When my baby reached the crawling phase, this marked the start of an exciting and challenging milestone. I was always happy to witness them develop important motor skills and coordinate various parts of their bodies. From the boring “sitting-Buddha” position, they could now move forward. But taking the frontward movement isn’t all fun. This priceless moment made me realize that they could definitely move from one point to another and they, therefore, need attention. This developmental milestone requires practical measures and changes as outlined below.
1. Keep Carpets and Floors Clean
When a baby starts crawling, they normally use both their hands and knees. To avoid injuries and reduce the chances of bacterial infections, I had to ensure that my home clean most of the times. I vacuumed the carpets more frequently and ensured that the floors were dust-free. Furthermore, sharp objects such as needles, knives, scissors, and other sharp objects had to be kept out of reach.
2. Safe Baby Cot
Crawling means that the baby has the ability to use their hind legs. If they sleep in a crib, there are high chances that they might want to crawl out. To ensure that my babies were safe and well-protected, I always made sure that the baby cot safe by using crawler-friendly cots. Most cots usually have levels. Therefore, keep the baby cot at a specific level which makes it impossible for them to crawl out of the crib.
3. Baby Proof Your Home
I cannot insist on the importance of baby proofing your home once the baby starts crawling. At this stage, the baby can pick, push or pull objects. Most moms are multitaskers and sometimes it’s not possible to keep an eye on your little one while doing certain chores. A baby-proofed home will save you the energy of running around to eliminate injury traps and risky plugins. Some of the best ways of baby proofing a home include:
- Covering all the electrical outlets
- Removing all the sharp or fragile equipment away from your baby’s reach.
- Securing or removing any large object which they can easily move over.
- Keep all the chemicals and harmful non-edibles out of their reach.
- In case your floor is wooden, remove or correctly hammer all the uncovered nails.
- Every cabinet or drawer should be fitted with child-guard latches
- Block your child’s access to rooms such as the kitchen, garage, bathroom, laundry room among others.
- Eliminate all the choking hazards.
4. Never Leave the Baby on Bed or Couch Unattended
During this stage, the baby wants to move. Placing them on a bed or on the couch and leaving them unattended can be very dangerous. They may want to climb down and risk sustaining injuries in case they fall down. Additionally, they may crawl over beddings, pillows, and cushions which may cause suffocation.
But as much as crawling comes with some downsides, it’s still vital. If you are a first-time mom it’s important to know that:
Babies Crawling in Different Styles
Crawling is a form of motor development. It’s a progress from rolling sideways or back and forth as well as sitting. Some babies may adopt the belly or arm crawl. This means that thy crawl while they are on their bellies with their arms doing most of the work. Others may rock back and forth while they are on their knees and hands and move forward eventually. There are also some who us the crab style of crawling. They use their best strong knee to move while the other one remains in a sideway or forward extended position. If you understand your baby’s type of crawling, you will be able to perfectly protect them.
Crawling is a huge milestone during the baby’s development. It is therefore important for us parents to encourage them to explore. Avoid restricting your child all the time because this will reduce their mobility. To encourage movements, some of the activities that I used to do with my babies when they were still crawlers include:
- Placing colorful toys in front of them
- Giving them containers that have beads inside to shake
- Giving them tummy time during play time
- Making cardboard or chair tunnels and encouraging them to move through
- Helping them push or pull baby carts or wagons etc.
Crawling is vital for baby’s development both physically and mentally. It leads to better muscle movements, spatial abilities, and enhance coordination skills. It usually starts between 6-10 months but some kids may skip this phase and go straight into walking.