A baby’s first smile, first touch, first word is all precious. Similarly, a baby’s first step in this world is a powerful action in this world. A symbol of victory and confidence for your baby’s long journey of life are their very first small steps. This could reflect a lot for the parents too, as they step into a new path filled with obstacles, challenges and excitement summing up for a total joy ride. So, if the first step of a baby is so precious, then shouldn’t we support and strengthen our baby throughout the process? Let’s dive right in, then!
When Does My Baby Walk?
According to most doctors and medical organizations, babies start walking around when they are 12 months old. But this is very subjective to each child and their phase of growth. You needn’t panic or be confused if your baby takes more or less time, as they’ll do it on their own unique timeline.
It’s very important to know that babies don’t walk straight out of the moonlight, it involves several steps, including sitting upright without a step and progressing to standing with support to independently standing, making those wobbly steps and then those confident little steps. Make sure you don’t criticise your child harshly or repeatedly but to give them their own time and playfully address things that would help them to keep going.
Get The Floor Ready!
As this would be their first time, ensure that they have a comfortable space to walk devoid of obstacles that could trip them out. It is best to babyproof the space and create a safe zone where there are no fragile items, as baby proofing the space would help the baby’s mobility and their fear of hurting themselves, promoting them to move more freely and comfortably.
Work That Core Up!
Take things slow, step by step with some exercises for your baby’s core muscles. Make them sit in a stool that has no back support. This would ensure that your baby would develop some strong core muscles that would help them in supporting their standing and other rising movements. Small exercises like asking them to go for their toys from different directions would help strengthen their upper body strength and make them comprehend that focus on legs could help develop their lower body strength.
Foot On Board!
It’s often recommended that babies have their first few walks without shoes. This will ensure that a lot of neural information is passed onto their brains through the feet and what they experience when they walk barefoot. The feel of grass, the floor, the temperature and so on can help them sense different things. Also, ensure that the floor is safe for their bare feet.
Here are some of the most recommended exercises that could help your baby walk easily.
Helping your baby cruise alongside a sofa or a table or any object as their support to move along gives them a glimpse of what walking could be. You could probably stand next to them and give them support by holding his hands. When you repeat this activity over and over, your baby would slowly start doing it on their own without your support and on his own.
Cruise And Kick
While your baby is cruising on their, keep a small soft ball right next to their feet or on their way, which they might accidentally kick at first but would later identify it as an obstacle and kick them automatically, this helps two ways to improve their lower body strength and to know what obstacles are when they walk
Walking With Assistance
You could help your baby standup and while in the position, gently pull both his arms forward, one by one and his feet would automatically follow, rotating his step, hip to hip. Until he’s ready to let go, this would be an excellent and enriching physical activity.
Sound An Alarm?
As said that a baby could take its own time to walk, if your baby doesn’t start or attempt walking within the first 18 months, just have a general check with your general physician, as some babies take longer than usual.