Your baby's first steps are the one of the most exciting and anticipated milestones in parenthood. Things are never quite the same after that. One day, you're carrying them home from the hospital, the next, they're wobbling about the room. To be able to help her along the way in taking those first few steps is one of the most rewarding things you could do. But how do you know she's ready to walk?
Signs your baby's ready to start walking:
1. Leaning on furniture to get into standing position; will try to let go and stand on her own.
2. Walking around the perimeter of a room while holding onto furniture for support. This is called "cruising."
3. Taking one or more steps toward you or a relative before falling.
4. Learning to stand up without furniture to support her when she falls in the middle of a room.
Tips on helping your baby walk:
1. Grasp your baby's hand and help her walk for long distances. This improves balance.
2. Avoid walkers. They reduce her drive to learn to walk and stand on her own. They also increase the risk of injury.
3. Stationary activity lets babies play safely.
4. Don't stress over her inevitable tumbles; she'll be more frustrated than hurt.
5. Let her walk alongside her stroller for a few minutes each day. It's important she practices walking everyday to build her confidence and stability.
6. Child-proof your home by looking around each room at the eye level of a child. And make sure she wears no-slip socks.
7. Don't worry if you see a younger child start walking before your own little one. Typically, a child tries to walk between 9 to 18 months.
8. Don't fret if you notice her toes curling in or she's walking pigeon-toed, this, along with bow-leggedness and flat feet are common in toddlers. She should grow out of it eventually.
9. Enjoy your baby's first steps and don't forget to capture the moment!