Your baby already knows how to stand and very soon she will learn how to make her first step. It can take a few days or months but sooner or later she will be walking!
Many children start walking by holding on to a wall or furniture by nine months old. Most children make their first independent steps around 14 months although some start several months later. Your baby’s character plays a role here. High-energy baby will get up earlier and some make first steps only when they’re confident they can make it.
One thing is sure: your baby will make first steps at some point but you can offer a helping hand and embrace your baby’s first steps.
How To Help Your Baby
Your child should have enough space to explore the world – and away from swings. Simple tips to encourage walking include:
- If your baby seems afraid of making the first step, she doesn’t have enough practice and doesn’t know how to balance her weight. You can help by lining up furniture; just make sure it’s childproofed. You can encourage standing by holding your baby’s hand for better balance.
- Buy a push toy. This can be a small lawn mower or a shopping card that will get your child enough support and confidence.
- Avoid walkers. Walkers can cause back problems and even injuries. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, your baby doesn’t need them anyway.
- The best shoes for a little baby are no shoes. Your baby walks better when she is barefoot or in socks because it builds muscle tone and helps her improve her balance. Sneakers and tall boots slow down a baby by restricting movement.
- A child may attempt to walk one day and then have a break from it. Babies can go back to crawling for months and then start walking again, that’s totally fine.
- Every baby goes through development milestones at their own pace and you don’t have to worry if someone else’s baby is already walking.
Things That You Should Not Worry About
Falls are an important part of a learning process. Babies don’t have good coordination skills so they fall and weave all the time. All you can do is to provide safe environment and help her learn walking a bit faster.
- Flat Feet
Babies have flat feet due to extra fluff that melts away by the age of 3. Some kid’s feet can also curve inward which makes it harder to walk. That’s totally normal and it will become straighten out.
- Pigeon-toed Feet
Some babies have their shinbones turned inward. This is a very common condition that disappears within six months. If you feel like it gets in the way of your child’s walking, talk to your doctor about corrective shoes.
- Bowed Legs
Babies can have bowed legs that dissolve by 18 months. You can help her legs straight out by holding hands of your baby while she is walking.
- Tiptoe Walking
Some babies walk on their tiptoes. It helps them balance and it goes away as they grow older. If your child can flatten her foot but don’t want to do this, there is nothing to worry about.
Of course, you should visit a doctor if you notice some problems such as if your child is falling excessively or favoring to one side. Otherwise, just enjoy her little achievements and discoveries in this big world.