The first steps are a milestone in your baby’s growth when you look into ways on how to help the baby walk independently without any support. The first step marks the beginning of a new stage in which they will explore the world from another perspective.
For parents it is also an event. On the one hand they are proud that their little one manages to balance on his two feet, while on the other there is concern about the dangers posed by this new form of movement.
There is a whole prior to standing up that each baby does at their own pace. Throughout the first year, he has been able to roll over, sit up, crawl, and stand on his two feet. Crawling is the natural previous step to standing, but some children overlook it. It is a very beneficial evolutionary stage for the baby, so it is not recommended to rush to put the child on his feet, otherwise, he will skip this phase.
Taking the first steps does not mean starting to walk. At first, the baby will seek support from objects (usually furniture) to walk short distances.
He will move from chair to table, from table to sofa, and will travel longer distances as he gains confidence. The same thing if you extend your arms, it will walk a few steps towards you (which by the way is an unforgettable moment for parents), but it may take several weeks for the child to be able to walk without help.
When do babies begin to take the first steps
As with so many other things in children’s lives such as the first smile, the crawl, or the first word, the age at which babies take their first steps depends on their own growth rate. Some begin to walk at 9 months while others, do not go away until 15 months.
What I would like to say is that there is no actual formula to calculate the right age for a baby to start walking. There are a lot of reasons for delayed walking which you as parents need to be aware of.
What family members usually expect, is that the baby surprises everyone by taking his first steps when he reaches the first year of life, since most babies begin to walk around 12 months, but it is not a mathematical formula and has nothing to do with your brainpower.
At this age the leg muscles are strong enough to support the body and the spine is able to cushion the child’s weight. In fact, by the first year many children already crawl with great dexterity throughout the house, and there are even those who begin to stand up leaning on furniture.
Do all kids start walking at the same age?
No, not all children begin to walk at the same age, nor do they do so by following the same guidelines. Some try to walk without first crawling, or are so comfortable crawling that they don’t feel like straining to walk. In any case, it is a milestone in the development of the little ones, a very complex stage in which they will need their parents to support and help them more than ever.
The moment in which the baby begins to walk is conditioned by several factors. Genetics is one of them, although not decisive, but the baby’s physical state, his concerns and the possibilities we give him to move also influence.
A plump child, who is very comfortable moving around by crawling and who is all day from the crib to the park and from there to the stroller will not have much opportunity to practice and will surely take longer than a child with more favorable characteristics.
10 keys on how to help the baby walk independently and make the first steps
1. Adapt the house to your needs
When the child is preparing to walk, it is important that they have adequate spaces in which they can take their first steps safely. This implies that you should clear the rooms of the house as much as possible, leaving only the essential furniture that at some point can serve as a point of support to get up and move around the room until you learn to move more easily. You should also cover the sharp edges of the furniture to avoid accidents and, if possible, you can place a rug or carpet on the floor to cushion falls.
2. Motivate him at every step
There is nothing more stimulating for a child than the encouragement offered by their own parents, so if you motivate them to get up and walk, they will not hesitate to keep trying. A very effective strategy to encourage your little one to take their first steps is to place their favorite toys and objects with bright colors or sounds at a short distance so that they can look for them. You can also sit on the floor and call your child to meet you. Of course, do not forget to congratulate him on each small achievement to reinforce his effort.
3. Accompany him to take his first steps
Being with your child when he begins to walk, at least the first few times, will give him more security and confidence. By knowing that you are close to him, the little one will feel protected and this will motivate him to keep trying. A good strategy is to stand behind your child and hold both hands, in this way you push him forward, help cushion the weight on his legs and spine, prevent him from falling if he stumbles, and encourage him to keep moving.
4. Don’t pressurize the child
Each child has their own developmental pace, so your child may take a little longer than their peers to start walking without this meaning they have a problem. In this case, you can encourage him to take his first steps and use early stimulation exercises to tone his leg muscles and strengthen his spine. However, under no circumstances should you pressurize him to walk before he is ready to walk as this will frustrate him, which can backfire.
5. Always stay calm
The first steps of the baby usually generate a lot of fear and anxiety in the parents since they fear that they may have an accident and hurt themselves. However, your child is capable of perceiving that concern, which will probably make him feel insecure and distrustful since, if his parents are nervous, it may be for something. For this reason, it is important that while you encourage your child to start taking his first steps, put anxiety and fears aside and remain calm. In this way, you will calm him down and make him feel more relaxed.
6. Get a walking support tool
Walkers help your little one stay upright, strengthen his legs, and allow him to explore the environment without help. There he can be entertained for many moments, so he will allow you to be with him while you finish the housework.
With the best baby walkers available on the market, little ones learn to walk and have fun with it for up to three years because, as it grows, it becomes a first step with which it pushes and supports itself with both feet and then in a comfortable ride-on with an ergonomic seat. It comes equipped with safety brakes, adjusts in height, and integrates an electronic game panel with lights, sounds, and figures.
7. Fix a walking schedule
Take your baby to walk in the playground or a park every day at the same time. A fixed schedule is important because this timing will be recorded on your child’s brain that it’s time for outdoors. A new place would bring in lot of excitement in kids as they explore new faces and things around them. He will definitely love trying to make those footsteps so as to explore more all by himself.
8. Introduce him to walking babies
Get him into a place where you find other babies of the same age are walking and playing. This will provoke an interest in him that if they they can move around, even I should. He will definitely try to walk in order to play with them.
9. Have Patience
Patience is the key. Your child should walk and will walk one day. There is nothing to be worried about. Don’t get worried by seeing other kids of his age making steps. Instead, take it positively. Your facial expression speaks. If your child sees you worried when he is trying to take his steps, he may lose his confidence. Be happy and motivating and have lot of patience. Things done out of patience will work out smoother.
10. Extend a helping hand
Hold your baby’s hands and help him walk longer distances. This will help your balance and build confidence. To encourage him to “jump start,” place tempting toys close to but out of reach, and so he may walk to get them. Or kneel on the ground away from him and call him to come to you and give him a hug.
It is normal for your little one to have an adorable lack of coordination and to stumble and fall, although he is equipped with an infallible cushion (the diaper) and it is very likely that he will not hurt anything and will get up calmly if you also show yourself calmly.
11. Change the walking area
Your child may want to walk but his legs do not the grip he actually requires for walking because of the type of flooring space you reside in. Take him to a different place that has a different type of flooring. Babies learn to walk alone as well as with baby walkers on hardwood flooring with less fear of getting slipped when compared to tile flooring which is more slippery. As hardwood gives sufficient grip to balance his movements while walking and does not take off his grip from the ground easily.