Learning how to walk is an exciting aspect of a baby's developmental stage. More so because child’s parents can be part of that process, through simple acts of encouragement to help build the baby’s confidence. Babies usually begin to learn how to walk from about 4-15 months. The journey towards knowing how to walk typically begins with learning how to seat without support, crawling and then cruising. The cruising stage signals the closest phase to taking that all important first step.
Here are a few things you can do to help your little one learn how to walk:
1. Get a push toy
A good push toy helps to provide support for babies who cannot yet stand on their own but can pull themselves up in their quest to mastering the art of walking. As your baby tests out her legs with the aid of a push toy, it will help to build her strength and balance, and with every strut comes an added confidence. When picking out a push toy, opt for a sturdy one with rigid handles that will not easily come off and one with wheels big enough to prevent the toy from flipping over. Remember to keep an eye on the baby to ensure he's never close to the stairs or any other potentially dangerous obstacle.
2. Do not buy a walkers
Baby walkers are a wheeled device that babies which allows them to push themselves around before they can walk. In Canada, these devices have been banned and in the USA, the American Academy of pediatrics warns against its use, because of how much it's prone to causing injuries to babies who make use of the device. Studies have also shown that walkers have no developmental benefits and could actually slow it down.
3. Entice with a toy
To help encourage the little one, hold a toy above them or place one away from the baby's reach but in sight, to tempt the baby into standing up to walk towards it.
4. Make the home baby friendly
When your baby gets to the cruising phase, the point when your little busy body starts using the furniture and walls around the house for support in the quest to conquer your apartment, it's important to ensure your home is baby proof. Here are a few things you can do to improve safety.
· Ensure to cover every sharp edge on your furniture.
· Keep doors, drawers, and cupboards locked always
· Block all open sockets/outlets with furniture or safety plugs
5. Yes to no shoes
When indoors, let your baby walk barefoot or rather than investing in indoor shoes, get a pair of no-slip socks. Walking without shoes helps to build baby feet muscles and ankles and aids the development of the arches. The arch allows the foot to support the weight of the body in an erect posture with the least weight.