On walking (and you won’t see a physical therapist’s kid using a baby walker)
Walking is a developmental milestone that is extremely meaningful for kids and families. For kids, walking contributes to learning, exploration, and freedom, as well as the enhanced capacity to interact and participate in community and home life. For families, walking relieves the physical burden of having to wheel or carry their kid and is a really visible indication that their child is developing and wholesome.
Although there are lots of different”normal” variants of learning to walk, walking is a really visible ability and it’s challenging for parents NOT to compare their child to other people they see. It’s much harder to prevent listening to well-meaning friends, family, and even strangers ask questions and offer advice about walking, particularly if your child is a late walker (Is he walking yet? No? Well you just have to get him a few hard-soled shoes!). I’m here to set the record straight.
1. 90% of healthy, typically developing kids will take their initial steps sometime between 9 and 15 months of age.
This does not necessarily mean if your child doesn’t walk by 15 weeks, that something is incorrect. I have seen many kids walk at 15-18 months and walking is a sign that anything is wrong. However, in rare cases walking can be related to neurological or genetic conditions, therefore it’s a great idea.
2. In order to take his first steps, a kid should have enough strength to hold his body up and the ability to move his legs in a walking routine. The mind has to be able to send signals to the body to activate the muscles in the order, the sensory systems need to send information back to the brain about the environment looks and feels, and the child must be motivated to walk.
Body shape/size plays a role — babies have a big head and that top-heaviness is being overcome by among the most difficult facets of walking and controlling the human mind over the entire body. Kids who are shorter or smaller may walk than kids who are bigger or taller or have large heads. The bottom line is that — no matter how”powerful” or”smart” or”decided” your kid is, he will not take his first steps before most of his body systems are ready.
3. The best way to help a kid learn how to walk is TUMMY TIME!
It may seem counter-intuitive, however, allow him to learn to perform, proceed, and research and the best method to teach your infant to walk is to put him on the ground onto his tummy. They’ve been packed in the womb for 9 months when babies are born and their own bodies are kind of stuck in a fetal or flexed posture.
They have little to no ability to hold their head, neck, and trunk up. In the first few months, tummy time is critical to help infants stretch out the muscles around the front of their bodies and strengthen the neck and back. By the middle of the first season, come to knees and hands, strengthening their lower back, pelvis, hips, and thighs and infants begin to push their arms. All these things are critical for learning how to pull to stand, measure, and walk.
4. Barefoot and soft-soled sneakers are best for emerging and new walkers.
Watch my previous post for more information on this.
5. Baby walkers are bad for the growth of walking.
In fact, research demonstrates that kids who spend time in baby walkers really often walk later than their peers who don’t. Baby walkers put infants remove the ability to see the legs and feet and deny opportunities for pulling up and crawling. For parents who should keep their baby contained for a couple of minutes, a or a gated area that is baby-proofed are better options.
And for learning to take steps, a push toy enables baby practice standing and stepping in a more natural way and to see his feet and legs. Many families have regular objects around the house that will work just fine, although there are push toys accessible — a play grocery cart or toddler basket, or big box is perfect for holding and pushing around the home.
6. Walking posture varies significantly in the first 3-4 years.
If you’re concerned during walking, you should talk with your pediatrician or physical therapist to find out if your kid needs to visit an orthopedic specialist or is a candidate for foot orthotics. But as long as what you are seeing looks exactly the same on both sides and is not causing any pain or problems with function, there’s a good chance that what you’re seeing is one of many variations of”normal.”
Body and the developing brain are remarkable, and the journey to walking is different for each and every child. My sons are an ideal illustration of this. My oldest did not walk nicely until he was almost 15 months and did not take a step until he was over 13 months old. It took him to be comfortable walking on uneven terrains such as grass and dirt. My middle son never looked back and took his first steps in 11 weeks.
By his first birthday, he practically ran everywhere — in the home and at the playground. My youngest is now 9 months old and is beginning to stand on his own. I guess he will take his first steps inside the next few weeks. Their abilities that were walking were acquired by all three of my boys entirely differently and on their own timetables. They are absolutely typical and magnificent!