Your baby’s first steps are one of the first big milestones that parents look forward to. But some babies take a little longer than others to find their feet and they might need a bit of encouragement. Usually, children will start to pull themselves up and learn to walk at around 9 to 12 months. If you’re a little past that point you don’t need to worry, but if they’re quite a few months older than that and they’re still showing no signs of walking, you should speak to the doctor. There might be some issues with muscle strength that are stopping them from being able to walk properly that need seeing to. Luckily, that’s not the case with most children, you just need to try some of these simple methods to help them take their first steps.
Make The Home Safe
Before you start looking at ways to help your child learn to walk, you need to prepare for the moment when they finally do take those first steps. Once they start walking around the house, they’ll open themselves up to a lot more dangers. That’s why you should spend some more time child-proofing your home to account for those new dangers. Make extra sure that the stair gates are working properly and cover up sharp corners on any furniture that is at head height. You need to start preparing the house ahead of time so they aren’t in danger when they do eventually start walking.
If you wait until 9 months before you start to encourage your child to stand up, it’s going to take a lot longer. You need to help them start building up the strength in their legs from an early age so walking will be easier for them later on. At around 4 or 5 months, babies will start standing upright if you support them and they may even bounce up and down a little bit. This helps to build up muscles and get them standing on their own quicker so you should try to do it on a regular basis.
When babies are first learning to walk, they need to understand how to adjust their walking to different surfaces like hardwood flooring or carpet. That requires them to learn by touch and feel the surface on their feet so it’s important that they’re not wearing shoes when you’re trying to teach them to walk.
Get Them To Pick Things Up
Putting one foot in front of the other isn’t the only skill that babies need to learn when they start walking. They need to work on their balance as well, particularly squatting down to pick things up. You can encourage them to do this by putting toys at their feet when they’re supported by something (that might be furniture or you can support them). They’ll practice picking up and putting down the toys which helps them develop better balance and improve the strength in their legs so they can walk for longer distances.
Keep Toys In Reach
When they do start walking around more and they’re more confident on their feet, you can to let them explore on their own. If they see toys around the room and they want to get them, you need to make sure that they’re in reach to keep your baby safe. They’ll still reach for toys that are high up and they could end up dropping things on themselves. However, you don’t want to put things down to low because you need to encourage them to reach up a bit, just not too much.
Let Them Dance
This sounds like a bit of an odd way to get your baby walking but it really helps. Babies respond well to the beat in a lot of music and they instinctively move with it. If you’re trying to get them to walk and you’re supporting them. Put on some music and get them to dance a little bit. All of that movement is really going to help improve their strength and coordination.
This is probably the most important piece of advice that you need when it comes to helping your baby learn to walk. You need to remember that every child develops at their own pace and yours might take a bit longer than other people’s children. It’s important that you don’t compare your child to other people’s and get yourself worried about whether your child is moving fast enough or not. It’ll happen when they’re ready, just use these methods to help them get there.