Baby Milestones – Walking

Walking is one of the most important milestones of your baby's development. Walking signifies they have mastered the skill of balance, coordination and movement. It also means they have enough leg strength to hold their bodies up and enough strength to move around. Many parents never forget the day their baby learned to walk – and for good reason. Walking is one of the first signs of your baby's transition from being a baby to being a toddler.

When your baby will start walking?
Like most physical aspects of your baby's development, it's hard to put an exact time on when your baby will start walking. If you're a fan of averages, the average baby starts walking anywhere from nine to twelve months, and will be walking pretty well by the time he is fifteen months old. Do not be alarmed if your child has not learned to walk by their first year of age. Many perfectly normal babies are still rather 'shaky' on their feet even when they are sixteen or seventeen months old, and that is quite okay.

If you tend to carry your baby around a lot or leave him in the stroller or the swing for extended time, your baby will think this is natural. So, put him in the playpen and of course the crib to let him stretch those muscles. Babies have a fascination with fingers and toes. So, playing with their feet will teach them to kick those little legs around.

Learning to walk.
Walking is a natural instinct, and it can not be 100% "taught". Of course you can encourage and assist but your baby will simply have to master it on his own. When your baby is five months old, he will start bouncing up and down if you hang on to his arms and let him "stand." This is a great exercise because it is strengthening babies' legs and thighs. It also helps building the crucial muscle and gaining the coordination they will need for walking. Your baby will start trying to pull himself up by eight months old, and will attempt to balance while holding onto anything in sight, such as an edge of a table or a couch or the crib rails. Your baby will keep practicing standing up and holding up steady for at least four weeks, until he is ready to start cruising. Now is the time to put everything that can hurt him up and away, out of the baby's reach while he's trying to master this great feat.

Cruising is when your baby moves from one piece of furniture to the next, stumbling but not falling. Your baby does not possess the coordination to walk yet, but he has enough strength and coordination to at least move from one support to the next. Eventually, your baby will be able to stand on his own without support, but still will have trouble walking. If your baby is not exactly a risk taker he'll need you around to accompany him in his cruising. To help him gain confidence offer your supporting hand. Seeing how much your baby trusts you to be always around to catch him and protect him is truly touching. Also you can position toys at a reasonable distance to trigger his natural curiosity and desire to explore. One good day your baby will make this first step driven by a toy, the sound of your voice or your outstretched arms.

Support, encourage and be patient but do not force walking – many babies start walking by the time they turn one year old, and most can walk independently by the time they're fifteen months old. Enjoy the moment and take a lot of pictures.

Source by Babies & Kiddos

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