I waited eighteen long months to see Cubby’s first steps. I was hoping that they would happen when I was on maternity leave so I could pull out my camera and FLIP video and go all paparazzi so that the milestone could be captured. But, of course, Cubby took her time and decided not to walk until 18 months, during the day, when I was at work 😦 It happened last Thursday. My parents were watching her during the day at their house and my dad was playing with Cubby in the basement. He moved away from her and she took about 5 steps unassisted and came to him. They kept playing and practicing and by the end she had walked a few times in an hour. I called my husband as I usually do on my way home from work and he told me the news; I couldn’t believe my ears! Cubby was walking!
I have to be honest, I was never really worried about Cubby walking late. She had mastered crawling and was very fast and mobile. I had also noticed early on that she had low muscle tone and was slightly weak through the back and extremities. I knew that prolonged crawling was actually a good thing for her as it was strengthening her back and proximal muscles. This would benefit her in the future when she starts trying to hold a pencil or do fine motor tasks. And I knew that crawling also helps to develop muscle tone and eye hand coordination.
The norm for walking is anywhere from nine months to eighteen months so Cubby was at the end of the age range, but she reached her milestone and has been walking more and more each day. It is so cute. We call her Baby Frankenstein as she has her hands above her head and her legs far apart. She seems to like her new found confidence in being on the move. We try to not pay too much attention to her or make a big deal out of it, because she looks at us and then sits down or falls. I’ve managed to snap a few pictures and am waiting to get a good video of it so I can show her when she is older. It is the cutest thing to watch her go by.
Everyone kept saying that you spend months wishing your child would walk, and then you spend the rest of their lives wishing they would sit down and stay put! LOL! All I can say is that I’m enjoying each and every milestone and find it amazing to watch how children develop their skills.
Ways to encourage walking:
*Placing objects/toys farther away out of your child’s reach
*Having your child play with a slightly older child who has mastered walking, so they can watch and learn (it’s good motivation!)
*Practicing walking by leading them holding both of their hands; and eventually one hand as they become stronger and more confident
*Giving them safe surfaces to stand and hold onto (without sharp edges or corners), and placing toys/objects at a higher height and spaced a distance apart
*Having each parent kneel facing each other and a short distance apart. Hold the hands of the child and have them “walk” to each parent. As they get better, increase the distance between parents and decrease the amount of support
*Never use a baby walker! They are actually banned in Canada and are very unsafe. (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/child-enfant/equip/walk-marche-eng.php)