Toddlers on the Move - Walking Adventures
After your baby pulls to a stand, he or she will be eager to find out more about the surroundings. This means that baby will want to take a step forward. The length of time that this takes can vary depending on the child. It may happen within a few days or a few months.
When It Happens
A number of children move to walking or cruising by holding on to furniture when they are 9 or 10 months old. When these busy learners let go for the first time, you will be able to see toddling steps. Most children do not take independent steps until well after they turn 1 year old.
Helping Your Baby Discover How to Walk
You may want to think in terms of "free range baby". It is important to allow your child to have a great deal of move time, no matter where you are. Let him or her get down from the stroller and onto some grass that will cushion any falls.
You can encourage first steps by doing the following things
Tricks that normally are used to encourage a baby to crawl and pull up are great to help him or her get motivated to cruise and eventually walk. Put some fun toys close enough to see, but not reach.
Activate Cruise Control
If you have a toddler who seems uncertain of what he or she should do once standing, you can get him or her to practice by teaching your child to balance weight on his or her feet. Line up some stable furniture in strategic spots throughout the room possible to maneuver around without much trouble. Cover sharp corners up with childproofing supplies. You can walk with your baby by holding onto his or her hands and moving slowly.
A shopping cart or lawnmower toy will provide support and encourage forward motion. This will help to refine balance and make the child confident. Walkers have been shown to slow motor development and even cause injuries.
Limit Stationary Activity Centers
These activity centers may not be dangerous, but they do not help to develop walking skills much. Your baby must develop arm and torso muscles, rather than just leg muscles.
Bare Feet Are Ideal
You will not need to invest in shoes for your new walker. It is ideal to go without shoes for a little while. This is only applicable to being indoors and outdoors on safe surfaces that are not especially rough on the feet. It helps to build up arches and muscle tone.
If you notice that your child is stumbling or favoring one side, falling often, or has stiffness in his or her legs, talk to a pediatrician right away.
Enjoy yourselves and happy chasing!