting stage:

  1. Rolling Over: Rolling over from back to tummy and vice versa is an early motor skill that babies usually achieve around 4 to 6 months of age. This milestone helps build the core muscles necessary for sitting and eventually standing.
  2. Sitting Independently: Around 6 to 8 months, babies typically develop the ability to sit without support. Sitting strengthens the muscles in the back, hips, and legs, preparing them for the next stages of movement.
  3. Crawling: Crawling is a milestone that typically occurs between 7 to 10 months. It develops the muscles in the arms, shoulders, and core, enhancing the baby’s upper body strength and coordination.
  4. Pulling Up to Stand: Between 8 to 10 months, babies begin pulling themselves up using furniture or other objects for support. This milestone involves strong grip and leg muscles, as well as the ability to coordinate movements to achieve an upright position.

Once these foundational milestones are achieved, babies can then progress to cruising. They will start by holding onto furniture or objects for support and gradually gain confidence in their ability to move in a standing position.


It’s important to remember that every baby develops at their own pace. Some may reach these milestones earlier, while others may take a little longer. The important thing is to provide a supportive environment that encourages and facilitates their motor development.


Motor Skills Required for Cruising

Cruising requires a combination of motor skills that babies need to develop in order to navigate and explore their environment while holding onto furniture or objects for support. Here are the key motor skills that play a role in cruising:

  1. Balance and Coordination: Balancing the body while in a standing position is crucial for cruising. Babies need to develop the ability to distribute their weight evenly and make micro-adjustments to maintain stability. Coordination is also important as they coordinate their movements between holding onto objects and taking steps.
  2. Leg Strength: Cruising involves taking steps while gripping onto objects, so strong leg muscles are essential. Babies develop leg strength through activities such as tummy time, crawling, and pulling up to stand.
  3. Gross Motor Skills: Gross motor skills involve the larger movements of the body. These skills, such as rolling over, sitting independently, and crawling, lay the foundation for cruising by developing core strength and overall body coordination.
  4. Hand-Eye Coordination: Babies need to coordinate their hand movements with their vision in order to reach for and grip onto furniture or objects securely. This hand-eye coordination helps them maintain a stable grip while taking steps during cruising.

Developing these motor skills is a gradual process, with each milestone building upon the previous one. Encouraging activities that promote these skills, such as tummy time, crawling, and supported standing, can help babies strengthen and refine their motor abilities.


It’s important to note that while motor skills play a significant role in cruising, other factors such as muscle tone, flexibility, and overall physical development also contribute to a baby’s ability to cruise. Every child is unique, and they may master these motor skills at their own pace.


Age Range for Cruising

The age range at which babies start cruising can vary, but it generally occurs between 9 and 12 months. However, it’s important to keep in mind that every child develops at their own pace, so this range can extend beyond 12 months for some babies.


Some babies may show early signs of cruising around 8 to 9 months by pulling themselves up and briefly standing with support. They may even take a few steps while holding onto furniture. Others may take a little longer to develop the necessary strength and coordination, and may not start cruising until closer to their first birthday.


It’s worth noting that premature babies may reach this milestone a bit later than their peers who were born full-term. Premature babies may need some additional time to catch up developmentally.


Parents should focus on the overall progression of their baby’s motor skills rather than solely focusing on the specific age at which cruising occurs. If a baby is actively exploring their environment, pulling up to stand, and showing improvements in their balance and coordination, they are likely on track to start cruising in due course.


If your baby does not exhibit any attempts to cruise or show signs of mobility by 12 to 15 months, it may be worth discussing this with your pediatrician to rule out any underlying developmental concerns.


Remember, every child is unique, and their journey to cruising may unfold at their own pace. The important thing is to provide a supportive and stimulating environment that encourages their growth and development.


