Now that it seems Eleanor’s crawling days are numbered (well, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves…) I am definitely getting excited to bid a good riddance farewell to ‘The Crawling Wardrobe’. Not that it’s anything bad…it just seems Eleanor has been crawling for a long time! She started crawling a few days after she turned 10 months old, and hasn’t stopped since. Everyone tells you about what to dress crawlers in, and you nod and smile, holding your cherubic immobile child. You have no idea. My mum and my sister told me about the dark leggings, the sturdy overalls, the no-pink-bottoms-under-any-circumstances…but it was definitely still a shock to the system. And you think you keep a semi-hygienic clean floor? HAHAHAHAHA!
Because I like to share the love in this funny old parenting game, I thought I’d do a run down of my ultimate wardrobe essentials with a crawling baby. The winners, the workhorses, the gems that you’ll buy four pairs of.
- Dark leggings. Goes without saying, but for the next 6+ months you can say goodbye to anything lighter than brown for the bottom half. I used to dress Eleanor in a lot of pastels/pink/mint/grey. Yeah…ha! Crawling brought on a lot of navy. I’m not too keen on little ones in black so I haven’t gone down that route, but the Big W navy leggings with frill bum? Yeah I have four pairs in size 0, four pairs in size 1…I’m hoping by size 2 (which Eleanor is in now a lot) we will be walking and less of a grot in the knees department…maybe. I also got these aweomse frill bum navy trackies Eleanor has worn and worn and worn (see above).
- Brown cords. Eleanor inherited a great pair of dark brown cords from her big cousins, in a size 0 (generally a crawlers size). I wasn’t too fussed by them, nice enough and hand-me-down, thanks, maybe she’ll wear them a bit. She has lived in them. Once she was crawling, the magical brown cord pants came into their own. I suddenly got it. A-ha! So when I found a very similar pair in a lighter brown colour in the op shop for $1 I snapped them up, before I had a crawler I probably wouldn’t have looked twice at them. The cord fabric also hides dirty knees and general crawling filth really well. I’m not so keen on Eleanor in jeans (I figure she can wear all the jeans she likes as a teenager, not as a baby) so cords have been a great Winter staple.
- Tights in general. Shorts with tights especially. This was a game changer for me, as a Winter crawler Eleanor needed warmth…but I still wanted her to look nice (and there was only so many brown cord days we could have!) Leggings like the Big W navy ones we love are paper thin, crawling about on our drafty old farmhouse floor she needed extra layers. Tights with leggings over the top became our Winter wardrobe uniform. And shorts with tights if we were going out/looking a bit nicer. I made some super easy shorts for her in bright cord fabrics, perfect Winter attire. And tights = impossible to pull off. Eleanor’s socks just refuse to stay on (I believe this to be a universal baby/crawler scenario?) so tights combated that problem nicely.
- Overalls. My mum made Eleanor some super cute overalls to add to the crawler wardrobe repertoire. They’re perfect because they keep her whole torso warm enough in our chilly climate, and they’re super easy for her to move about in. Snaps in the legs/crotch are essential for nappy changes! I also got her a very cute pair of denim short overalls from Aldi which she has lived in with bright and fun tights. Overalls are also perfect to keep those wriggly tummies and backs covered, which brings me to my most important point…
- Snap-under singlets and suits. Eleanor is never, like ever, without a snap-under singlet or body suit. Ever. If she is wearing a regular singlet, then she was a snap-under long sleeved suit on. There is just simply too much rolling up of tops/down of leggings or pants. I can literally tell you one or two times Eleanor has not had a snap-under something on as we’ve been away and she’s run out of clothes, or out and I didn’t have a spare snap-under singlet with me. Snap-under, people. I’m having none of anything else.
Other than those ‘essentials’…get ready for a lot of washing. A lot of soaking. I use a Sard soap stick thingy to rub on Eleanor’s knees of clothes and then soak in Napisan overnight before washing. I haven’t had many stubborn stains which haven’t budged with that method, but some lighter coloured items will just never be the same. My advice? Accept it and move on. Cest la vie. And say good-bye to dresses and skirts (although I do have a really cute navy cord with bright polka dots from Target which Eleanor has worn a lot with tights, it’s short enough for crawling). I am very much looking forward to having a walking toddler for Summer dresses! I have also fully embraced the op shop with a crawler, clothes just get too trashed too quickly and you can simply not have enough dark bottoms options (especially if you’re going through several a day!) A secondhand pair of leggings from the op shop for $1 will pay for themselves ten fold in a matter of days!
Happy crawling! And honestly…you’ll Google those novelty mop attachment jumpsuits for your baby at least once. I can promise you that.