Learning to walk is one of the most important milestones in baby’s life and each baby reaches this milestone in his own time, in his own way. Usually, a baby starts walking on his own between 12- 15 months of age. However, some start walking as early as nine months, whereas some start only by the age of one and a half years.
Ways to Encourage Babies to Walk
- Strengthen Back Muscles- Back muscles play an important role in letting us walk. A good way to strengthen back muscles of a baby is by massaging, by encouraging the movement of head and neck and also by making them lie on their stomach. All of these activities can help in strengthening the muscles and help them walk more quickly.
- Engage Your Baby in Games-Use fun games and activities to help your baby to walk. You may play a chasing game in which you crawl and chase your crawling baby. In this way, he will learn to crawl faster and learn hand and leg control.
- Learn Balancing- Encourage your child to practice balancing as soon as she is able to sit straight on her own. Roll a ball towards and away from your baby, which will encourage your baby to keep his balance while moving forward and back and from one side to the other.
- Walk Barefoot-Babies walk easily barefoot because their feet can grip the surface far more easily as compared to when they are wearing socks and shoes. While socks and shoes are very important during winters, but your child may find it hard to walk with them.
- Encourage Reaching for Things-You can place some of your baby’s favorite toys on a path and support him to reach the toy or move his favorite toys to different heights and make it more challenging to reach for.
- Help Cruise Control-Your baby might be able to stand, but he might be fearful of falling. You can help your baby by offering him your hand. Usually, babies take a step or two and then start crawling again. So to prevent the crawling, you can tape ‘treasures’ to the wall and let him cruise and reach or pull them.
- Try Push or Pull Toys-You can provide your baby with toys or objects which can help him stand up. Push or pull toys can help a lot as it makes your baby learn to move and keep balance.
- It is recommended not to use baby walkers. It slows down walking, as the child might not understand that his own feet can support his body and also the steps taken in a walker won’t actually take the baby forward, which will also confuse the baby. Walkers are even considered dangerous as they can cause injuries to babies by tipping over.
- Childproof your home as soon as the baby takes his first steps and never leave your baby alone. You should remove furniture that is fragile and has sharp corners.
Do not worry if your baby takes a little longer to walk, just remember a baby would learn to walk by himself when it is time, so do not force the baby to walk, rather encourage them always.