One day, your baby is rolling all over the place to get from point A to point B, then the next day they're up rocking on their hands and knees, a clear warning sign that they are about to be really mobile. At this point, you may be wondering what products to buy when your baby starts crawling. Now is the time to stock up on things to keep their little hands and knees comfortable and the rest of their body safe from harm.
As soon as your baby is developed enough to move around independently, you will probably see your home as one giant safety hazard. You'll suddenly realize how easy it is to access the cleaning supplies under the kitchen sink, or how sharp the corners of your furniture are.
It might be tempting to keep your little one contained to one small space at all times, but letting them do some exploring will further their development. Crawling helps them progress to walking. So, it's best to lean into it and support their desire for adventure. If you need a little help in finding the balance between encouraging growth and keeping them safe, here are 15 products to consider as you prepare yourself, your house, and your baby for crawling.
1. Baby Gate
With crawling comes climbing, which means your furniture and stairs are going to be very appealing to your baby. A gate at the bottom of your stairs will keep your baby from escaping to the second floor without you knowing, and one at the top of the stairs will help prevent a scary tumble down.
2. Pants With Durable Knees
Yes, those little baby dresses are adorable, but they're also going to make crawling very hard. It's time to stock up on pants for the baby, and ideally some that are made with reinforced or durable knees. Thin materials will wear out in no time, so investing in some quality pants now will save you a lot of trips to the clothing store later.
3. Outlet Protectors
Babies are curious because literally everything is brand new to them. This includes outlets. Those little sockets look kind of like smiley faces, and they have holes that would be fun to put something in. It's almost like they were designed to attract babies. So, stock up on outlet covers and make sure every single accessible socket is covered.
4. Cabinet Locks
Locking up cabinets that house cleaning materials, hair products, medicine, or basically anything harmful is especially important during the crawling phase. There are a lot of different cabinet lock designs that vary in installation difficulty and aesthetic, all of which will keep your little one safe.
5. A Toy To Chase
One way to keep your baby from getting into everything is by giving them a distraction, which is why a toy they can chase should be on your list. There are a lot of different toys that have motion sensors and will essentially "run away" from your crawling child the closer they get to it. When considering which toy to get, remember that a lot of them also have lights and sounds, so choose carefully!
6. Power Strip Cover
Power strips can be very appealing to little crawlers: They usually have a light-up button or switch, and have a bunch of plugs to pull out and put back in. If electricity weren't running through it, it could be marketed as a motor skills toy. So, invest in a few covers to avoid the temptation all together.
7. A Play Tunnel
Whats more fun than crawling? Crawling through a tunnel! Your baby will love to go back and forth in a tunnel, and you will enjoy every second of their smiling face coming toward you as you wait for them at the end. Plus, a lot of tunnels break down for easy storage, so you won't have to worry about finding a spot to put a giant tunnel in your home.
8. Anchors For Furniture
Not long after crawling comes pulling up. But, before a baby can successfully pull themselves up to their feet, they have to practice (and fail) a few times. This means they'll be pulling on anything they can get their hands on, including dressers, book shelves, and other heavy furniture. If you haven't done so already, now is the time to pick up some anchor kits and spend a day securing your heavy furniture and TVs so that you don't have to worry about a tragic injury.
9. Soft Mats To Climb On
Available in sets of 16 and 36 tiles
Thankfully, your baby's knees are not nearly as creaky or delicate as your own, but if you have hard flooring throughout your home, it wouldn't hurt to put down some padding to offer a little relief. Not only will it be a little easier on their hands and knees, but will be a softer place to land should they accidentally fall face-first.
10. Something To Push
Since your baby is crawling, they will be excited to see what else they can do with that new skill - like pushing things! Picking up a toy that will roll around is a great way to encourage that curiosity, and keep them busy.
11. A Ball Pit (To Contain Them)
If your mind immediately goes to those unsanitary ball pits of your youth, don't worry, you don't need to put your baby in one of those. Thankfully, nowadays you can get a small, shallow ball pit to have in your home. Your little one will be able to crawl around in it, play with the balls, and even learn to toss them. Plus, it will help keep your baby contained so you can answer a few emails, or simply go to the bathroom in peace.
12. Shoes That Can Take A Beating
It may seem unnecessary to invest in shoes for your baby when they still aren't walking, but now is the time to switch from soft soles to walking shoes. First, the harder toe will help protect the top of your baby's feet while they crawl, and the rubber sole will help keep them from slipping as they work to pull up, cruise, and eventually walk.
13. Travel Play Yard
You can baby proof every inch of your home, but you can't expect family members and friends without babies to do the same. To help keep your little one safe, invest in a travel play yard that you can bring to those homes when you visit. They usually have plenty of space for your baby to play with some toys and will keep them contained so they won't stick their fingers in sockets or try to touch your host's fragile family heirloom.
14. Snug Rompers & One Piece Outfits
Keeping your little one in pants, in general, during the crawling stage will help protect their knees, but a snug one-piece is even better. You want to be sure pants are snug for crawlers so that they don't bunch up and cause more frustration for the baby. A one piece will give you you both, keep the bottoms from riding up, and make for easy diaper changes.
15. Corner Cushions
You can't expect your baby to be overly aware of their surroundings, so bumps on the head are inevitable. However, you can make sure they are just little bumps, and not painful cuts, by putting corner protectors on your furniture. If you do it now while they're crawling, you can knock out both the low and high corners so you won't have to go back through once they're walking (and then, running).