My baby will soon be crawling. We have wood floors, so I am wondering how to make it easy on his knees/toes and how to soften any falls on his face or chin. Do you have any suggestions or should I not worry about it? Thanks. You have a great website!
BABY CRAWLING AND BABY FALLING
Many mothers ask this question as their precious baby begins to rock back and forth on all fours. The precarious shifts of weight while gaining the strength to crawl forward on the hands and knees may include occasional falls. This is part of the learning process. Many mothers would like the ground to be as soft as possible for those moments where baby begins to crawl and soon falls down. Homes with carpet work just fine as do homes with wood or tile floors. Babies learn to crawl on wood and stone floors all over the world. Just think about the floors in countries with hot climates and where carpeting is not practical such as Mexico, Israel, Italy, and Indonesia. Babies learn all of their motor skills on these hard and often uneven floors. Avoid using baby knee pads which are not great for the development of a baby. If you would like to “soften” the floor a bit, try placing a quilt on the ground or buy some interlocking foam to create a large play mat. It is thick enough to provide some softness yet still firm enough to provide stability. And remember, fortunately the ground is not far away.
BABY FALLS DOWN INTO A FAMILIAR MOTOR SKILL
When baby learns to meet each of his motor milestones, it benefits him when he falls down. Baby will fall out of one movement into another. For example, a baby that walks will fall down and land in the hands and knees crawling position. A baby that is hands and knees crawling will fall down into the belly crawling position. The motor skill of rolling is a pattern that a baby who is walking or crawling may land in after a fall. However, baby will only land in these positons or actions if he has learned them well and repeated them many times. The motor skills that baby has learned become very strong patterns of movement in the brain. These are called movement habits. This means that the body will automatically transition from a quick fall into one of these familiar patterns which include rolling and belly crawling. In the motor milestones of crawling and falling, I suggest that what is most important is not whether or not the floor is too hard, but whether or not baby has mastered the earlier motor skills of rolling and belly crawling.