Walking is one of those quintessential moments that make being a parent worth it. The first steps are magical. You get to see your little one grow and achieve something special. Even though we take walking for granted, it’s a big moment for your baby. Here are some tips to help hasten the process and boost your child’s development.
1. Encourage lots of crawling
Crawling is important before walking because it helps the baby in two ways. First, it teaches baby how to multiple muscles at the same time. The coordination they use to move their arms and legs will eventually be used to manage their balance while powering their legs. Second, crawling helps them build leg and core muscles that keep them upright on their feet once they start walking.
2. Stay super positive
Staying positive is always important. When your baby attempts something new, you want to be sure to put a smile on your face and give lots of praise. Your baby wants more than anything to please you, so make it clear that each new developmental step makes you happy.
3. Encourage cruising
Cruising is when your baby pulls himself or herself up on the furniture, like your sofa or coffee table. Baby will use these objects to help them balance while shimming around. This builds muscle, balance, coordination, and most important: confidence. Your baby is learning to mobile and going for the things he/she wants. Encourage this and make sure to make it clear that you love it when your baby comes to you.
4. Help baby take a few steps
Like many things, you’ll have to show your child once. Help him or her take a few steps by half-carrying them a bit, but leaving their feet on the ground. This will give baby the idea that you want him to move in a certain direction. Remember to stay positive and avoid pressuring. If your child appears frustrated or uninterested, try another time.
5. Avoid baby walkers
You’ve probably seen a baby walker before; it’s that seat with wheels and a tray of toys. One would think that they give your baby a chance to be mobile, but the Academy of Pediatrics disagrees. Their studies show that they actually slow down a child’s development and can actually be quite dangerous. Sale of them is banned in Canada, actually.
6. Learn to let go
It can be hard to put your child in a position where he or she may be hurt or discouraged, but that’s all part of growing up. Give your child an opportunity to walk by letting go of their hands when they stand up. They may take a tumble or two, and their might even be tears, but it is all part of the process. Put a smile on, give lots of cuddles, and try again.
Written by Stephanie Parker from Sleepingbaby.com, inventor of the Zipadee-Zip
The motto for Sleeping Baby, makers of the Zipadee-Zip, is: "Inspiring Dreams One Night at A time," and that, in a nutshell, is how it all started…with one little dream that has since become the Parker family's reality. When Brett and Stephanie Parker's daughter, Charlotte, was born, the feeling that welled up inside of them was indescribable; they never realized until first looking into those baby blues of hers that they were even capable of that kind of love.
When it was time to transition baby from swaddling, the Parkers tried every sleep sack on the market and every swaddle weaning trick they could find for nearly two weeks and nothing worked to get baby Charlotte to fall and stay asleep.
Stephanie became determined to restore sleep and sanity to their household and set out to find a solution that would soothe Charlotte's startle reflex and provide her the cozy womb-like environment she loved so much but still give her the freedom to roll over and wiggle around in her crib safely. Out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, the Zipadee-Zip was born. The first Zipadee-Zip(R) Stephanie put together on her little sewing machine worked like magic!
To date tens of thousands of Zipadee-Zips have been sold and all from word-of-mouth marketing. It is so rewarding for the Parkers to see other parents and babies getting the sleep they both need and deserve!
For more information, visit sleepingbaby.com.
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