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Crawling, crawling everywhere

Recently, we had a gaggle of family in town.  Among the family included nieces and nephews around the age of our youngest little.  There were toddlers, cruisers, and crawlers among us.  We would put the kids down to toddle, cruise, and crawl with one another, and I noticed that one mama had a nifty mat thing she'd put down before letting babe explore.  Also, she'd never put her babe down on the floor when we were out and about. 

It made a bit of sense that I never really thought of before.  Let's say I put little Junior down on the floor at the cafe.  There are all sorts of bits and crumbs that he could grab with his grubby hands and put right into his mouth!  Not to mention, he could be stomped on.

In the end, though, I kind of think that I need to let him get down and dirty.  It's part of growing up.  I wonder: how do other mamas handle the pre-toddler phase of crawling and cruising in public?  Do you let them wander on the floor, even when out and about?  Or do you opt to keep them up off the ground so they aren't prone to get into too much trouble?


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I have thought about this issue too and I, too, am leaning towards letting babies get down and dirty. Not only is it part of growing up, I think I heard/read somewhere, that exposure to germs (within reason) is needed to build up immunity.

I don't let my babes get down at restaurants or cafes but I will let them get dirty at parks and other outdoor places. I guess I just worry more about them getting stepped on or tripped over than germs!

I'm an environmental engineer so I know what's on the ground! NO WAY do I let my baby crawl where people wear their shoes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Think about what people walk on to get to the restaurant: streets, sidewalks, parks, parking strips, lawns. Think about what has happened on those surfaces: dogs pooping and peeing, birds pooping, tire rubber breaking down and releasing heavy metals like zinc and lead (lead weights are commonly used to balance tires, get thrown from moving tires and pulverize on contact with the street), lead paint or dust from construction, and toxic fertilizers, to name a few things!!!!!!! Would you let your baby crawl around in a storm sewer? Everything in a storm sewer came from the streets, the same stuff that is on the bottom of our shoes. None of these things are building immunity or healthy bacteria in a baby. A 3 year old is different, as far as playing in the park, getting *dirty*.

I first became aware of this while traveling in Asia. Asians are very firm about removing shoes in homes, and also about not letting babies be on floors without a clean mat. In the countries I was in, a baby could become very ill or die from bacteria encountered on the floor/ground. Diarrhea is the number one cause of death in developing countries.

I let my daughter down to crawl pretty much anywhere, mostly because she will throw a HUGE temper tantrum if I don't. She'll be 1 year old next month and she's only been sick once so far, and never stepped on or tripped over, although I do try to keep her out of heavy-use walkways and I follow her closely. We also wash her hands regularly, at least every time we come home from being out.

Sorry I meant to write that diarrhea is the number one cause of death in small children in developing countries.

Another thing to think about; would you put your fingers in your mouth after crawling around on a restaurant floor or the park or garden? I was told not to garden while pregnant because of the parasites in soil.

My neice also suffered from giardia for 2 years because the doctors didn't diagnose it. She was miserable and had it gone on much longer she could have died. Died.

Nope. Not in a restaurant or any other such place. Grass outside? Sure. At home? Of course (even though we occasionally wear shoes at home and have a dog), but I often put down a blanket first. She's not crawling yet, though, so the mat won't work for long. The 4 year old at home is a pretty good hand washer, so we're pretty lax with her.

In a restaurant or cafe? Really? People are trying to work and besides being potentially dangerous for your child it's dangerous for their staff.

Seriously, save it for outside. Trust me, if you are letting your baby crawl around the floor in a restaurant, the staff and other patrons hate you.

"Here's a quarter, buy a clue": there are nice ways of saying things and there are not nice ways of saying things. Thanks for keeping it real.

I wouldn't put my crawlers down on the floor of restaurants or cafes because it does gross me out a little, and it means I have to start following them around everywhere. I like the containment of a high chair while I'm trying to eat. Plus I do think it's rude to the others who are working and eating there. But now that my youngest is walking I'll let him down after we're done eating, but I usually keep a hold of his hand so I can guide him away from busy thoroughfares and other peoples' tables. My two and a half year old will roam around, but she's a walker, of course, and we're fortunate that she listens to our instructions to stay near our table. In stores I'm usually too task focused to let the kids out to roam freely. I'd rather get in and out and then take them somewhere more fun to explore.

Parks and yards - Of course I let my baby down! What's wrong with a little dirt, wood, and bugs?

Good timing, mine will be crawling soon. I've had "burns" from fertilizer at the park before, so that's out. We have a dog who poops in our yard, so that's out. Restaurants and the like? I agree as a former server, it's irritating to the staff. I like the blanket/mat idea as well as no shoes in the house and I'm not a germaphobe in the least.

i did in the grass, sure, since something has to be done and he was such an active little guy. not in restaurants, though, mainly because he would be underfoot. i do remember, though, being in an airport terminal and him being driven to he point of distraction with the urge to explore until i relented, put socks over his hands, and let him have at it. i garnered more than one curious look, but he was satisfied and so was i.

I was more cautious with my first child. Now I have twin crawlers and unless my husband and I want to be twin pack mules all the time, we have to let them down. They haven't suffered ill effects yet!

You Mom and Dad are welcome to roll and crawl around on public floors and then lick your hands....
but why would you encourage your baby to do that?....they are not just small adults, their systems are not fully matured....
...why would you have them do something that grosses you out...do you consider movie theatre floors clean??....you adults are welcome to take naps there and then wonder why you have fever and diarrhea and flu later...

it is important that you stay around as they make the move so that they don't get hurt in the process. the best place is to put them in an open field without many things. It is not an easy task but you need to support them. That is what is called parenting.

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