Friday, July 27, 2012

Look Mom, I'm Walking!

Walking and talking are the two most exciting milestones that parents look forward to because this is when their baby is developing more human-like behavior. 
Most babies start walking around 12 months, but some 7 month old babies have been known to skip crawling and go straight to walking!

Have you ever thought about the many muscles, nerves, and skill that go into walking? It's amazing! Before a baby can walk he needs to first develop enough strength to pull himself up, and then he needs to develop balance to stay standing. Once he has mastered those two steps, he needs to learn how to coordinate movement in both legs to start taking steps.

10 Months
At this age you should be able to hold onto your baby's hands to help him gain muscle strength, this also helps him learn how to put his weight on his feet.

You should also see your baby grabbing onto her crib rails or other furniture as she learns how to balance. She is also building strength in her little muscles, preparing to take her first step!

You can help her master the skill of muscle and balance by offering toys to him and encourage him to hold on to furniture with one hand and reach for the toy with the other. This gives him confidence and balance, which he'll need a lot of for the next big 'step.'

12 Months
By now, your baby should be able to hold onto furniture and walk alongside. She should also be able to hold on with one hand and reach down to pick up toys that may be in her way. 

She should also be able to step forward while you hold onto her hands. She may even be able to walk easily with a little help from you. 

When you baby is holding onto furniture, try standing a couple feet away and encouraging them to walk towards you. You can also give them boxes to push around. This helps give them support while they walk without relying solely on you. Babies also love to push around chairs, toy shopping carts, and pretty much anything that will move. 

14 Months
By this age you can expect your baby to stand up all by himself and he may even be walking all by himself! You can expect to see him become more adventurous by trying to climb onto furniture or intentionally walk over a variety of surfaces.
You can have some fun by taking him to the park and letting him feel the grass, cement, and other fun surfaces. Continue to encourage him to walk if he hasn't quite developed the courage yet, and give him lots of opportunities to stand, push, walk and explore!

Remember, walking can start anywhere between 7 months and 14 months. Each baby is unique and will start when he/she is ready. Remember to baby proof your house before  they become mobile, and to provide support and opportunities for practicing their emerging skill.

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