So you’ve made it through the first six months or so, and you’ve got this parenting thing sorted, right? It’s been a tough journey, but you did it! Sleeping well – check! Eating solids – check! Rolling over – yup! Heck, maybe she’s even sitting up unaided! But wait, what’s this? She’s on her knees, crawling around, fingers in the plant pots and poking the dog in the eye! What happened to the placid, compliant little angel that I had just last week? Now I’m chasing round after her trying to stop her eating soil and falling off the sofa! Well, that’s the thing about being a parent - just when you think you’ve got it all worked out, your children go and change and you’ve just got to change with them.
Learning to crawl is one of the big milestones of early childhood, and in many ways it is the start of the long road to independence for your little one. Not every child does it at the same age, but generally crawling starts between the ages of six and ten months, and babies will employ many different techniques, from the ‘classic’ crawl to the bottom shuffle and the crab walk – there’s no right way to do it, just whatever works for your little one! You can encourage your baby to start crawling by placing a toy just out of his reach, then moving the toy a little bit further away each time. This stimulates his curiosity and gives him an incentive to move. But remember that each baby learns at his or her own pace, so be careful not to frustrate your child if they don’t get it right first time!
Whilst this is an exciting time for everyone, it’s important to take a bit of time to make your home safe and crawler-friendly. A crawling child can easily get themselves into trouble! Here are some tips to help you to prepare your home for the newly mobile terror!
- Stairs and steps represent one of the biggest risks to babies, so you should use strong stair gates to help keep them safe. Either that or move to a bungalow, the choice is yours!
- Buy socket covers that plug in to electrical sockets, preventing little fingers from poking into them. These are very inexpensive and can be found in hardware stores, baby shops, and even supermarkets.
- Since babies love to put everything in their mouth, you should move anything that could harm them out of their reach. This includes houseplants (particularly if they are poisonous or if the soil contains fertilizer), heavy items that they could pull off shelves or tables, and small items that could be a choking hazard.
- In bathrooms and kitchens, place cleaning products out of the way and if possible put clips on cupboard doors to stop baby from opening them.
- Place plastic guards over the hard corners of low items of furniture so that any tumbles won’t result in nasty injuries. Again, these are widely available and relatively inexpensive.
As your child gets used to the new found freedom of being mobile, he will very likely loudly protest if you put him somewhere where he is restricted! And if they’re anything like mine, they will want to crawl around and explore their surroundings from the crack of dawn to the very last minute before bed! Fortunately, Slumbersac has introduced a new sleeping bag with openings for little feet to enable your little ones to satisfy their need to explore their world without being restricted by their sleep sack. These great new bags offer greater freedom of movement while sleeping, and enable little ones to play right up until you put them into bed. And in the morning, your child can crawl freely about until you decide it’s time to get dressed! You can find more information about our new sleeping bags with feet here.
Do you have any tips or stories about learning to crawl that you’d like to share with us? Please use the comments section below to add your input. We’d love to hear from you!