Teaching your baby how to walk is an important milestone in their early life. From sitting to crawling and cruising you and your child are going through an exciting journey that can sometimes be rather challenging. It’s very important to be a very strong support throughout the entire process and use the right techniques to make it as easy and more comfortable as possible both for you and your child. The interesting thing is that it requires your baby to coordinate almost all of his muscles from their arms to their legs and feet. Can you imagine how terrific this muscle-strengthening exercise is? However, no matter how challenging it is, it will help your baby make those all-important first steps.
Here are some techniques and methods that can encourage your baby to start walking:
1. Praise your baby during the crawling stage
During the crawling stage, your baby develops their muscles and gathers their strength for the standing upright and walking stages that follow. Encourage your baby to crawl from one side of the room to another and praise their effort. This will help them develop these areas.
2. Encourage cruising
Once your baby stands on their feet, they will start cruising in space so it’s important to support them in their efforts. You can place toys around the room out of your baby’s reach and let them use their strength and stamina to grab them. This will make them more stable with weight on one side.
3. Make all the things in the room childproof
The most important thing during this phase is to make the space your baby is using to learn how to move freely, as safe and comfortable as possible. This means getting rid of all the sharp objects or moving the pieces of furniture at the corner of the room or to another room where the baby doesn’t go very often. If your baby just pulls itself only to pull a chair down it can easily get frightened and prevent it from trying again.
4. Standing without help
During the learning phase, your baby is learning how to balance its body. Here, its essential to encourage the balancing and the easiest way to do that is to turn it into a baby game. Sit with your baby on the floor and help her or his stand up. Then count how long she can stay up before tumbling and praise her every time she succeeds in this endeavor.
5. Keep your baby barefoot
According to the pediatric therapists, you need to keep your baby barefoot as often as possible. Babies usually rely on their intuition or commonly known as their “feel”. Once they “feel” the ground underneath their small feet they can balance their body more easily. Also, different surfaces require different use of joints, and if your baby is wearing some shoes, this may make the process to adjusting to different surfaces much longer and more tiring for you and your baby.
6. Avoid comparing your baby with other babies
Avoid comparing your baby’s development with the development of other babies. Each baby is a unique human being and each one has a different length of development stages. Don’t expect your baby to learn to walk in a week. The best way to help your baby to get to the upright position and start walking is to have a bundle of patience because it will be the main driving force and the best form of encouragement that your little one will receive from you.
The truth behind walkers
You can always decide to help your baby by providing her with a walker. However, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, walkers are not good for the baby’s development. They say that walkers slow down the process of learning how to walk and can even be dangerous. So, instead of buying a walker, you may consider buying a push that your child can use with ease and practice cruising. Once you feel that your baby has gained some strength, buy a push toy that has wheels and let your baby explore different surfaces.
Finally, in case you notice that your baby falls extensively and that their legs seem stiff, consult a pediatrician.