Getting Anxious about Your Baby Walking
This is the question that most parents ask once their baby is about nine or ten months old. The first few years of your baby’s life are marked by the many milestones that they reach, such as sitting up and crawling.
Walking is one of those milestones that you’re always going to remember. You have to remember that walking is considered to be a huge developmental leap for your baby.
For this reason, many parents get very anxious when their baby isn’t walking when they have their first birthday. Every baby starts to walk at their own pace.
Just because your best friend’s baby has been toddling around for a couple of months doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong if your baby isn’t yet walking.
When Will Your Baby Walk?
Most babies will start to take their first steps when they are about twelve months old. However, the age range will vary from about nine to eighteen months. Don’t be concerned if your baby misses a milestone along the way.
Some babies never bother to crawl and will move directly from standing to walking. This is completely normal.
The important thing is that your baby is using his legs and arms to get around and do the things he wants to do such as crab walking, climbing the stairs on his hands and knees, and scooting around.
Once your baby is doing these things then walking won’t be far behind. Your baby’s progress is a good indication that everything is as it should be. Each month he’s able to do more and more.
Encouraging Your Baby to Walk
While you don’t want to force your baby to start walking, there are some things that you can do to encourage him to want to get up on those little legs and get walking.
Once your baby is able to stand, let him walk in front of you while you hold his hands. Every now and then let go of one of his hands so that he can practice balancing.
When he’s mastered that you can stand a few feet away from him and cheer him on when he stands all by himself. You want him to feel that he’s doing something amazing.
Once your baby has mastered the skill of standing he’ll most likely start to cruise around the house by moving from one spot to the next.
He may not yet be fully able to walk without stopping and putting his hands on tables and walls, but walking without help is his next milestone.
Safety for the Beginning Walker
Once your baby starts walking he’s going to be getting around a lot quicker than you might think. This means that your home needs to be childproofed to prevent injury to your baby as he toddles around.
You’ll want to remove any low tables that have sharp edges if you’re not able to cover them up. You’ll also want to remove any furniture that can be easily pushed over.
Look around your home for any objects, such as trailing cords that your baby can trip over. Throw rugs can be a danger right now, so remove them until your baby is a confident walker.
If you have other children ask them to pick up after themselves so there aren’t any toys lying around that your baby can fall over. If you have stairs in your home you’ll need to install a safety gate at both the bottom and top.
Make sure that when your baby is on the stairs that someone is always supervising him. It takes only a second for an accident to happen.
Should Your Baby Wear Shoes?
Many parents think that if their baby wears shoes that it will make it easier for him to learn to walk. This is not true at all. In fact, babies learn to walk best when they are barefoot.
They need to use their little toes to grip as they start to take their first steps. You’ll even want to avoid putting socks on his feet as this will just make it slippery for him as he toddles around.
Shoes are too heavy and inflexible for the beginning walker. You can, of course, put shoes on him when he’s outside, but when indoors try to avoid the shoes.
Always keep in mind that every baby is unique and has their own way of wanting to learn things. Walking is one of those milestones that vary greatly from one baby to the next.
Perhaps your baby is anxious and eager to start walking at ten months. Or perhaps your baby is more content to sit on the sidelines for a few months longer and watch the world go on around him.
Either way, know that it’s normal for your baby to still not be walking at thirteen months. Just keep an eye on his development and talk to your doctor at the next checkup.