Helicopter

This morning, we had one of the first awake snuggle sessions we’ve had in a while.

Me and liv 3

Liv will always snuggle up before bed as she drinks her bottle, but if I try to lay with her during the day, she pushes up on me and laughs. Or, like this afternoon, I lay next to her and she faces me while poking my eye, putting her hands in my mouth to scratch my teeth and trying to put her finger up my nostril. It cracks me up.

This morning, her teeth were really bothering her, so I was happy to curl up with her while she sucked on an ice cube in the mesh feeder.

Me and liv 4

When I first had Liv, I never wanted to put her down. Since we had so many breastfeeding problems, when I wasn’t pumping, I wanted to be holding her. I’m glad I held her and wore her as much as possible, because the soft snuggly stage dwindled as she became more mobile and curious. Even though I wanted to hold her all the time, I figured it would also be good for her to learn how to play independently, so she’d spend about a half hour or so in the pack n’ play or on her activity mat, rolling around and batting at the animals and toys. 

Now that she’s crawling all over the place and thinks she can walk -even though she’s still a noodle and working on the strength to hold herself up- I almost regret one of my main requests in finding a house: minimal carpet. Even when I vacuum and get carpet steamed regularly, it never feels really clean, and we’ve been planning on ripping up the only carpet we have (upstairs) to replace it with wood flooring. Tile and wood is so much easier to clean, but not quite as safe for a mobile baby to land on if she falls.

Gate

I’ve become a bit of a helicopter lately. I’m worried about Liv falling and hurting herself on the tile, so we’ve been spending a lot of time in what Tom and I call “the fortress”: a square area on the den rug, covered with a thick brown blanket and bordered by her play mat, ottoman, the couch, and cushions in front of the TV stand.

Fortress

(Bella, queen of the fortress)

We’ll sit in there with her, and she has room to explore pretty safely. Even so, I’m always an arm’s distance away from her if she falls.

One of the books I’ve read said “the best thing you can do for your child is let them fail.” And my nana told me, if she doesn’t fall, she won’t learn, and had the great idea to bring the pack n’ play downstairs (it was in the guest room when my cousin stayed with us).

Pack n play

Nana said that Liv was in there for a few minutes yesterday while I was at work, and quickly figured out how to scale and walk around the sides. If she fell, she had something soft to land on.

However, when I put Liv in there to play for a little while, she screams. SCREAMS. I ended up wearing her on my back in the BabyHawk to clean up this morning- it worked really well. While I get dressed for the day, Liv will crawl around in our bedroom because I can see her from the bathroom and it’s all carpet, but other than that, I usually right there next to her in case she falls. Even with all of the babyproofing we did, we can’t exactly protect her from the tile unless we’re right there to catch her. 

Any parents with tile floors have tips while she’s becoming more mobile and trying to walk? Anyone know where I can find a bubble suit? Haha.

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30 Comments

  1. Amy on August 24, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    We got interlocking 2 by 2 foam mats to use until they were able to walk well. Then the kids would use them to build forts.

    • Amy on August 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      They were 2 ft by 2 ft, set of 8 was $16 and they work well for treadmills to sit on.

    • Brittany on August 24, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      I have heard of this. It works really well. My cousin used this and we couldnt step in her kitchen without steping on a foam mat!

    • Maddy on August 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      We got something with letters of the alphabet. There were like big foam puzzle pieces. As you said served as a mat for a baby and then could be used for forts, learning while playing, etc.

  2. Amy on August 24, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Instead of your little ‘fortress’ we bought a HUGE plastic fenced in play yard that basically gave our little man the entire great room to explore. It kept him on the carpet, off the tile and off the stairs;) it was so huge he never complained about the confinement of say a pack n play. We didn’t cage him up all the time but it was a nice way for me to cook or do whatever and he could have a good amount of space to explore, practice standing/walking and not faceplant into a sharp corner:)

  3. Emily Malone on August 24, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    We have a slate entry way that terrifies me. Cullen has taken some HARD falls. His forehead is usually bruised. The first few were hard to watch, but honestly, he HAS learned from them. He doesn’t want to be held or put in carries, and I feel like I need to respect that and let him explore! It’s not easy to watch him crash though. I’m amazed when he pops right up and keeps going. My biggest fear is him knocking out a tooth.

  4. Dusty @TooLazyYesterday on August 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    I understand how you feel.

    Most of our floors downstairs are tiled, I would say about 75%. I use to worry about my LO falling and getting hurt. I wanted to pad everything. However I will say, in the last 6mo or so since she started to walk she has only hurt herself a few times. Most of the time when she falls she looks for our reaction and then decides whether she is going to cry or she is ok. I will also say from those few falls that ended in her being hurt it was always a bruise, nothing serious. I also found when my daughter started to walk she liked walking on the tile (or wood floors) better than the carpet. She would crawl from the carpet to the tile then use a wall to stand up and walk from there.

    Good Luck.

