All parents look forward to the big moment when their babies begin to walk on their own, especially if many have already been taking steps for a couple of months holding on to mom’s finger or walking on furniture.
And it is that walking is synonymous with freedom in the maturation process of your child, having the freedom to make decisions and explore everything that surrounds him in a more active and independent way.
But, there are many babies who, if they let go of their support, immediately return to the ground and begin to crawl, they do this because they feel safer that way. If you think your baby is afraid of taking her first steps alone, we invite you to continue reading to find out what to do in this case.
The key to this new stage is patience, understanding that each child has a unique rhythm and that the experiences of the “son of a friend of a friend” who walked before turning one year old are not worth it.
To walk without help, babies need coordination, strength in their limbs, balance and security to keep going without falling, and this requires a cognitive maturity that we often do not know how to identify, we believe that age is the only determining feature for the baby walk and it’s not like that.
It is not worth obsessing over the matter of the baby taking its first steps, on the contrary, things should be taken calmly and enjoy each stage. We assure you that once she starts walking on her own it will be much more difficult for you to control her, especially in public places, so she takes advantage of all this time.
Respect their development
Not forcing the child to walk is a commandment that we must fulfill as parents, first so as not to be disappointed by not meeting our expectations and second, because it is not fair to the baby to want to speed up his development because we want him to walk before he is one year old. old. There are babies who can walk at 11 months and there are others who can walk at 18 months and it is totally normal, they are healthy and happy children in equal measure.
Specialists agree that the forced start of walking before 10 months can harm the normal development of babies, since their muscles do not have the necessary strength to support their body with balance.
So why worry about when our baby will start walking without support? What we must do is continue to reinforce his achievements, help him as much as possible to feel motivated to walk using toys, objects that he likes and even those designed for this purpose such as walkers or the best ride-ons.
Monitor without overprotecting
It is normal that if your baby suffered a fall when he started his first steps, you have worried and he has been scared. Moreover, considering that you are your child’s main support, you must transmit security and confidence so that he can walk alone.
So you must keep an eye on him but without excesses, do not overprotect him, let him explore around him. What you should do is prepare the rooms in advance, reduce risks, tables with sharp points, large decorations, pieces of glass and other elements that can be considered a danger if your baby trips over them.
You must give him the freedom to crawl, walk around the room, arrange the furniture strategically so that he has something to lean on. Some mothers recommend placing several of their favorite objects in a drawer that is at your baby’s height: toys, glasses, keys, things that catch their attention, so that they can discover them and spend time standing up reviewing the contents of the drawer.
celebrate your achievements
Every little step that your child takes on his own, with or without the support of furniture or walls, will be a big step forward for him, so you should positively reinforce him with applause, words of encouragement, smiling, expressing a compliment or any sign that he understands as a celebration so that you feel motivated to try again to take more steps.
To encourage your child to keep trying you can stand at a certain distance from him and hold an object that he likes, show it to him and tell him to walk towards you, while he tries, clap each step so that he feels happier and motivated to come to you, if several people in the family do it, you will feel supported by everyone.
If you have come this far it is because you like to learn about your baby’s development and you want to be informed to find out what happens with him from an investigative point of view and knowing the experience of other parents. In this sense, we recommend that you seek information from paediatricians, medical associations and specialists who talk about development and maturity in babies, in this way you will be able to know and identify the different stages that your little one has experienced and those that are missing.
With this knowledge you will understand that your baby will walk sooner or later, he does not need to be taught because he will do it by natural instinct when he feels ready. Your duty as mother, father and main caregiver is to provide him with a safe environment, as well as self-confidence so that he feels that he can achieve it.
Prepare for what’s to come
Once your baby begins to walk without help, a marathon will begin for you that will never end for the next three years, because you will have to be more attentive to what the little one does, where he goes, what he plays with. Keep a vigilance with limits to always observe what he does and if you think that it will not be your case you can spend hours on the internet watching funny videos of babies who do mischief without anyone noticing.
In the same way, your physical condition will be put to the test when you have to go out with the child, since he will want to demonstrate his new ability wherever he goes, and although the stroller will continue to be your ally so that the baby rests and sleeps nap, we assure you that while he is awake and energetic he will want to walk alone.