We had never used a crate before this pup, either but now we are glad we use one. We can put our pup to bed and not worry about him getting into mischief or waking us up too early. When we leave the house we know he'll be safe, along with wall, floors, furniture, etc. When the pup was little we had him tethered to one of us so we always knew where he was, what he was doing and if he needed to go out to potty.
The other thing is to play with your baby often. I wish we hadn't played with our pup in the bedroom, though. We had to recondition him that the bedroom was a quiet place, not a play place.
Don't over walk you pup. Now that our dog is 8 months old it is easy to forget that he is still a puppy and over work him.