Factors Affecting the Age of Cruising

While there is a general age range for when babies start cruising, it’s important to understand that various factors can influence the timing of this milestone. Here are some key factors that can affect the age of cruising:

  1. Physical Strength: The development of muscles, including core body strength and leg strength, plays a significant role in cruising. Babies who have stronger muscles may start cruising earlier than those who take longer to build their strength.
  2. Motor Skills Development: The progression of motor skills, such as rolling over, sitting independently, and crawling, paves the way for cruising. Babies who reach these milestones earlier may demonstrate earlier attempts at cruising.
  3. Individual Differences: Each baby has their own unique pace of development. Factors such as genetics, temperament, and individual growth patterns can all contribute to variations in the age at which cruising starts.
  4. Environmental Factors: The environment in which a baby grows and explores can impact their readiness to start cruising. Babies who have more opportunities for supervised floor time, access to safe furniture or objects for support, and encouragement from caregivers may be more motivated to start cruising earlier.
  5. Preterm Birth: Babies who are born prematurely may need additional time to develop their motor skills, including cruising. Adjusting for their corrected age (based on the time they were supposed to be born) can provide a more accurate timeline for when preterm babies may start cruising.

It’s essential for parents to remember that the age of cruising can vary among babies, even within the same family. Comparing your baby’s progress to others is not productive and can cause unnecessary worry. Instead, focus on creating a supportive environment that encourages your baby’s development and provides opportunities for them to explore and practice their emerging motor skills.


If you have concerns about your baby’s motor development or the age at which they are reaching milestones, it is always best to consult with your pediatrician. They can provide guidance and reassurance, ensuring that your baby is on track with their overall development.


Encouraging Cruising in Babies

As a parent, there are several ways you can support and encourage your baby to start cruising. Here are some tips to help your little one gain confidence and develop the necessary skills:

  1. Provide Safe and Sturdy Support: Make sure your furniture and objects are stable and secure, allowing your baby to hold onto them without the risk of toppling over. You can also use push toys or activity tables designed for cruising.
  2. Create a Safe Environment: Clear the area of any hazards or obstacles that could impede your baby’s movement. Baby-proofing the house ensures a safe space for exploration.
  3. Offer Hand-Holding Support: Help your baby practice their balance and walking skills by holding their hands while they move from one support to another. Gradually reduce the amount of support as they gain confidence and stability.
  4. Encourage Tummy Time: Regular tummy time sessions help strengthen your baby’s core muscles and promote overall body coordination, which are crucial for cruising. Provide plenty of floor time for exploration.
  5. Promote Standing Activities: Encourage your baby to stand by placing toys or objects of interest on a stable surface at their eye level. This can motivate them to pull up and begin exploring from an upright position.
  6. Celebrate Small Steps: Praise and cheer for your baby’s efforts and achievements during their cruising journey. Positive reinforcement can boost their confidence and motivate them to continue.
  7. Offer Age-Appropriate Toys: Provide toys that require standing or support, such as activity tables or toys with push handles. These toys can encourage your baby to engage with their surroundings while standing or cruising.
  8. Provide Opportunities for Independent Movement: Allow your baby to explore their environment freely, giving them the chance to practice and build their cruising skills independently. Supervise closely to ensure their safety.
  9. Be Patient: Every baby develops at their own pace, so it’s important to be patient and avoid pushing them too forcefully. Let them progress at their own speed and celebrate each milestone they achieve.

Remember, the key is to create a supportive and stimulating environment that allows your baby to explore and practice their emerging motor skills. With time and encouragement, your little one will soon be cruising around with confidence!


Importance of Cruising for Development

Cruising plays a significant role in a baby’s overall development, both physically and cognitively. Here are some reasons why cruising is important for their growth:

  1. Strengthens Muscles: Cruising helps build the muscles in the legs, core, and upper body. By gripping onto furniture or objects, babies engage their muscles and develop the strength necessary for independent walking.
  2. Enhances Balance and Coordination: Cruising requires babies to maintain their balance while moving in a standing position. It helps them refine their coordination skills as they alternate their steps and hold onto the support, improving their stability and body control.
  3. Develops Spatial Awareness: Cruising allows babies to explore their environment from an upright position, giving them a new perspective. They learn to navigate and understand the spatial relationship of objects and their own bodies, which contributes to their overall spatial awareness and depth perception.
  4. Encourages Cognitive Development: As babies practice cruising, they engage in problem-solving and decision-making. They learn to plan their movements, assess their surroundings, and decide which objects or supports to hold onto, fostering cognitive skills and spatial reasoning.
  5. Promotes Independence and Exploration: Cruising gives babies a newfound sense of independence and freedom to explore their environment. They can move around, reach for toys, and interact with their surroundings in a more interactive and dynamic way.
  6. Improves Confidence and Self-Esteem: Successfully cruising from one support to another boosts a baby’s confidence and self-esteem. Each step taken and each exploration made builds their sense of accomplishment, paving the way for further motor and cognitive milestones.
  7. Prepares for Independent Walking: Cruising serves as a crucial transitional phase between crawling and walking. By developing the necessary strength, balance, and coordination, babies gain the confidence and skills needed to take their first independent steps.

