Walking is such a fun milestone in your child’s life! Watching them learn how to take on the world, one step at a time is a beautiful sight to see, but the process of going from crawling to walking can be a difficult one for both parent and child. Here are some helpful tips for every phase right before their big steps!
Cruising: (8-9 months)
You can encourage your baby to become more confident while cruising and try to get them to let go of the wall or furniture by simply cheering them on! Just make sure they have a soft landing spot, and keep toys on chairs and reachable tables so they’re encouraged to keep reaching and walking.
Standing: (9-12 months)
Standing up by themselves is a huge milestone in your child’s life, and also a great transition into walking. Turn balancing into a game. Sit with your baby on the floor and help them stand up, then count how long they can stand up before they fall down. Give your baby plenty of praise after each attempt, and they’ll be standing on their own in no time.
First Steps: (9-12 months)
Walking is all about confidence, so give your baby plenty of praise and encouragement. Cheer your baby to their first steps by sitting on the floor and slowly guiding them. Then, as baby gains their balance, let them go on their own. Try having your baby walk from one caretaker to another, possibly while the adult is holding your kid’s favorite toy (for extra encouragement). Pediatric therapists generally recommend that you keep your baby barefoot as often as possible, which helps them feel the ground they’re trying to walk on. It’s also helpful for their balance as they take their first steps.
Walking: (12-15 months)
Encourage walking as much as possible. For example, when you set baby down, put him or her in a walking position instead of sitting position. And as always, praise, praise, praise! Also, make sure everything around them has been baby-proofed as an extra precaution. If you're looking for some toys to help encourage them to start walking click HERE.
TIP: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly discourages the use of walkers. They say that walkers not only slow down baby’s walking development, they are extremely unsafe.