When my son was born I couldn’t wait for the day when he was walking around the house. I looked forward to taking him to the park and throwing balls around and generally playing with him in a more active way.
In most cases you don’t have to do anything special to get your baby to walk – most pick it up naturally if you haven’t noticed.
If you have an older baby, maybe a child that is older than one but still not walking then you may be getting anxious for him or her to take his or her first steps. For some of you parents like me you may only have an 8 month old baby and are just excited to experience the next stage of your child’s development.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to not push your baby. If they don’t want to walk then they won’t. You can’t force them to learn.
What you can do is encourage them strategically. This is what we did when my son was approaching his first birthday and still not walking. It didn’t take long for him to take those first steps and we’ve been chasing him around ever since.
Here are ten tips I picked up along the way that helped us encourage our baby to start walking.
1. Play Games To Build Your Baby’s Core Strength
Mom365 suggest playing mimicking games with your baby designed to help build core strength.
- Sit on the floor and open and close your legs like scissors,
- Lay on your tummy and do baby pushups with your baby,
- Sit and play head patting games,
- Hold him on an exercise/birthing ball by the hips and lightly roll the ball around so that baby has to use core muscles to stay sitting upright.
2. Play Sensory Games On The Side Of The Couch
Try putting things that interest your baby on the couch. If you have a few things he/she can only handle one or two at a time causing them to have to move – or cruise – along the side of the couch to play with all items presented.
3. Help Build Baby’s Leg Muscle Strength
Lay them on the floor and roll them from side to side by gently moving their legs. When baby tries to straighten his legs provide resistance. Eventually you can end up playing lots of fun games where you manipulate their legs while providing resistance when they try to move them.
4. Casually Store Your Baby’s Toys Where They Have To Stand To Get To Them
The one thing we did a lot of between months 10 and 13 with our son was to put all his favorite toys up on the coffee table or the couch cushions when he wasn’t using them. He could see them most of the time and if interested enough he would stand up to reach them. When done playing we would put them back. This got him on his feet a lot more frequently than he would have otherwise and helped speed up his confidence.
5. Buy Them A Walking Toy That Has 360 Degree Caster Wheels
Another awesome thing we did with our son was to upgrade his walking toy from the cheap forward/backward hand-me-down that frustrated him so much when he hit a wall or furniture corner. We ended up buying a Ybike Pewi which has four wheels on 360 degree swiveling casters. This allowed our son to walk with the Pewi and actually turn without getting stuck on things. This helped develop balance, independence, and got him much more active than he would have been without it.
6. Do Squats With Your Baby
Parents Magazine suggests helping your baby stand and squat by bending knees to go up and down. Some budding walkers are slow to take unassisted steps because they don’t feel the need to squat as balance is lost. Teaching the squat fall/sit can give baby more confidence to try walking.
7. Stand With Baby Frequently
You don’t have to push your baby to walk but try simply standing and holding your baby on his/her feet. If you do this frequently your baby will be more comfortable being in the upright position and may start getting interested in taking steps out of boredom or curiosity.
8. Make Cruising Easier
Situate small furniture items like baskets, ottomans, chairs, and end tables around the room so that baby can get around on his feet very easily while always keeping his hands on stationary objects. The more he cruises the more likely he’ll start getting brave and take unassisted steps.
9. Stand In Front Of Baby Holding His Hands To Lead Him Forward
Lots of parents lean forward and hold baby’s hands to keep him on his feet. Many babies take the lead and walk forward while holding hands but some babies need to see you to feel comfortable. It’s harder to do for you bu if you stand in front facing baby whole holding his hands and walk backwards leading baby forward’s he may feel more confident.
10. Wait Longer
As difficult as it is to admit babies develop at their own speed. There are milestones that are common but no baby has to conform to any of them. Some babies can wait to well after a year and a half before they really start walking and this is common. You can’t push your baby any faster than he or she is willing to go. Try to roll with the punches and just wait for it to happen. One day you’ll long for the days when you didn’t have to chase down a toddler every time their feet hit the ground.
Here at TotRides.com I love getting active and encouraging active play in my own child. If you are the same I hope you’ll subscribe to the blog and hit me up on Pinterest.
This Post Featured On:
Are you looking for more ways to get your baby to learn to walk?
Drop your email address in the form below and I’ll send you more actionable tips that I’ve both used on my own child or gathered from other experienced parents and pros.