The crawling stage (between 6 and 10 months) is one of the primary indications that your baby is developing correctly, provided it happens within the first 18 months of their life.
And at the stage that they begin to crawl, it’s essential to keep a close watch on them because their underdeveloped motor coordination will sometimes cause them to injure themselves while crawling.
And a situation like this is precisely why you need to get them knee pads. Of course, there are tons of knee pads, but there are special knee pads for babies designed to fit them perfectly and protect their knees from injuries that may arise from hitting an obstacle or scratching their knees against a hard surface.
The first two years of your baby’s life will be filled with many activities. They will acquire new abilities daily, and sometimes they may sustain injuries while honing these abilities. As a parent, you are responsible for guiding them to ensure they develop correctly with minimal injuries sustained.
And in this case, providing them with the right baby knee pads is one way to guide them and reduce the level of risk that comes with a child’s development.
How Do Baby Knee Pads Function?
Baby knee pads are made of thick, cushioned materials that provide maximum comfort while protecting your child’s knees. They are like protective gear worn on your baby’s knees to protect against injuries.
As we all know, toddlers tend to crawl a lot which can injure their knees. It is the work of the knee pads to prevent injuries because their skins are soft & sensitive. Infants around 4 months old can utilize these knee pads, which come in so many sizes.
Is It Necessary For Babies To Wear Knee Pads?
It all depends on their age. Infant experts discourage the use of these knee pads. They claim that a child’s proprioception depth develops when they are crawling. Proprioception is a perception of one’s own movement and body position. It is sometimes called a sixth sense.
Note that proprioception is not to be confused with spatial awareness.
Proprioception is recognizing when your feet are on soft grass or gravel when your eyes are closed. Baby knee pads get in the way of a baby’s ability to feel the ground as they crawl around on their hands & feet.
Moreover, toddlers don’t get hurt when crawling as severely as adults do. It is important to note that toddlers around six to ten months don’t possess kneecaps. The patella, also known as the “kneecap,” can become painful when an adult crawls on hands & knees because of pressure, but a baby’s patella is formed of cartilage, which is flexible and soft.
As a result, a newborn can crawl without experiencing knee pain. Some infants may elevate their knees away from the ground because they dislike the roughness of surfaces on their knees.
Babies have softer, more flexible cartilages.
The baby’s cartilages enable learning to crawl and makes the transition easy. However, their cartilage turns to bone when they are about 2 to 6 years old in a process called Ossification, and crawling on knees and hands may cause pain after the patella turns into a bone.
Advantages Of Kneeling On The Ground And Standing Off It
- First, it increases the abdominal muscles of babies so that they have a solid foundation for developing higher-level gross motor abilities like climbing.
- It prepares babies for walking by having them practice “reciprocal motion” (right, left, right, left, etc.).
- It helps develop the strength in their hands and shoulders that they will need to lift things and also play with friends.
- It helps a newborn learn body awareness to reduce their chances of clumsiness by giving their extremities tactile input.
- The most crucial thing is to allow your baby to safely explore their new environment so they may grow and reach their milestones, regardless of whether you decide to buy knee pads.
Three Ways To Know When Your Child Is Ready To Crawl
Parents and caregivers often get worried when their children begin to crawl and move around the house. But this is a necessary part of growth. Here are several ways you will be able to identify when your child is ready to crawl to help you prepare better.
1. Grabbing Anything That Is Within Reach
Your baby’s tendency to grab objects is the first indicator that he is getting ready to crawl. This also indicates that he is growing tired of sitting. He will hold your arms, his support, furniture, toys, or chairs. Your child keeps grabbing things because he is trying to learn to balance and move around easily. Therefore give your baby something he can grab onto to gain the confidence to crawl.
2. Sitting Up Without Any Support
Crawling requires an unsupported sitting position. However, sitting shows that your child’s back, as well as his abdominal muscles, are strong enough for him to lift his head independently.
Your child’s core strength will be sufficient to learn balance and crawl when he learns to control his back, belly, and neck.
3. Positioning On All Fours
When your child is getting ready to crawl, he will constantly position himself in his arms & feet. He may start by taking this position without moving at all. He may be reluctant because he is afraid to crawl, so don’t push him. Allow him to take his time.
For a while, let them remain in the crawling position. They aren’t moving, but it nevertheless improves arm strength and regulates their balance. Don’t push them to move, either. Allowing them to handle it independently will reduce their fear.
The Various Crawling Styles Of Children
You see your baby adopting different crawling techniques at every stage of his development. Here are your baby’s transitions to crawling based on our observations of babies and the feedback we got from parents.
Still Like A Seal
Although it is not actually crawling, it can motivate your child to crawl. The seal position is your baby’s position when laying him on his stomach.
This position allows him to move his legs and arms about on the ground when he practices steadying their hands and elevating his neck like a seal that just came out of the water to take a break.
Babies usually adopt this style throughout the first few months of their life; babies start to dress this way, especially throughout 1 to 8 months.
As babies develop, their upper arms and bellies pull their lower bodies across the wooden floors like soldiers. Next, they will elevate their neck and begin and begin crawling on their forearms.
This is where they will need some friction protection to protect their skin from becoming irritated by the floor. Cover their skin with crawling trousers or cotton leg warmers.
