Your baby’s first few steps mark the beginning of a lifetime journey. Learning how to walk alone will give your baby the sense of independence, exploration, and autonomy. At this point, your baby will start to be on his own and would go from one corner to the other without you at their side. This is a significant milestone that parents tend to look forward to. As a parent myself, I was excited to be part of the process. In this article, I will share my tips to encourage your baby to take their first courageous step.
How can you encourage your baby to walk? A baby is expected to walk between 10 to 18 months of age. Parents play an important role in encouraging their baby to walk. This is a challenging task that requires you to be aware of the different developmental milestones. You will need tons of patience in giving your child encouragement and motivation, as they make their walking attempts. You can build your baby’s walking comfort and confidence through practiced motor activities.
It is natural to be concerned about your baby reaching this developmental milestone. Remember, each baby develops at a different rate. Your role as a parent is to accompany and encourage your baby through this essential milestone. To make your parenting effective, below are 12 activities that will help to encourage your baby to walk on his or her own. These suggested activities will little by little make your child gain the confidence and the needed skills in walking alone.
12 Activities That Encourage Your Baby To Walk
Parents play a significant role in encouraging their baby to roll over, crawl, sit down, stand up, and eventually walk. These are activities that will help a child in walking confidently. You can do these activities to ensure that your baby will walk at the expected time.
12 helpful activities to encourage your baby to walk:
- Exercise everyday
- Use toys
- Rearrange your furniture
- Help and Support
- Play with other babies
- Play games
- Dance to the beat
- Walk with barefoot
- Involve your pets
- Reward your child
- Cheer to encourage
- Praise the efforts
1) Exercise everyday
Spend time with your baby for the strengthening of muscle exercises, and do it on a regular basis. You can allow your precious one to bounce again and again on your lap so the motor skills for sitting down and standing up will develop. Include exercises that will make him move his feet, as if jogging and running. Regular exercise will help strengthen your baby’s muscles and bones for walking.
2) Use toys
Toys, especially colorful ones, are attractive to babies. You can use them in encouraging your baby to stand and move his feet. For instance, when a toy is placed on the table or if you can extend your hand with a toy above your baby, your baby will be motivated to stand and reach for it. By providing your baby with a push toy, it can help to encourage your baby to stand and roll it on the floor. You can explore more creative ways of using toys to encourage your baby to walk.
3) Rearrange your furniture
Your baby can start walking around your house through the help of deliberately positioned furniture at home. The arrangement of your furniture should invite your child to walk, and the safety of your child is a foremost concern. A child-friendly environment allows for comfortable and safe cruising by your baby. Make sure your furniture is sturdy, and you must keep movable ones out of your child’s sight, as this might cause an accident. Improper arrangement of furniture can result in your child fall.
4) Help and Support
Parents can greatly encourage their baby to take their first step. You can hold your baby’s hands and guide them on how to use their feet as they walk. Some parents would choose to hold their baby’s trunk as they try to make them stand and walk alone. These gestures are ways on how parents can support their precious ones in walking.
5) Play with other babies
When babies are together, they tend to imitate one another. Letting your baby play with other babies, especially those who can already walk on their own, can be a great opportunity to encourage your baby to walk. For this, you can schedule playdates with the babies of your friends and relatives. Having an activity like this will help improve both their motor skills and social skills at the same time.
6) Play games
Playing with your baby can also encourage walking. You can do this by standing on the other side of the room, and gesturing your baby to come towards you. You can also put toys on tables or in higher places so he will be desiring to reach for them and stand up. To encourage him to walk, move the toys from one place to another, so he will be encouraged to move his feet to get the toys.
7) Dance to the beat
Play some music that would encourage your baby to stand and move. This activity would improve his balance in a fun and enjoyable way. As your child bounces and moves to the beat, the leg muscles are also becoming stronger which is needed for him to walk. This is a great opportunity to take his energy and divert it into learning-to-walk sessions.
8) Walk with barefoot
As first-time walkers, make your baby walk barefoot. When babies are walking barefoot, they can feel the ground. This will help them in adjusting their balance as they stand and walk on different surfaces. Wearing shoes can hinder them from walking with greater stability once there’s a change of surface. You can introduce the use of shoes when he has started to manage balancing on his weight.
9) Involve your pets
Children love animals, and they can be their best buddies in learning how to walk. If you have a pet dog, you can involve your baby during feeding time. Ask your baby to hold the dog or bring something for it. You can also involve your child in walking your dog around.
10) Reward your child
You know your baby’s favorite food. This will help you in encouraging him to stand up and walk towards you. Give him a reward for each walking attempt. This can increase his desire to do it again and again. Rewards in any form can significantly motivate your child to make his first step.
11) Cheer to encourage
Your words of encouragement are the best motivation for your baby to walk. You can cheer on your baby by clapping your hands and with facial expressions that encourage standing and taking a few steps. Your cheers can increase your baby’s willingness to start walking.
12) Praise the efforts
Words are powerful. You can say “Good job!”, “You did it!”, and “That was great!” as a way of praising your baby’s efforts in attempting to stand and walk alone. These words of encouragement will help boost confidence. Even at a young age, as humans, the affirmation of efforts by someone can provide immense encouragement to repeat the affirmed behavior.
As a parent, you play a significant role in encouraging your baby to walk. Your baby’s success in reaching this walking milestone in life can be encouraged by you. Being creative in providing activities that would encourage your baby to move around in his own feet will help. These activities can affect be used to build your baby’s desire and motivation to walk. Further, these activities will progressively strengthen your baby’s muscles and bones, which will help to build the necessary motor skills for walking.
What are the signs that my baby will walk soon? You can easily tell if your child will walk soon. When you see your baby making a crab walk and climbing up the stairs, it is a sign of walking. You can also expect your baby to enjoy bouncing on surfaces or on your lap. You will also observe that your baby is able to transfer body weight from one foot to the other when standing up. Moving and walking with push toys are also a manifestation that your baby will walk alone soon.
What are the possible reasons for my baby’s delay in learning to walk? At 18 months, your baby is expected to walk independently. If your baby does not show signs of walking alone, there might be a delay in motor skills or possible abnormalities in his muscle and bone development. Encouraging your baby to walk early on will help. Without receiving adequate motivation from the environment can also be one of the reasons for the delay.