5 tips to encourage your baby to start walking

Some babies can’t wait to spring into the adventure land around them while others prefer to sit back and watch their world unfold from the comfort of their parent’s arms. If your baby has experienced trouble finding their feet you can make a big difference with these developmental tips!

Tip #1 – Patience is key

On average, babies usually start walking between 12 and 14 months. However, some babies can start walking as early as 7 months, or as late as 18 months.

Keep in mind your baby will start walking when she/he is ready, but there are ways to help them learn.

Tip #2 – Support

Once your baby has mastered the art of crawling, he/she will move on to pulling herself up using furniture as support, or a parent. What you can do to help, is familiarise your baby with gaining balance, so she/he can stand by herself.

 Tip #3 – Small steps

If you feel like your baby is starting to find their balance, you can help her/him take small steps by holding them up and guiding slowly. Just keep doing this, and eventually they will become more comfortable and confident. When you put your baby down, do it in the standing position this will also encourage standing.

 Tip #4 – Encouragement

Once your baby gets more confident with pulling up, he/she will start cruising, which is slowly walking across places while using furniture and walls to hold themselves up (prepare for the handprint stains on your favourite wallpaper). You can encourage them to eventually break away from the furniture and walls, by standing a few feet away and calling to them.

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 Tip #5 – Almost there!

After your baby gets more comfortable standing and walking by themselves, you just have to keep supplying them with positive reinforcement. This means a lot of clapping and smiling, with some feigned shock thrown in for good measure. There will be plenty of falls but as long as you are there to keep them motivated, everything will be just fine.

Just remember that every baby goes at his or her own pace, and you can’t rush the process. You can only be as supportive as possible, and enjoy watching your baby grow!

 Baby’s First Shoes

  • Have your child’s feet measured every six to eight weeks to check for growth.
  •  Choose a breathable material such as leather.
  •  Look for a close-edged sole to prevent your little one from tripping.
  • Rush into buying their first shoes. Your child only needs them for protection from the environment. Barefoot is best.
  •  Use hand-me-down shoes if you can, as they are unlikely to fit your child correctly and may be uncomfortable or a tripping hazard.

Originally posted 2014-06-26 11:50:15.