Hands & Knees Crawl (Normal Craw)
Around the time they are eight months old to at least eleven months old, they start to crawl using their hands and knees (also known as the normal crawl). Your baby can support his weight while moving with their little hands and knees (or backward).
At this point, knee protection becomes crucial because the knees Carry most of your baby’s weight and impact from the movement. Therefore, make sure you protect his knees with knee pads.
Feet, Knees, & Hand Crawl
Your child will eventually get to a stage where he will try to use his feet to move forward while crawling.
Do not be alarmed; this is a natural transition because putting your knees on the floor can be painful, especially if you tend to extend them before putting them back down.
Your baby will start crawling by alternating between his feet & knees. He is going to have the appearance of a four-legged lizard while he is crawling.
Hands And Feet Crawl (Bear Crawl)
When his leg muscles become strong enough, he will begin to crawl with their hands and feet like a bear. You must also protect their knees in this stage, but only when they return to the ground. This is the last developmental stage your child will pass before attempting to take his 1st hands-free step.
Is It Safe For Your Child To Crawl On Concrete?
Polished concrete flooring will be a terrific addition to your home if you take the same safety precautions as other non-concrete floorings.
Your child will not find it difficult to crawl around or stumble while learning to walk on concrete surfaces, just like he would on hardwood or tile flooring.
Babies are lightweight; also, the distance they fall from standing up is considerably shorter compared to that of adults or grown-ups if they fall. Therefore, the strain on their knees and hands is minor.
The most important thing you should never forget with any flooring is to keep your child walking or crawling out of the way of fragile, breakable objects and sharp corners. Also, make sure you put anti-slip coatings on your polished floors when your child is learning to walk to reduce the likelihood of him slipping and getting injured.
Provide A Secure Environment For Your Crawling Infants
Stopping your child from moving once he learns to crawl will be challenging. So make a safe space for your child to crawl in rather than an environment that restricts his movement. Here are some suggestions you can use to make crawling time safe and enjoyable:
1. Use A Baby Floormat To Cover The Floor Surface
You do not need to cover the entire floor of your home with a baby floormat. Instead, set aside a space in your home where your children can play & crawl, then cover it with the floormat.
Your child’s knees can get scratched on hardwood floors & other rough surfaces when they crawl on them.
Therefore, ensure that the floormat you use has enough padding to protect your child whenever he trips & falls. In addition, it would be best to go for the waterproof, anti-slip floormat, and easy to clean.
2. Ensure That The Area Is Away From Doors And Staircases
Studies show that staircases cause over 20% of home accidents involving kids. Therefore, ensure that the area you picked for your child to play and crawl isn’t close to the staircase. You can also install gates on the stairs to prevent your baby from going there.
Similarly, please pay attention to your doorways because your child will want to open them since children are very curious. They might lock themselves on the other side of the door. Therefore, keep an eye on your child at all times because it is dangerous when the door leads to the outdoors or your storage, where you store sharp, heavy, & toxic things.
3. Make Your Home Baby-Proof
You can’t restrict or stop your baby from moving around. The more you try to stop them from moving around as they age, the more they will try to move.
The best way to ensure your home is a secure environment for your child is to baby-proof it.
Here are some fundamental recommendations for baby-proofing:
- First, ensure you baby-proof your home before your child learns to move around. There are so many things that can harm your child that you will discover as you baby-proof your home. Early baby proofing will help you to cover every area before your baby is exposed to the environment.
- Give cabinets, windows, and stairways the most attention because most accidents that happen to children at home occur in these areas of your house.
- Have a baby monitor close to your child at all times. Always keep an audio or video monitor handy if you have a specific room in your home for your child to play in. That way, even if you are not there, you can still keep an eye on him.
- Never go away for too long. Even with all the baby-proofing measures you have installed, your child may still get into trouble. So ensure you always watch him or have someone in your place to look after him if you have things to do.
How To Choose The Best Knee Pads For Your Baby
If you have covered your child’s knee with a suitable knee pad, you can allow him to crawl as much as he wants without worrying about damaging his knee.
Knee pads are easy to find, and your baby will love to crawl with them on. However, there are a few things you have to consider when searching for the best knee pads for babies.
1. High-End Materials
As we all know, babies have very delicate skin, which can be injured quite easily. Hence, it is essential that you pay attention to the quality of the knee pads you cover them with.
Cotton materials are the best options for knee protectors. They are light and allow enough ventilation to keep your child’s legs and knees fresh and healthy. Additionally, it will not irritate his skin. It will absorb sweat, and it also dries quickly to avoid any unpleasant odor.
2. Materials For Knee Pads
Knee pads are made of different materials. So when choosing knee pads for your baby, ensure they are comfortable, sturdy, and, most importantly, can protect your baby’s knees.
Even though knee pads will protect your baby’s knees perfectly, they are also quite discomforting for your child.
Knee pads are made of rigid plastics, which can harm your child when they break.
Some knee pads are available that are cushioned sufficiently and composed of soft foam to keep your kids safe as they crawl. This material is excellent for knee pads for your child because it reduces pain from crawling & is comfy to wear all day.
It is incredible to watch your child as he begins to crawl; before you know it, he will be running around & you will be chasing after him. Allowing your child to move around and explore his environment will help immensely in his growth & development. We sincerely hope this blog post will help prepare you for your child’s crawling stage.