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Getting your baby to walk is an exciting endeavour, as you can see how your child tackles problem-solving. It is exciting, but requires patience from you and the baby, with the transition from crawling to walking taking a few months.
At What Age Do Babies Start Walking?
When babies are born, their leg muscles are ill-equipped to carry the weight of their bodies. They need to develop these, which happens as they grow older. On an average, a baby can take his first few steps within a year. However, he will still be clumsy, and it can take a few more months before he can start walking without assistance. There are even instances where a baby may take about 18 months to learn how to walk. This is no cause for alarm, and once babies start walking, it’ll be hard to get them to stop.
Common Signs That Indicate Your Baby Will Walk Soon
1. Overcoming Obstacles
Walking on two legs is difficult for babies as their muscles are ill-equipped to for this. However, if you notice your child frantically trying to overcome obstacles by going over them, he’s one step closer (no pun intended) to walking. This is because he is making use of their leg muscles and strengthening them in the process.
2. Taking a Stand
When you see your baby trying to lift himself off the ground, you know the day is near. Babies will make use of their arms to hold on to raised platforms to pull themselves up or support their efforts. The raised platforms could be anything, from furniture to even your leg. However, they would still be unable to stand independently.
Once they’re confident that they can get up without support, they’re going to attempt to walk immediately. However, just like riding a bicycle, it can’t be done on the first go and they are likely to fall. This is when you help them by assisting them while walking. Going back to the bike example, they need your help like training wheels so that they can balance themselves while walking.
Handholding is fine, but your child is determined and isn’t going to wait for you to help him out. He’s going to find anything sturdy like walls or pieces of furniture to stay off the floor and balance himself.
Once they can stand without any external support, it is only a matter of time before they start walking. Balance is something that they are yet to master, but they know it well enough to stay upright independently. Soon, you shall find your child performing daredevil acts like jumping, climbing stairs and other activities to improve his balance.
Encouraging Your Baby to Walk
- One of the first children walking signs is them making attempts to crawl. Give them more floor time, so that they can start exercising their muscles.
- Use motivators such as their favourite toy. Place them on one end of the room and the toy on the other end. When they crawl all the way to one side, put the toy on the other end. While it may sound frustrating for the child, remember they will be quite thrilled knowing they can crawl and get the toy independently.
How to Help Your Baby Walk Independently
- You can improve your baby’s balance by gradually improving the difficulty level as he gets better. First, hold him with both your hands while he walks. Once he has a good grip, only use one hand. After that, let him grab on to your clothes as he walks and finally just stand close-by in case he falls. Keep in mind these tips to make your baby walk.
- Too much clothing or even tight clothing can constrict the limbs which can make it difficult for kids to regain balance. Let him wear comfortable clothing.
- Initially, hold kids by the upper trunk and gradually move on to the hips. You can also hold them by the fingers to give them proper direction.
What if Your Baby Doesn’t Walk?
This is an abnormal situation, and most paediatricians suggest that most of the time. The problem is in the environment. This could be because both parents are working and do not have time to encourage the baby to start walking. Then, there is the other extreme, where parents are overindulgent. The baby is treated on par with royalty and carried everywhere, meaning minimal exertion.
Your role is critical in your baby’s development and with the right approach, you can even shave off a few months from the learning process. Make sure the child practices a little every day with support, and you will be rewarded with the sight of your little one discover the joys of exploring the world independently.
Also Read: Teaching Your Kids to Write