The last few weeks before H's birth, we were overwhelmed with the important things that we had not finished. A little over a week before she was born, we knew we would fail as parents if we didn't get the baby crawling track built before her arrival. Here is how we built ours. In our home, it is known as the "baby race track."
Supplies (all except the vinyl purchased at Home Depot):
- (1) 1" x 16" x 8' pine
- (2) 1" x 6" x 8' pine
- double sided carpet tape
- carpet foam
- Utility knife
- Screw driver
1. Apply double-sided carpet tape to the edges of the 1" x 16" x 8'
2. Remove back-side of tape
3. Attach the carpet foam to the 1" x 16" x 8' by laying the carpet foam on the side of the 1" x 16" x 8" with the double-sided carpet tape exposed
4. Trim the excess foam by running a utility knife through it using the wood as a guide.
5. Lay the 1" x 16" x 8' - carpet pad assembly on the vinyl. The carpet pad should be in between the 1" x 16" x 8' and the vinyl.
6. Trim the vinyl to size, leaving enough to fold the vinyl over the sides and ends of the 1" x 16" x 8'
7. Fold the vinyl over the sides and ends of the 1" x 16" x 8' and staple it down using a staple gun.
8. Attach a sheet of vinyl to each of the 1" x 6" x 8's.
9. Set the 1" x 16" x 8' on the 1" x 6" x 8's. We achieved this by setting the 1" x 16" x 8' on a stack of yoga blocks and journals (they are not visible in the photo since they are under the 1" x 16" x 8')
10. Near one of the ends, use a clamp to provide a tight fit.
11. Install L-shaped brackets on both sides every 18 inches and reinforce intermittently with woodscrews. We started on one end of the crawling track, used the clamp to tighten the system, installed the L-shaped brackets, reinforced with woodscrews and then moved the clamp down 18 inches and repeated.
12. Apply the carpet pad to each of the 1" x 6" x 8's by applying the double-sided carpet tape to the 1" x 6" x 8's, attaching the carpet pad, securing the carpet pad with the staple gun, and cutting the carpet pad to size using the utility knife.
13. Wrap the vinyl around the 1" x 6" x 8' - carpet pad assembly.
14. Secure the vinyl with the staple gun.
Et voilà - a crawling track.
In hindsight, I would have done a few things differently. First, I would have used something lighter. The 1" pine results in a pretty heavy crawling track. Second, I would have used something a bit stronger to tack down the carpet pad. It currently bulges up slightly in the center of the track. Finally, I wish we would have used something other than vinyl - something more natural. We may actually recover it if we find a more natural material that is smooth (let us know if you have any ideas).