On The Go: Walking
If you think you are in trouble after your baby learns how to crawl, beware of when he learns how to walk. Along with walking comes running and a whole new set of problems.
When your baby is walking you no longer have to make sure that your house is baby proofed two feet and below, but you need to make sure it is completely baby proofed several feet up. You will want to get all your drawer locks installed and keep items out of reach on your counters so that your baby’s little hands which can now reach do not get into dangerous areas and pull anything down.
Your baby will learn to walk first by learning how to stand. He will probably crawl over to a couch or a table, something he can reach, and either sit down to grab it, or grab it with one hand from his hands and knees. He will then learn to use his arm strength to pull himself up on his feet. This may take a few tries and end in a few tumbles before your baby gets it right. Make sure you are nearby in order to keep him from hitting his head on a hard surface like your table as he falls down.
Once your baby can successful stand he will probably begin “cruising” before he can actually walk. Cruising involves your baby walking around furniture and objects on the ground, holding onto them so that he doesn’t fall. He will start with two hands, eventually holding on with just one hand.
The day will come, probably when you least expect it, that your baby will all of a sudden let go and walk without the use of furniture to hold onto. The first few times that he lets go he might either grab the furniture immediately or sit down on the ground, but he will gain courage eventually. He will probably either walk to you that first time, or possibly to a toy on the ground that he wants that is not in his reach. When your baby is accomplishing these feats, be sure to encourage him, clap and cheer so that he knows he is doing something good. Like anyone, when a baby feels like he is doing something that makes you happy and proud of him, he will keep doing it.
When your baby first learns to walk on his own, he will probably be slow and a bit clumsy. Probably too slow for your liking when you are out and about. Don’t be afraid to still carry your baby some, but when it is possible and your baby wants too, let him try walking outside or in a store for a few seconds. Buy a good pair of supportive shoes for when your baby is outdoors, and indoors let him walk around barefoot or just in his socks in order to strengthen the natural arch in his foot.
After your baby gets the walking down pat, he will eventually get faster and will begin to run. Running is a great exercise for your baby and can be a lot of fun for you. When your baby is running though make sure he is running in a safe place so that when he trips and falls, which he will do, he doesn’t get hurt.
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