5 things you quickly realise when your baby starts crawling

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 Photo: Getty Images

Mr Seven Months is now on the go and into everything. His initial wounded soldier/slug-like moves have quickly morphed into a more determined crawl – and, with that, life has changed.

I can no longer put him down and know he'll still be there when I get back. Rather, I turn around and he's rapidly disappearing under the couch, high chair or dog.

But, of course, that's not all that's apparent now that he's a crawler … here are the other things that I've quickly come to realise.

1. How dirty my floor is

By average standards I'd liked to think that my house is pretty clean. I vacuum and mop on a regular basis and am quite diligent in clearing up spills as quickly as they happen (well, okay, at least within the half hour, when I remember). 

However, in the last few weeks I've cringed in horror at the realisation that things aren't quite as clean as they seem.

As my little man scoots his way over the floorboards he's like a magnet to all dust and general grubbiness en route. 

He often sports a moustache and beard of dog fur – achieved from his random pit stops to lick the floor – and any light-coloured outfit doesn't stay that way for long.

When I picked him up the other day he looked like he'd been in a fight with a dust storm. I'll leave it up to you to guess who'd won.

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2. How anything other than toys are appealing 

Thanks to hand me downs from his big brother and the generosity of friends, my son has a huge and varied collection of toys for someone of his age and size.

He has things that rattle, things that spin, and things that are squishy and fun to touch. He has things that make noise, things that move and all manner of things that sing – kill me now!

But put him on the floor amongst this collection of fun, and what's the first thing he does? Play with them all, you say? Ha ha ha.

No, he makes a beeline for anything else. Yesterday it was the remote, the day before it was my lunch and, unfortunately for her, it's regularly the dog. He'd like to get the cat, but she's way too fast (and smart) to hang around.

3. How everything goes in the mouth

When babies enter the phase of 'everything MUST go in my mouth' it's amazing just what they'll find – especially when it's combined with crawling. 

Suddenly the world is their oyster – quite literally – and there's so much to explore and eat. While some items going in the mouth take a while for you to figure out, others are best left unidentified.

In the last week, my little crawler has laid his hands on and attempted to eat all manner of undesirable and unsavoury things, including dog fur, cat fur, a dirty shoe, a dirty wet wipe, and a dog-chewed tennis ball. 

I try not to be too freaked out by it most of the time, and remind myself it's all good for his immune system.

However, I do draw the line at my husband's sweaty socks. God knows what he might catch from chomping on those.

4. How fast they move 

There's nothing faster than a determined crawler and, since Mr Seven Months acquired that skill, he's been practicing at every opportunity – particularly when he's spotted something inappropriate that he REALLY wants.

Long gone are the days when I could put him down and return 10, 15 or even 20 minutes later and find him still there wiggling happily. Now I turn my back for one second and he's gone. 

There's no time to be complacent or trust that he won't get into mischief, and with walking on the horizon I know this is only the beginning of my days of chasing.

5. How unsafe your house is 

With a fairly sensible five-year-old, it's been a long time since I've had to worry about safety around the home.  

I haven't had to be concerned that he'll climb on unsteady furniture, pull something heavy off the shelves and injure himself, or stick investigative fingers into sockets in the walls.

But of course, I now have to revert back to that way of thinking with my youngest boy on the move. And, man, my house is evidently a dangerous place!

However, with his radar tuned to head straight towards it, it's not taking me long to find out exactly where the dangers lie, which is a blessing for me … but no doubt very annoying for him as he aims to obstacle-course his way through the house.