How To Help Your Baby Learn To Walk

When a baby looks like wanting to get up and go for a wander it is one of the most fun times of his development. The little individual is no longer happy to lie there and be attended to. Now he wants to be independent and explore his world at every opportunity. Walking for him means that he can be “grown up” and finally follow you around without crawling. He can keep up with his bigger brothers and sisters to see what they’re up to out of his line of sight.

Walkers and Jumpers

Although some people think that walkers and jumpers speed up the process of learning to walk, they can in fact slow it down. Putting a baby into a walker seems like a great idea, but the problem with this is that he is sitting, not standing on his own two feet. This can slightly hinder the development of the muscles he needs to walk, so that when he does try walking, the sensation of standing and trying to maintain balance does not feel natural. When it comes to jumpers, the sensation is different to what he should be aiming towards.

Daily Encouragement

Every day you should try to make time to help your baby stand and hold himself up. He willl start by holding on to furniture or to you, but that’s okay. He needs to balance before he can walk. This will also help to strengthen his leg muscles. You can even sit on the floor facing him. Hold his hands and encourage him to pull himself up to a standing position. If he seems ready, try to coax one of his feet forward toward you. Be sure to give him lots of verbal encouragement and tons of smiles! He will see that it makes you happy that he’s trying to walk and he’ll love impressing you!

How To Hold Your Baby

Rather than holding your baby’s hands when he tries to walk, try to kneel and hold him by the torso. This feels much more natural to him than having hands up in the air. However, it can be lovely for him to be flanked either side by a parent, grandparent or sibling with each holding one of his hands. They can help him teeter forwards as he tries to become more sure of himself.

Leave Shoes Off

Our feet were created for walking. The soft pads on the soles of our feet–complete with non-slip skin is just what we all need, so there’s no real need for shoes while learning to walk. If the floor is cold, see if you can buy some of those awesome socks that have the rubberized pads on them to avoid slipping.

Try Different Surfaces

Babies love to feel different textures under their feet. Take him outdoors to try walking on grass. You can also practice on carpet, linoleum, wood or tiles. Each new surface will feel like a new experience and if you take him to the beach, he will love it!

Pushers

After your baby can pull himself up to a standing position, try putting something like a cardboard box in front of him that’s sturdy enough not to collapse, but light enough so that he can push it. As he gently pushes the box forward, he will take an extra step forward!

Remember, all this extra exercise is going to make your baby tire more quickly. Be prepared for some earlier bedtimes. He may also be hungrier than normal. These are just signs that he’s growing and developing beautifully!

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