One of the most significant developmental milestones of babies is when babies take their first few steps. ‘Baby walking’ is hotly anticipated by parents and a source of joy to them. It reflects a steady but sure transition into being a toddler and a level of independence as they begin to explore their environment. It is not strange for a lot of parents to be curious as to when is the exact time their baby will walk. The truth is that babies are unique and very different in their ways. Experts and child psychologists opine that ‘walking’ as a child motor development takes place in a child from nine to eighteen month of age. But some babies are known to have begun walking even earlier. What your baby needs from you altogether is patience, support, practice and encouragement to start their precious baby steps.
How to encourage your baby to stand
Standing is an essential stage of motor development. It is a prelude to ‘walking’. Your baby may have already developed muscular strength and coordination, making it possible for him also to sit, crawl and roll over. You can encourage your baby to stand by:
- Cheering your baby is the way of showing him support. It will aid his progress tremendously. You can cheer your baby by clapping for him, smiling at him and using encouraging words when he manages to stand.
- Playful interaction like bouncing is one way of encouraging standing. It is a means of harnessing that energy your baby has. One method of helping him bounce is by placing his legs on your lap. Through this way, your baby’s leg muscles will be strengthened. You can even do it to the rhythm of a song. It will be fun.
- Toys are great in instilling confidence in your baby’s ability to stand. They can also improve your baby’s motor and coordinate development. So fuel your baby’s motivation to stand by enticing him with his toys. You can place his toy a short distance above or near him, so he can pull himself up to grab it.
- Be your baby’s trainer. Exercise will also help you bond with your baby. Exercises like tummy time, picking up objects, sit-ups will help improve his muscular strength. It will also help him with balancing and restful sleep.
How to encourage your baby to cruise
Cruising is another developmental phase in babies. It is a path followed by all babies, before walking. After learning how to stand, your baby might begin cruising. Cruising, in this context, means walking with the support of objects or parents. Cruising is next after standing. Though, it is possible for babies to skip cruising because every baby is different. Here’s how you can introduce them to walking by cruising:
- When cruising, your baby will need furniture to navigate around. Arrange your furniture in such a way that will support him while walking. Ensure that the furniture is not shaky or spiny. It might be necessary to create a safe environment for your baby first.
- Consider buying a push toy. Your kids will love push toys. They are like strollers. They can improve your child’s motor skill and help give him the balance and confidence he needs. Ensure you buy a push toy with a firm grip so that your baby will find it easy to control.
- Pulling your baby up can be exciting for him. It’s an avenue where your baby exercises and straightens his legs. You can guide them in walking by using your arm as support. As your baby keeps exercising, he will be eager to try out his steps alone.
- Give your baby’s esteem a boost by cheering and praising their effort. Babies tend to want to impress some times. Show your baby how pleased you are by clapping and lavishing him with praise.
How to help your baby walk
You can help your baby to walk by:
- Keeping him on his feet most of the time.
- Using words of affirmations and support to cheer them on.
- Getting him a squeaking shoe.
- Not comparing your baby’s developmental pace to other babies and understanding that babies are different.
- Allowing your baby to safely explore around to boost his confidence after the first few steps.