Overall, cruising is not only a physical milestone but also a stepping stone towards other important developmental achievements. It lays the foundation for future mobility, spatial awareness, cognitive abilities, and self-confidence.


As parents, providing a safe and supportive environment for your baby to practice and explore their cruising skills is essential. Celebrate their efforts and offer guidance, and soon enough, they’ll be taking those independent steps with excitement and joy!


When to Seek Medical Advice

While every baby develops at their own pace, there are instances where it may be necessary to seek medical advice regarding your baby’s cruising milestones. Here are some situations where it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional:

  1. Delayed Milestones: If your baby has not shown any attempts to cruise or has significant delays in reaching motor milestones such as rolling over, sitting independently, crawling, or pulling up to stand, it is advisable to consult with your pediatrician. They can evaluate your baby’s development and provide appropriate guidance or referrals if needed.
  2. One-Sided Cruising: If your baby consistently relies on one side of their body while cruising, using only one hand or consistently turning in one direction, it may indicate an underlying issue. Consulting with a healthcare professional can help identify any potential concerns and provide intervention or therapy if necessary.
  3. Lack of Weight-Bearing: If your baby avoids or resists putting weight on their legs or consistently shows difficulty when attempting to stand or cruise, it is important to seek medical advice. It may indicate a musculoskeletal or neurological issue that requires further evaluation.
  4. Regression in Motor Skills: If your baby had been making progress in their cruising skills but suddenly starts regressing or loses certain abilities, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional. Regression can be a red flag of a potential problem that needs assessment and intervention.
  5. Uneven Leg Length or Abnormal Gait: If you notice any signs of uneven leg length, abnormal gait, or persistent toe-walking during cruising, it is crucial to seek medical advice. These issues could be indicative of musculoskeletal or neurological conditions that require evaluation and appropriate management.
  6. Concerns about Overall Development: If you have any concerns about your baby’s overall development, including their motor skills, speech, or social interactions, it is important to address these concerns with your pediatrician. They can conduct a comprehensive assessment and provide guidance or referrals to specialists, if necessary.

Keep in mind that early intervention is crucial in addressing any potential developmental concerns. Trust your instincts as a parent and reach out to healthcare professionals if you have any worries or questions about your baby’s cruising development.


While it’s normal for babies to reach milestones at different times, seeking professional advice can provide reassurance and appropriate support to ensure your baby gets the best care and assistance in their development.



Cruising is an exciting milestone in a baby’s development, marking their transition from crawling to independent walking. While the age at which babies start cruising can vary, it generally occurs between 9 and 12 months. However, it’s essential to remember that every child develops at their own pace, and variations within this range are entirely normal.

Cruising is not only a physical milestone but also an important stage for overall development. It strengthens muscles, enhances balance and coordination, promotes cognitive skills, builds spatial awareness, encourages independence, and prepares for independent walking. As parents, there are ways to support and encourage your baby’s cruising journey. Providing safe and sturdy support, creating a safe environment, offering hand-holding support, promoting standing activities, and celebrating small steps are all ways to foster their development. While most babies will naturally progress through cruising, it’s crucial to be aware of potential concerns. If your baby experiences significant delays in reaching motor milestones, consistently leans on one side, avoids weight-bearing, regresses in skills, exhibits abnormal gait, or if you have any other concerns about their development, seeking medical advice is recommended. Remember, every baby is unique, and their cruising journey will unfold in their own time. By providing a supportive and stimulating environment, celebrating their achievements, and seeking professional guidance when needed, you can ensure that your little one has the best opportunities to thrive and grow. Enjoy this special phase of your baby’s development and embrace the joy of watching them navigate their world through cruising. Before you know it, they’ll be taking those independent steps, exploring new horizons, and embarking on exciting adventures.