During the first year of life, your baby will learn to sit, roll over, crawl, then pull himself up and stand. Somewhere between 9 and 18 months, he should take his first steps.
But did you know that it takes about 1,000 hours of practice time for a child to get to that point after being able to pull himself up?
Here’s how to help your child develop the muscles necessary to reach the milestone of walking:
- Before your child can sit, make sure he spends time on his tummy. This enables him to strengthen his back muscles which are necessary for walking.
- After he can sit, roll a ball back and forth with him or move a toy from side to side in front of him, so he leans from side to side. This will help develop his balance.
- When he can stand, walk him while he holds onto your hands, then let go of one hand periodically to test his balance, and encourage him to walk a few steps to your open arms.
- When he can walk from one piece of furniture to the other, be sure to leave a trail of sturdy pieces and be there to help him sit down from standing, which is still difficult at this period. Note: Do NOT give your child a walker. The American Academy of Pediatricians cautions that walkers provide too much assistance to a child rather than allowing their muscles to develop properly.
- When he’s walking around on his own, be sure to take the following precautions: clear his space of low tables with sharp corners, throw rugs, unstable furniture, cords, toys that could trip him, and any harmful household substances. Also, be sure to install baby gates by stairs and always supervise your newly mobile child.
To find out how your child is progressing towards his developmental milestones, find a trusted pediatrician with the Vitals Doctor Finder.
Sources: parenting.com and babycenter.com