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How to help baby learn to walk

Ready! Set! GO!! Taking those first steps is one of the milestones parents look forward to the most, and with good reason. Cruising, walking with support, and independent walking are the last steps (literally) between babyhood and toddlerhood.

Although some babies are keen to get running earlier than others, the average age to walk independently is between 9 and 18 months, so don’t stress if your baby’s not there yet. But if you feel your baby is showing signs of walking, you can do a few fun things to help him along.

  1. Line up sturdy furniture and let your baby cruise along with it. This works exceptionally well if they can stand, but they seem unsure what to do next.
  2. Encourage them to stand for more extended periods without holding on to something. Stick some tape to the wall and let your baby peel it off. His focus will be on the tape and less on the standing. 
  3. Let your baby squat. Walking requires strong leg muscles, and letting your baby squat will engage those larger muscle groups. Place a basket with balls next to your baby, show him how to pick it up, and throw it in a laundry basket. 
  4. Fill a container with heavy toys and let them push that around. Alternatively, you can get your baby a push toy. Wagons are the best since your baby will be able to take a few of his favourite toys along for the ride.
  5. Sit across from your partner and let your baby take a few wobbly steps between you. As your baby gets close to you, reach out to grab his hands. A hug and kisses and a few tickles will make this even more fun.
  6. Chase your baby on all fours. Crawl after your baby, and if you want to make it extra exciting, add some roars and growls too! Your baby will be looking over his shoulder, so make sure you do it somewhere where you’ll have plenty of space to move around safely.

Walking, like any other milestone, should not be rushed. Not only does your baby need to have reached his pre-walking milestones, but he also needs to be physically, mentally and cognitively ready for this change. He will be walking for the rest of his life, so enjoy having your little crawling baby around for a little bit longer.

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