WAYS TO HELP YOUR BABY LEARN TO WALK
Babies are called babies because they cannot do things on their own and therefore need the help of their mums at every point of their growth. From 4-15 months your baby goes from learning how to sit up to walking around the house on his own. During this exciting time you can help the baby gain his confidence to take those first steps through simple games and words of praise. To achieve this, the following steps will be helpful.
Stage 1: Sitting-
When the baby starts sitting on her own, she is at the first phase of gaining her mobility. Sitting will help your little one strengthen the muscles she will need when she eventually learns to stand. From age 4-7 months during play time, roll a ball back and forth or play stacking games to help her enhance her little muscles.
Stage 2: Crawling-
The most important thing for the baby to do at crawling stage is to practice moving his arm and legs at the same time (even if he does a belly crawl or scoot). He will need these skills when it is time to walk. From age 7- 10, help him develop these areas by having him crawl from one side of the room to the other. Then praise him for his movement.
Stage 3: Pulling Up-
As the baby becomes stronger and more curious, she will start pulling herself up with the support of furniture, or mom and dad. This is when you can start working on balance and getting her familiar with the standing position. At month 8, start helping the baby pull herself up, then show her how to bend her knees to get back down to the floor. This will help ease her falls when she starts taking steps on her own.
Stage 4: Walking with help –
As she starts to pull herself up and gain balance holding your hands, help her take a few steps. This will help her with the next phase of walking and help her gain confidence to take those first steps. What you will do at age 8-9 months is to practice, practice, and practice. This is the key for the baby when she is at this stage. The more she is used to standing and being on her feet, the more likely she will feel comfortable to take those first few steps.
Stage 5: Cruising-
Baby will start using walls and furniture to get around. This is referred to as cruising. As the baby becomes more mobile make sure your home is completely baby- proof and all furniture is secured to the wall. From age 8-9 months encourage the baby to become more confident while cruising and try to let go of the wall or furniture. Just make sure she has a soft landing spot.
Stage 6: Standing Without help-
Balance is a key part of walking. If the baby can stand and balance for a few seconds she will soon feel like she can try to take a step. At age 9-12 months, turn balancing into a game. Sit with the baby on the floor and help her stand up. Then count how long she can stay up before she tumbles. Give her praise after each attempt.
Stage 7: First Steps-
First steps are a monumental moment for your little one, so make a big deal out of it. Walking is all about confidence, so everything leading up to those first steps needs plenty of praise and encouragement. Cheer your baby to her first steps by sitting on the floor and guiding her, slowly, as the baby gains her balance let her walk on her own.
Stage 8: Walking-
It may take a few stumbles and series of steps before he is on the move. Continue to praise the baby as he starts to explore walking. Keep in mind that some babies are going to prefer to crawl, and may do a crawl/walk before he is on his feet regularly. Mothers should encourage their babies to walk as much as possible. For example, when you set the baby down put him in a walking position instead of a sitting position.