Not only am I still in the season of post-pregnancy that means all of my hair is falling out in hands full at a time, but I also have a dog that sheds constantly and toddler that is messy in her own way. So when my sweet baby girl is rocking and rolling on her hands and knees, I am thinking of all the ways I need to be prepping my floors and I’m strategizing how to prepare for a crawling baby.
Ways to address safety and health concerns before your baby starts crawling
Make it a habit to kick your shoes at the door.
Have you ever thought about all the things you walk on in public? Pesticides on grass, gum on the sidewalk, oil and gas in the parking lot, and unmentionables in public restrooms are just a few things our shoes touch each day. So this isn’t even about less dust or dirt, but everything about transferring chemicals and germs onto the floor.
While I am all for letting my children build their immune systems, I would prefer to leave a lot of it at the door. And this is the case for both my carpeted areas and the hard, bare flooring. It’s not something you can truly get away from.
It takes about 28 days to make a habit out of an action. And chances are, if you are noticing that your baby is about to crawl, you probably have around a month to build the habit anyway!
Vacuum the floors weekly.
Hair. It’s my arch nemesis. Not only does it not belong on the floor to begin with, it can actually be a problem for tiny babies and little crawlers. Why? it can get wrapped around fingers and tiny toes. If left unnoticed it can actually cut off circulation. It happened with my first where she got one of my long hairs around her fingers and it was like it was tied on her hand.
Plus if you have pets, their fur tends to have magnetic-like properties which it comes to kids’ hands and feet. Which is just kind of gross if you think about it.
So if you’re experiencing the mom post-partum shedding and/or have a pet that sheds a lot, it is also a huge problem getting wrapped up in the vacuum.
Anchor your furniture to the walls.
When a baby starts to crawl, usually they start rolling first, then they start moving backwards as they try to go forwards, and they’re just learning how to be coordinated. That being said, make sure you appropriately anchor tall furniture, bookshelves, TVs, and other objects that could potentially fall if bumped into or pulled up on. It’s a simple tip that could save a life.
Address sharp corners, breakable objects, and outlets.
Again, think safety. While we are more into teaching our children to respect boundaries than removing them, there is still an age when they first start crawling that it’s not all together possible to explain to them. So until they’re a little older, put furniture in front of tall lamps and electrical outlets, watch out for sharp furniture corners, and temporarily move breakable objects on low shelves.
Clean out and stock the car.
If you are like us, we like to get out and about. We like to go for family hikes and even bring the dog along. This means that in the times when we might have picnic in the car or when we’re waiting for dad to get off work.
This means the baby might be laying in the back of the SUV and the carpet there needs the same attention as the home! And the new vacuum is great in the car too. It is great as keeping allergens and hair contained and not dispersing them, has a long cord, and has a hose and attachment that make cleaning the car easy. And again, The hair that I find myself shedding at stop lights and while we eat ice cream in the back of the car together… not an issue and not even clogging my vacuum brush roll.
Don’t forget to also include great things in the car now too. For instance, put in a travel floor blanket and a couple of toys that can stay in your vehicle. As kids start crawling and getting into more things, you want to make sure they have their own space (on the blanket) and their own toys when at someone else’s house.
Be mindful of where you leave your baby.
It only takes split second for that almost-crawling baby to propel themselves off the bed. So be mindful of where and how you leave a child, even if you’re going to be right there. Leaving them on their tummy, a foot from the edge of the bed is probably not going to be a good idea. Instead, consider putting them in the floor on a blanket with a toy. Or just on the floor itself.
Other ways to prepare for your baby
Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!