My baby is 7.5 months old and has been crawling since he was about 5.5 months old. First commando and now on knees and hands. The skin on his knee is now worn and rough. I moisturise his knees everyday, but it doesn't seem to help.

There are knee pads and lots of other products out there to protect knees while crawling, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're required or even good. People sell crib bumpers too, against all advice. Should I do something to protect the skin on his knees from wear and tear? Or is it just a part of growing up and exploring? I should mention, it doesn't seem to bother him.

  • 2
    What kind of surface is the child crawling on? Hardwood, concrete, carpet, rug, etc.? What clothes are the baby wearing - diaper? shorts? pants? And, is the skin just rough, or is it bleeding?
    – Joe
    Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 15:25
  • @Joe Mainly the bed and carpeted floor. He wears pants more often these days, since i noticed the knees. And there's no bleeding, its just rough skin
    – learner101
    Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 18:23

1 Answer 1


Any body part that is used for gripping, leaned on, or weight-bearing will result in thicker skin. In normal adults, this is usually most prominent on (respectively) the palms of the hands, the elbows, and the knees/soles of the feet. In someone who crawls, it will be the palms of their hands and the knees. This is totally normal and is an adaptive mechanism.

Thick skin is normally "rougher" than thin skin and has no hair follicles. Again, normal. The surface the baby crawls on will determine just how rough and thick the skin is; the rougher the surface, the thicker and rougher the skin.

If that is all (and this sound like your case), no worries. The skin will soften up when your baby starts walking full time.

If, however, the skin is red, especially if it persists after your baby stops crawling for a while, the surface may be too rough for their tender skin. In this case, abrasions may occur which can lead to infection. Treat this by putting something down that covers the surface (a soft blanket or mat), and/or dressing them in long pants. If the pants show wear in the knees after a few days, the surface is definitely too rough!

You don't need to moisturize the skin unless it's dry or irritated, but it doesn't hurt the baby if you do use moisturizer. Most people (including me) don't use enough moisturizer to keep skin in optimal condition.

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