Walking is an essential milestone for babies and a great indicator of physical development. Though it has been noted that 50 percent of babies would have already begun walking or taking their first steps between the age of nine to sixteen months, every parent should realise that every baby is different. It is not unusual to find a healthy baby taking his first step at seventeen months of age.
Walking takes strength and coordination, and babies develop this attribute as they age. Babies begin pushing up, then rolling and sitting with support, before pulling up and walking unaided. Some babies may follow that line of motor skill milestone progression. Others may eventually skip some specific milestones. Some babies never crawl.
Parents must observe their babies but exercise patients. Babies will surely walk independently, after gaining balance and confidence.
Signs your baby will walk and how do help her walk.
Pulling up is one sign you certainly should not miss. It is your baby’s way of pulling herself up with the help of furniture or an object. It is highly beneficial because it straightens your baby’s leg muscles and improves her coordination. This is expected to happen when your baby is around eight months of age. You can facilitate this process by making a safe environment for your baby through baby-proofing.
Next to pulling up is cruising. Your baby will want to move around with the aid of objects. It is a way your baby learns how to balance and transfer her weight. Your baby may hold on to furniture or the staircase to find her way around. Cruising is usually a signal that your baby’s muscles are ready to support her weight.
It is a significant accomplishment for your baby when she stands alone. All your baby needs is steadiness and balance. Standing unaided is a good sign your baby is ready to walk because it will allow her to feel confident enough to take baby steps.
You can encourage him by counting while she stands.
Popular Baby Walking Myths
All Babies must crawl
The idea that babies must crawl before walking is not accurate. While it is not strange for babies to skip the crawling stage, crawling is not compulsory for every baby. Some babies go from standing, then cruising, and walking. The truth is that every baby has a unique, distinctive and individualistic developmental timeline. So do not let the fact that your baby is not crawling become a source of worry to you.
Babies who walk earlier are (or will be) smarter
Research has proven that there are no links between early walking and intelligence. It is advisable for parents not to rush their baby’s developmental milestones. Scientists have shown that walking early in babies offers no long-term benefit or advantage of any kind.
Walkers can help babies learn how to walk faster
A broad consensus in the medical community has agreed that walkers are dangerous. Countries like Australia and Canada have banned the sale of walkers to parents. Walkers can cause babies to explore unsafe environments and endanger themselves. Furthermore, they offer no benefit to babies, instead deprive them of the desire to walk unaided. A report by a pediatric organisation stated that more than 200,000 babies had had cause to visit emergency rooms because of the use of walkers.
Wearing shoes help babies learn how to walk
The reverse is the case. Walking bare-footed for babies promotes good posture, leg muscular development and coordination. No scientific findings support shoe-wearing as contributing to motor skill development. Shoes are eye-catching and are of sentimental value, of course.
How to encourage your baby to walk
Here are great tips you can use to encourage your baby to walk:
- An excellent way to help your baby practise balancing is by holding her hands while you walk behind her but take heed not to exert your baby’s elbow.
- Get squeaky shoes to encourage an innate desire in your baby, to explore her surroundings.
- Place your baby’s favourite toy a bit out of reach to entice her to walk.
- Offer praise, and verbal encouragement as your baby practises her walking steps.
- Create a secure and hazard-free environment for your baby to confidently practise her walking steps.