Will Lodge: Crawling along the pathway to progress

Mila crawls

Mila crawls - Credit: Archant

Crawling opens up a world of possibilities – and problems, says parenting columnist Will Lodge.

Well it has finally happened, the moment we have all been waiting for – baby is now crawling.

When I say “we”, I of course mean myself, my wife, and some family. I do appreciate no-one else probably cares that much.

But it will still form my new answer when people ask “And how’s the baby?”.

Now I can say “very well, she has just started crawling actually”.

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When she first did it, after being so close for what seemed like so long, it was incredibly exciting. Toys were left at tantalising distances away to encourage her to do it again and again, abandoning her old wiggle and stretch technique for some good old knees-up arms-out crawling.

While it is still very exciting and entertaining it is already, as predicted, throwing up some problems.

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Now if we put her down for a moment all of a sudden she has disappeared to another part of the room, or even on the odd occasion the next room altogether.

It is good to see her exploring her home at her own leisure, seeing things from her level and learning by touching (and often putting in her mouth), but it has thrown up some problems.

No longer can we leave her sitting with her toys while we pop upstairs to carry out a chore, or rely on her being a captive audience for anything.

Even going to the bathroom, when you are the only one at home with her, is a challenge.

This is particularly difficult as baby’s natural curiosity means she has a tendency to follow you to watch what you are doing – so while you try to peel potatoes, she has to crawl into the kitchen to see you.

All of this movement also means we now seriously need to organise some baby-proofing. Though our house is not a health and safety nightmare (three older children see to that), we do need to set some parameters – such as blocking off the kitchen when the oven is on.

Although much of this is about physical barriers and safeguards, it is equally about education.

We are beginning to teach baby the meaning of “no” and “stop”, in part through some cunning rhymes borrowed from her baby group.

But we also need to educate her older brothers. No more can they leave those sweets, or pen lids, or Lego, lying around on the floor because at best they won’t see it again and at worst baby could choke.

I am hopeful this won’t prove too hard a task. All of our boys have been wonderful with baby, particularly now she interacts back so much more, whether it be playing or cuddling with her.

They also serve as a reminder of just how quickly the time can fly, as today we will be celebrating our “youngest” (I really need to stop calling him that) turning six-years-old.

How did that happen?

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