Crawling is a major milestone in your infants physical development. It indicates the first move towards independence and is an exciting step towards the ability to walk. Here are some tips to protect and encourage your infant as they progress at home.
1) Safety; When raising children the number one priority on any parents mind should always be safety. Allowing your child a certain amount of risk is healthy for older children but when it comes to young infants and crawling its always best to be pro active. As best you can, always keep a close eye on your baby as accidents can occur very quickly. Keep dangerous items out of reach, door cracks monitored and power points sealed.
2) Check the furniture; Toddlers will often use items of furniture to pull themselves up. You therefore need to be aware of any unstable furniture that is likely to fall on them. Also be aware of furniture such as coffee tables or chairs which may have sharp edges or corners as these can cause significant injury if fallen on. (Check out your local D.I.Y store to find padding that can be applied with adhesive to these areas.) A very helpful thing to do for your child is to move the pieces of furniture into a chain that will offer support over longer distances.
3) Check the room; A real danger to toddlers or crawling infants can be low hanging items. Looped blind chords which often hang low to the floor can get caught around your child’s neck and strangle them. They may even put it around their neck deliberately out of fun, a real danger if they then topple over. Table cloth corners can also be pulled by an infant who may be trying to stand. Watch the hot coffee and sharp knives! Power chords can also be attached to irons, kettles and frying pans. Even a heavy electrical tool can cause serious injury.
4) Appropriate clothing; When it comes to crawling babies there is appropriate and inappropriate clothing. Long pants are better than shorts because they protect your babies knees when crawling over rough surfaces. Light cotton pants are good for summer months. If you have a baby girl you can also reduce your daughters frustration by avoiding long dresses which catch under the knees.
5) Provide plenty of space; As mentioned in my previous post, small apartments are common around Tokyo. This produces the problem of not having adequate space within which to crawl. Its important in this case that you provide frequent opportunities to crawl in larger areas. Take your child to Jidokan (locally run Community Centres) where they will have the space to crawl about with other toddlers of their age. Find grassy parks or join a Mothers Group where you can access local information about where to go.
6) Bare feet are best. Its important that your baby is able to connect with his/her environment. Little toes are just as sensitive as fingers and they are also able to make the many tiny adjustments necessary for balance. Taking you babies shoes off when its crawling time is always a thoughtful thing to do. As normal socks can be slippery try using non slip slipper socks or one piece garments. Always avoid socks that are embroided near the toes as the inner threads can get wrapped around the toe and cut off its blood supply.
7) Be quick to act. When a crawling child puts on a burst of speed they can move very quickly. This means that they can get into trouble equally as fast. It is always good advice to try and do everything within sight of your baby. Secure them in their playpen if you need to use the bathroom.
8) Be patient. Don't be in a hurry to rush your baby into anything they are not ready for. Always let you baby make the first move in any new endeavor. However If you feel that something is not quite right, consult an expert. There are many child support specialists in and around Tokyo who are able to provide assistance.