  5. Lauren @ Sassy Molassy on August 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    I love those jeans you’re wearing!! What kind?

  6. Mary K. on August 24, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    We have word floors everywhere with zero rugs and when my daughter was Livi’s age she definitely had her share of small bumps. I was also so worried about her getting hurt, but was really surprised how quickly she learned how to control her wiggly body and get around without so many bumps. I ,personally, wouldnt make any major house decisions or contraption purchases after seeing how quickly they grow out of this phase.

  7. Kim on August 24, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Kids are so much tougher than I ever thought! I was the same way with ALL of the tots in my tot learn to ice skate classes I taught, until I learned that they would pretty much bounce on the ice when they fell and get right back up laughing. One thing I really noticed – they would ALWAYS look to the parents for a reaction. If the parent was nervous or asking “are you ok??” or coming to the door worried – they would cry. If the parents were cheering them on and smiling, they would giggle and stand up. It definitely took me awhile to get used to it though.

    • Amy on August 24, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      Going to second this..like if a kid falls when it thinks no one sees it they just get up and keep going. But if someone is there hovering “oh my god are you okay?” they cry for the attention. Just let her be and she’ll figure it out.

      • Brittany on August 24, 2012 at 11:16 pm

        This is so true. My niece is learning to walk and my sister and brother in law cheer her on whenever she falls. They always say “Come on Rory you can do it! Try it again” and she gers right back up and tries to walk. And she is only 10 months. This works so well!

  8. Elizabeth M. on August 24, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    I know I am going to be the exact same way as a mother!! Just remember, she has such a shorter distance to go to actually fall than we do! It’s not so bad 🙂 my sister has tile throughout most of her home and it wasn’t an issue once.

  9. Abby on August 24, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Babies are very springy! My daughter fell countless times, still tumbles every so often when she tries to run too fast, almost always has atleast a bruise or two, and yet in spite of everything she’s never been seriously hurt and will only cry for a minute or two at the most. Try not to worry too much, even though its awful to watch then crash and burn they’re really only falling a foot or so, and Olivia will be a walking professional before you know it!

  10. Sara on August 24, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Bubble suit, for sure. We have carpet, but it didn’t matter. One of my worst memories is when J just started to run (walking was bad enough, but running? they try it, they like it). She took off out the door and ran down the driveway, which is bricks, and slopes slightly down hill. She fell over and I heard ‘crack’ as her forehead hit the bricks. She had a massive bruise that covered one side of her forehead and a black eye. This was especially awesome as there was a court meeting that week to discuss her custody issues…

    My sisters little boy just spent three days in hospital after he fell down stairs (he’s ok, got concussed), so I’d definitely recommend putting something soft at the bottom of the stairs just in case. I know there are gates, but there is bound to come a day when there are other kids around and one of them neglects to close it (that’s what happened with my nephew).

    • Brittany on August 24, 2012 at 11:20 pm

      That part with your daughter is horrible! I am so sorry you had to go through that. My parents almost had to go through that when I was little. I used to scream a lot and when we were in a bathroom or something I was screaming and hitting something and someone thought I was being beaten and almost (or maybe he did) called Child portective services. My mom still cries about that and it has been 15 years since that happened. Scary for any parent.

  11. Rebecca on August 24, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    we are all hardwood floors/tiles downstairs…so I use foam playmats, but of course Max doesn’t want to play on them. Since he is an expert crawler now, he wants to go everywhere. He even turns, looks at me, smiles and then runs away…CRAZY. He also wants to climb everything. He can get up on his pack and play, crib, tv stand, coach, mom, dad, car seat….anything! That is all he wants to do and his toys are no longer of interest to him.

    He has had some falls, but none for awhile. I don’t allow him to climb non-cushy furniture and like you I am always within an arms reach. However, now nothing is getting done. I can barely get an email written while he is awake

    Max is going to start daycare on Monday and their ‘play area’ is carpet and they have those soft cushy couches and little to no furniture in the ‘daycare area’ so I’m sure he will have a blast.

  12. Stephanie on August 24, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    No advice as we are right behind you. Although your daughter is about a week older, my girl isnt crawling yet so I’m still scrambling around babyproofing. As much as Im excited about her crawling, it is so much more complicated once she does. Right now is actually perfect because she is sitting perfectly and I can put her on a blanket with pillows behind in case she tumbles and I surround her by her toys and she will play nicely and stay put for the most part (except when she starts rolling around and rolls off the blankets). I feel like every time one thing gets easier, other things get harder. I noticed that tonight when we were at dinner and my daughter was sitting on our laps and I had to move every plate, fork, cup, napkin far away from us because she grabs EVERYTHING. By the way, can you believe that we are approaching 8 months? I mean, we are closer to one year than birth. This is nuts…..

