If you’re a first time parent, you probably worry about everything when it comes to your baby’s development and progress as a human being. Among many, maaaany other things, one that was lately giving me the chills was related to the fact that my little wonder wouldn’t walk. He started to stand a few months ago and then he easily proceeded into the minor league of walking, doing great at walking when we held him, eventually getting to walk by himself when there was a wall or piece of furniture or anything to hold onto.
And then the progress stopped and no matter how much we hoped he will start walking on his own, he didn’t. He was scared when we suddenly stopped holding his hands and immediately went down, crying. We were scared (actually, I was scared, my wife kept telling me that I shouldn’t): why doesn’t my baby want to start walking on his own? What can I do to help? Is my baby broken?
These problems started to get bigger about a month ago: E. had just celebrated his first birthday and I was expecting great progress from him. I’ve already seen girls as young as 8 months old walking a bit without being held, so for a baby that was 4 months older and still unwilling or unable to walk, it didn’t look right.
Until one day, a couple of weeks after his 1 year celebration, he decided to walk alone and took a few steps from his crib to me. I couldn’t believe my eyes! So it was possible, he was just a little bit lazy!
Apparently, boys are indeed lazier than girls when it comes to early development. It is not uncommon for baby girls to develop new skills faster, like walking and talking, while baby boys will stick to what they know best: crawling. However, if you are like me and ready to enter panic mode because your baby won’t start walking, there are a few easy tips that I have tried and hopefully helped my little wonder start walking sooner than he would’ve:
– Always hold the baby and help them walk, as soon as they can stand. They will be incredibly clumsy at first and they need all the support, but keep doing it. Don’t forget, though, that they are still very young and this is extremely tiring for them so make sure you don’t over-work them
– Give the baby your fingers: let him get a good grips (and they’ll squeeze the blood out of your fingers, you’ll see!) and walk around with them as soon as they are comfortable doing this. Start by offering two fingers, then slowly try to only have them walk with one. We kept holding both his hands for a long time, which probably made him more insecure when we stopped holding him. That’s why it makes the transition easier to release one hand first and get them used to walking while holding one one hand only.
– Fool the little fellow with bright toys, especially balls. Get something colorful, get something that the baby likes, like a ball or a remote control (or something else that they’re not usually allowed to play with) and give it to them. Make sure it’s big enough so it can be held with two hands and eventually, the baby will let you go to hold the toy. At first, they will only stand with it, but if you keep calling them over, they will start making baby steps. They’re adorable!
– Keep trying and don’t give up! I was scared and apparently for no reason. My little wonder started walking when he was ready and he needed all our support. I am sure that support is always welcome, so keep trying over and over again and eventually you will see the results. Some come sooner, some come later.
Don’t forget though: although I am sure that these tips and tricks to have your baby start walking will help, if you feel that there’s something wrong with the development of your baby, it’s best to visit a doctor since they are the only ones who can give qualified feedback!