Before he learns how to walk, your baby must acquire many skills that will allow him to enter this new stage in his life. Maybe you don’t know this, but all the strength he was gained by controlling his head, sitting down, rolling over, and standing up is essential to the development of the skill of walking without support.
Also, being able to take the first steps require a lot of coordination, balance, and confidence. Those skills start to appear at certain age, but they take several months to consolidate. The American Association of Pediatrics estimates that most babies start walking around 9-10 months, but they master this skill until they are 15-18 months old. So, it’s normal if your little one needs a few months before he is able to walk without any help.
There are different indicators that tell you that your baby is about to start walking. Some of them are rolling over, crab-walking, dragging himself, climbing the stairs on hands and knees, etc. When you identify these behaviors, you can do these activities to strengthen your baby’s muscles even more and develop his coordination. Here are some recommendations:
- Stay standing up
- Walking with support or by leaning on furniture
- Sitting down and standing up
- Try climbing the stairs
- Climbing things
- Kicking a ball
While practicing these activities or how to take his first steps, allow your baby to be barefoot. This will prevent him from slipping while walking on different surfaces. But if he is practicing outside, we recommend he uses comfortable shoes that are his size.
Also, it’s important to note that, when your baby starts walking without support, he’ll move faster than expected! So, it will be necessary to take the next security measures at home:
- Remove tables with sharp corners
- Put away furniture or objects that can fall easily
- Remove or hide cables with which your baby can stumble
- Install security doors at restricted areas or staircases
This way, your baby will be able to practice without the risk of dangerous tumbles or falls. However, falling down will be a normal part of the learning process. Your little one will fail sometimes, but he’ll learn to stand up and try again. Little by little, you’ll see him go from cruising along the furniture to take his first steps.
Lastly, remember to be patient if your baby is scared or doesn’t feel confident enough to let go while you help him walk. You can encourage him by showing him his favorite toy or by offering a push-toy, like a shopping cart or toy car. Practicing will help him gain more confidence and feel safe enough to try walking alone.