When babies start to crawl and pull themselves up so they can coast, the fun really begins and playing changes. There can be less frustration because they can move and interact in the way they couldn’t when they were stuck on the floor and it opens up the world of stuff to explore. The downside is they want to explore stuff they possibly shouldn’t and we need to make sure floors are safe of choke hazards, we need to be aware of what they can climb on and what they can get their hands on. All of a sudden every room is looked at differently.
The good stuff about mobile babies…
following a ball or a toy car
baby walker and using your hands to walk about
learning how to go up stairs and steps – with you at all times
exploring the garden and the park
they can follow you around
using up some energy
their world is opening up and they will discover new things to play with and to entertain themselves with – pots and pans, food packets
To be aware of…
safety – stairs & steps, trapping fingers in doors, can they pull anything on themselves? can they get outside? sharp objects, choking hazards, can they touch fire/oven/candles? can they fall into any water? what can they reach in cupboards? Is their cot still safe – can they try to climb out of it?
separation anxiety – when babies become mobile, when they can crawl away from you, separation anxiety kicks in because they start to develop an understanding that they are separate from you. This means that your baby might get upset when you leave the room – even if you leave her with someone familiar – and she might only want you to settle and soothe her.
they can follow you around! – this can be frustrating because you never get a moment, even to pee. Let them follow you, talk to them as they are following you so they can be soothed by your voice.
routines can change – they are burning energy, learning and exploring so their naps and sleep can change, as well as their food requirements. Every baby is different – some will want more food and snacks throughout the day, others will be too distracted. Some will nap more, others will power through and then be overtired later on in the day. Take a deep breath – try to be guided by your baby and remember this is all normal.
This is a brilliant age, when you can see your baby start to change so much but it can also be challenging for you as their behaviour and patterns might alter, as they make a step towards toddlerdom with different wants and needs. It’s fun but it can also be pretty exhausting for you because they don’t sit still and when they do, they might still want you! It a new phase to adapt to.
Janine Smith | Birth, Baby & Family
A specialist in pregnancy, birth and early parenting