It is adorable to see a baby who is just beginning to walk alone, staggering back and forth between his mother and father, sometimes with an older brother or sister joining him. Your baby is proud and perhaps a bit surprised at this new skill while both of you and your husband gladly watch him with pleasure. But, do you know that there is a right and a wrong way to teach your baby to walk?
In this article, we will learn more about the importance of parents to work with babies and teaching them how to walk in the proper way.
The Significance of Parents’ Role in Working With Babies
Would the baby not begin to walk if adults gave no instruction, rewards, or punishments?
Based on the book “Child Development: Myths and Misunderstandings”, babies can walk without having experienced much in the way of “teaching.” They eventually learn to walk without being taught. One might even comment that babies “mature” to walk rather than “learn” to walk. So, what is the significant role of parents in this stage?
The parents’ smiles, attention, and readiness to help tell the young child the new abilities are important as they share their child’s joy in mastery and developmental progress. Pleasure in success, patience and tolerance about failure become shared parts of essential parent-child interactions. These things are essential foundations that are laid for positive future relationships with teachers and others outside the family.
Parents’ fascination with developments such as walking, also teaches the parents to provide scaffolding for their children’s other new achievements. For first-time parents, they feel mostly unsure of how to assist their child’s developmental progress while simultaneously allowing their child to feel independent. The development of walking provides an excellent example of this complex parental skill and provides parents practice refining the developmental process without intruding on the child’s activity.
Tips and Ways to Teach Your Baby How to Walk
The baby’s ability to move is a good index of general development, and as such it was once much investigated and is regaining interest after a period of less research activity. Most of the parents depend on walkers to help their baby walk. But studies have shown that these learning tools being marketed are not really effective and advisable according to the pediatricians.
In this section, we are happy to provide you with some useful tips and simple ways from several online references out there to teach your baby the right way to walk:
1. Create a tempting trail for your child to help motivate him or her to start his first steps. Place enticing toys nearby out of immediate reach when she pulls up to stand. Later on, you will see that your baby may try out new ways of starting his way to walk.
2. Help your baby practice her balance by lining up stable furniture to steady herself as she goes. Make sure that your coffee table, TV stand, chair, and other items around your area that your baby might use to maneuver himself are childproofed which means they don’t have sharp corners or risks of tipping. Also, walk with your baby while holding his hands for balance.
3. Give your little one a push toy like a small shopping cart as he grips and pushes it eagerly. This will provide support he needs as he works on those legs. This way, his balance and confidence will be enhanced. Search for sturdy toys with a bar or handle that he can lean on and big heels that make it harder for the toy to tip over.
4. Keep your baby barefoot while he is learning to walk indoors. This will help build muscle tone in his feet and ankles, to support the development of his arches, and to learn balance and coordination. For outdoors, keep his shoes lightweight and flexible.
Especially, you need to be careful not to put sharp things such as the corner of furniture near your baby.
Precautionary Measures/ Safety Tips
- Lock away any harmful liquids or cleaners, and secure the cabinets that your baby might explore with his hands.
- Remove roadblocks and minimize the clutter that could trip your baby’s small feet.
- Establish some baby gates at the tops and bottoms of the stairs, install window guards on the windows that are above ground level, and secure or move any piece of furniture that could tip over when your baby grabs them.
- Protect your baby from sharp corners by padding them up.
- Remember to leave doors and drawers closed. Get some child proof door knob covers as well.
- Cover any heated surfaces like radiators and heaters.
As a first-time parent, your sincere efforts to help your child practice walking can encourage him to try new things. Additionally, these experiences can help you and your husband develop better approaches to use in support of later learning. Therefore, it is all about teaching your baby and yourselves some essential things about learning and teaching.