  13. Danielle on August 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    We have a lot of tile and wood floors too, and though agree, their learning to fall is important I aalso wanted a safe area where i wouldnt have to worry as much. We picked up a few packs of these… kind of bright but they also come in a hardwood floor pattern if you want! Its been a lifesaver for us, our LO and our new floors!

    http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=459756&cmSource=CrossSell&relatedProductId=536202

  14. jaclyn on August 24, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    haha “bubble suit” < love that lol

    idk if they still make these, I know that some kinds have been recalled, but have you guys thought about getting her a jumpy seat? those little stand/sit toys that rotate around and have little fun sounds/toys around them. I have seen /used these with kids I have nannied, and they are great for that learning-to-walk and balance stage. they are also built in mini babysitters – she can't fall out and would give you a sec to use the bathroom, etc, whatever.

    wait, just googled….

    http://compare.ebay.com/like/330627742458?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar

    or

    http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=537140&cm_ven=none&cm_cat=none&cm_pla=none&orderType=none&utm_source=none&utm_medium=none&utm_campaign=none

    i have a feeling she would like it, haha

  15. Sarabell on August 24, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Wow, what an interesting thought. I have always said the same thing, that I don’t want any carpet because it never feels clean enough. Now that’s something to think about for someday!

  16. Jasmine on August 25, 2012 at 1:22 am

    We’re going to be in the same situation in just a few months with our baby girl, but I have a funny story about my husband I wanted to share. He is the first of three boys and when he was learning to walk his parents emptied out a spare bedroom and covered the floor with thick cushions in case he fell while playing. I thought it was so funny and now tease that he never learned to balance properly and it’s the reason he’s so clumsy. Hahahaa I love him!

  17. Shelley on August 25, 2012 at 4:58 am

    I live in Italy where all the floors are tile and obviously there are children. I agree with the comments made above that kids learn better and faster if they aren’t too protected. A harder floor is far more stable! They are quicker learn how to walk properly and they learn how to fall better which means they actually have less accidents. I’ve seen some kids take what I thought were bad tumbles, but they just picked themselves up and continued the play with no drama. The mom’s don’t panic or make it a big deal – life just goes on. Its actually something I really respect.
    This is a small point, but something else I’ve noticed…it seems as though people and kids in particular are sick much less often here. This includes myself. I think carpet and soft padding carries a lot of bacteria, so while it may protect from a bit less bruising and crying, I think children have far more colds and allergy problems because of them which still results in a hurting child.
    You’ll make the right decision for your family regarding some carpet or no carpet, but our children will always get hurt – if we teach them how to deal with i then it sets them and us up for happier life.

  18. Jennifer on August 25, 2012 at 5:07 am

    The only carpeted area in our home are the bedrooms. When my son was 5 months we bought a large playpen and foam alphabet mats, at around 7 months he detested the playpen. We removed it and just let him crawl. You’re nana is right, you just have to let them fall. You cannot be there for them all the time, it’s scary I know, but it is in their best interest too.

  19. mary on August 25, 2012 at 10:54 am

    This phase goes fast. Don’t remodel around it. Foam alphabet mats can help and they do play with them later.

    Walkers are controversial but we used one.

    I wouldn’t worry about dirt and germs in carpet. I’m a believer in the ‘hygiene hypothesis’. The more pets and dirt kids are around young, the less they get asthma and allergies later. Our immune system probably works better with a ‘workout’ now and then, too. So don’t antibac the entire house!

  20. Maddy on August 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    So much good advice on here! Didn’t read all the responses so this may have been mentioned-I would move the coffee toable to another room or the basement. We left the side tables because they are taller. I originally put these cushy edges on the coffee table, but he loved pulling them off. Once he got a little older dive into piles of pillows and do other monkey like things.

  21. Gina on August 26, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    I don’t have any kids, but I saw this recipe and maybe you’d want to make it for Liv since she’s new to solids and teething. They look adorable and I bet any baby would love them! http://www.thespunkycoconut.com/2012/06/baby-food-pops.html

  22. Jess on August 27, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Our entire first floor is wood and tile. We have a few rugs here and there, but your nana is right, let them fall. Even then they are learning to walk, they typically fall on their butts, not on their heads. Even if they fall forward, they don’t have far to fall because they are closer to the ground. We’ve been through crawling, walking and now we’re almost running with no serious injuries, or really anything more than a minor bruise.

    • Jess on August 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm

      Side note, we also did not move our coffee table. Again, no injuries because she learned that it’s there, it’s hard and other than pulling herself up on it when she was learning to cruise/walk, she doesn’t even go near it.

  23. Erin on August 28, 2012 at 8:27 am

    My nephew learned how to walk on mostly hardwood flour as well. There was carpet in a spare room that we’d let him walk in…but mostly learned on the hardwood. Did he fall…yes BUT he has learned to fall pretty gently on his butt…AND doesn’t fuss every time he does. He’ll just get back up and try again. Has he bumped his head on different parts of the house, of course..but he also has learned! Let her fall. Let her get a bump. Let her learn about the world around her. She is quite a little cutey!

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