How to Help Your Baby Learn to Walk
When your baby starts sitting, crawling and standing, it’s an exciting time for all parents. The happiest moment for parents is when their little ones start walking. Imagine the happiness on every parent’s face: ”Our little one is no longer a baby, he’s becoming a child”.
Walking is a normal process every baby needs to go through and you as a parent can ease that process.
Here’s how you can help your child walk:
Make him lay more on his stomach
Although many newborns hate this, laying on their stomachs will help your baby build neck and back muscles that will help him walk
Once he starts sitting on his own, put his toys far from him so he can reach for them
This way you’ll make him move more and he’ll strengthen the muscles in his legs
Make him crawl
Crawling will improve your baby’s orientation and he’ll learn how to move his legs and hands at the same time. Crawl with your baby to help him learn how to crawl. Place some toys on the other end of the room, and make him crawl to get them.
Avoid using baby walkers
The American Academy of Pediatrics forbids using baby walkers. Not only they don’t help your baby strengthen his leg muscles, they’re also dangerous.
Once your baby starts standing on his own, keep him standing as much as you can
Play with him and sing to him when he’s standing, so that he can associate standing with having fun. The more time he spends on his feet, the more he’ll feel confident in making his first steps.
Let him stand in his bed
Baby’s beds are closed, safe and your baby can use the bed fence to have balance when standing. Baby beds are also good because if your baby falls, he’ll fall on the soft mattress.
Use a Pilates ball
Get on your knees so you can move the ball and look out for your child. Let your baby hold the back of the ball while you slowly move the ball through the room.
Resist the temptation to carry your child in your hands
Let him walk on his own, but always hold his hand.
Your baby will learn to walk faster if he’s barefoot. Shoes will only make him feel off balanced.
Don’t panic if your baby stops walking and gets back to crawling
Babies always take a break after they start walking. Some babies get back to crawling after experiencing a bad fall.
Make your home a safer place
Walking and falling come in pair. Transform your home in a safer place so that your baby will be protected when he falls.
Have your baby bounce on your lap with their feet on your legs
This will strengthen their leg muscles, especially if they are still crawling or just starting to pull themselves up.
Use toys to entice your baby to stand
Place a toy just out of reach of your baby, above them, or located in a spot they have to stand to get to.
Help your baby sit back down once they are standing up on their own
Most babies start to get up onto their feet on their own, before they know how to get back down, so don’t be alarmed if your baby cries for help while in the standing position.
Line up your furniture so your baby can cruise more easily
Cruising is when your baby starts to use the furniture and other surfaces/objects as support as they begin to walk around. Move your furniture into a stable line, making sure it is all baby-proofed of course, so your baby can easily cruise around on their own.
Get your baby a push toy
A push toy, like a small shopping cart, or a pint-sized lawn mower, will support your baby as they practice cruising. It will also give them control as they learn to walk, refines their balance, and boosts their confidence.
Turn balancing into a game
To encourage your baby to get used to balancing on their own two feet, try to make balancing a fun game, with lots of encouragement and praise.
Make their first steps into a big deal
The first steps are a big moment for your little one, so be sure to be as excited and encouraging as possible about your baby’s first steps.
Don’t be alarmed if it looks like your baby has flat feet
In fact, it’s just baby fat plumping their feet up. By around age 2 to 3, that extra “fluff” on their feet should melt away and you should be able to see their natural arches.
Check your baby’s feet to make sure they can flatten them
Some babies will have a natural desire to walk around on their tiptoes, which actually helps them develop their sense of balance. This is almost always a quirk that will go away on its own, but rarely, it can be an indication of a too-tight muscle in your baby’s heels or feet.