The stages of crawling usually go something like this: from a sitting position to all fours, to rocking back and forth, to finally pushing off with her knees and then starting to move forward (or back).
But there are plenty of variations on this progression. Many babies never crawl at all. Others develop a crawl style that looks more like soldiers bellying through the brush or monkeys poised on fingertips and tiptoes.
Your baby's now exploring objects by shaking them, banging them, dropping them, and throwing them before falling back on the tried-and-true method of gumming them.
The idea that you do something to an object is beginning to emerge (using a comb to tidy her hair), so an activity center with lots of things your baby can bang, poke, twist, squeeze, shake, drop, and open will fascinate her.
Your baby will also be fascinated with toys that have specific functions, such as phones. If she can't hold it up to her ear herself, do it for her and pretend to have a conversation. Over the next few months, she'll start to use objects for their intended purposes — brushing her hair, drinking from a cup, and babbling on her play phone.
Your life: Coping with separation anxiety
It's completely natural for your baby to start showing signs of separation anxiety when you leave him in the care of others. In fact, it's a sign of normal, healthy development. Not that knowing this makes it any easier on you to see your baby in distress.
To help the two of you weather the goodbye blues
• Say goodbye in an affectionate but matter-of-fact way. Try not to draw out farewells or let yourself get emotional in response to your baby's crying.
• Stay away once you say goodbye. Resist the temptation to turn back and check if he's okay. This will only make things more difficult for you both.
• Call when you get where you're going. For peace of mind, phone to ask your caregiver how your baby's doing. Odds are he stopped crying almost right after you left and got diverted by an activity.
• Reconnect by spending some special time together after you pick up your baby.
• Read the signals and trust your instincts. Does your baby react the same way when your partner does the drop-off? If not, perhaps having him do the leave-taking is a better alternative. Does he seem unhappy when you pick him up? It's unlikely — but possible — that your baby and the sitter or caregiver may just not be a good "fit."