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Helping your baby to walk her first step

Helping your baby to walk her first step

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Walking is a major developmental step in your baby’s growth. There are a number of factors that work together to decide the age at which your baby begins to walk.

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Your baby can walk anytime between 9 to 18 months.

How soon your baby is going to walk varies between different babies.  A baby can begin to walk independently as early as 9 months or may not do so until 18 months, depending on her inquisitiveness and desire.

An infant begins to walk when her muscles are ready and to support walking. When your baby develops enough muscle strength and co-ordination she begins to take a few baby steps and soon she is able to walk and run.

Your baby’s desire to walk.

Your baby is ready to explore every option available and walking is no exception. This desire is manifested by stepping reflex shown early in the new born stage. The only thing that keeps the baby from walking then is lack of enough muscle strength and co-ordination.

By the age of 10-12 months, when the baby is ready to walk and explore more, she develops enough strength and muscle co-ordination to gather her spirits for walking.

Learning to walk is a gradual process.

Your baby does not just begin to walk. It is a gradual progression that begins as the baby tries to prop herself up with support like, furniture, to stand at the age of 8 months.  For a few days she continues to stand as she still doesn’t know how to walk or sit back. Once she learns how to sit back, she begins to practice sitting and standing quite a number of times.

Let her learn herself. Gradually, as her muscle strength increases, she begins to walk and take a couple of baby steps alongside the furniture. Once she starts walking, she does not need support to stand and is always ready to take a couple of steps. At times, she may miss out on steps or quickly sit down or fall. But this doesn’t discourage the baby and she tries it again. Slowly as she gains co-ordination, she begins to take a couple of more steps and then finally may learn to walk.

By the age of 18 months your baby may start walking independently.

Most babies are able to walk independently by the age of 13-15 months. By the age of 18 months most babies are able to walk, climb up a chair, sofa, bed or probably she may begin kicking the ball and running all around.

Initially, you may find your baby’s walk differently as she may walk with her toes pointed in or out. This happens due to the presence of baby fat in the arches of the feet but gradually the baby outgrows this stage.

Your baby needs your help to learn walking.

As the baby learns to pull herself up to a standing position, she may need your help to figure out how to sit down again. If she gets stuck and cries, don’t pick her up. Instead, just support her to sit down. Initially help her out and then let her give it a try by herself.

Encourage your baby to walk by holding her hands and pulling her forward gently and very slowly, in a standing position. Get her some pushing toy or allow her to push along a light weight plastic chair.

Avoid the use of baby walkers: Use of baby walkers should, however, be discouraged as it puts the baby at an increased risk of falls and injury. 

Get your baby the right shoe: Get the right kind of shoes for the baby while you take her out for walks.

Encourage to walk barefooted while at home: However, while at home encourage the baby to walk barefoot as it helps improve balance and coordination.

Give your baby enough space to walk: Allow enough empty space for your baby to walk.

Childproof your house: It is very important to childproof your house once your baby begins to walk around and gain access to many more things and places in the house.

Be with her: Never leave your baby unattended while she is awake.

Walking is an important development in your baby’s growth. The walking time of a baby varies largely but it is usually between 9 to 18 months that your baby starts walking. Just be with her and let her gradually learn through the process.

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