How to teach your baby to walkHannah Kim
How to teach your baby to walk 1 of 11
1: Get in some tummy time
Long before your baby starts taking her first steps, you can help exercise her muscles to help her get there even when she is just a few weeks old. Make sure your baby spends 30 minutes a day on her tummy, either all at once or broken up during the day. Not only will this help prevent your baby from have a misshapen head, but you'll help your baby to strengthen her neck and back muscles.
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2: Practice rolling over
Be prepared for lots of squirming during diaper changes! Your baby will start moving from side to side and learn how to roll over from two to six months. You can expect her to raise her head while pushing herself up on her arms before flipping to her backside. Encourage her to roll over from her backside to her stomach by holding a toy over her while she is lying on her back. As she reaches for it, slowly move the toy across her body until she reaches even further for it and rolls over. This will all help her develop her leg, neck, back, and arm muscles to prepare her for the next step: sitting.
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3: Encourage sitting and leaning
Starting at around four months, your baby can start sitting while supported and at six months she may be able to sit by herself. Help her into a sitting position while she is lying on her back by carefully pulling her up by her hands. You can also hold a toy just out of her reach to encourage her to lean in different directions. Learn some of the other things you can do during playtime to encourage her to strengthen her muscles and coordination.
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4: Place things just out of reach
From six to ten months, your baby will learn to crawl as she starts to lunge for objects from a mini-pushup or sitting position. Take advantage of this and start placing objects further away to encourage movement. You may also want to start childproofing your home with your child's newfound mobility.
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5: Help strengthen tiny leg muscles
Your curious baby will soon start pulling herself up on objects like furniture, your leg, or anything else to prop herself up. Once she masters this, she is well on her way to standing up without any support anywhere from seven to twelve months. Help strengthen her leg muscles by having her bounce on your lap with her feet on your legs. Also teach her to bend her knees so she can learn how to get back onto the floor.
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6: Be a companion
Once your baby gains more strength and balance, shell soon start to cruise or move along by holding onto furniture and other objects. And while you did some childproofing when your baby began to crawl, this would be a good time to childproof your house again now that shes reached new heights. Be her support and hold her hands and walk behind her. This might also be the perfect time for her to get a push toy or ride-on toy to help her start walking on her own (though you should avoid a walker).
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7: Forget the "walker"
Its unnecessary — and may even be detrimental — to get a walker for your baby. A walker may actually delay your baby from walking because it constricts her hips and torso. In addition, walkers can be dangerous because toddlers can roll into a heater, a pool, or down the stairs while in them. Walkers can also enable your toddler to reach dangerous items like household cleaning solutions as well. Try using a stationary exersaucer for your toddler instead.
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8: Be a fun place to go!
And now for the moment youve been waiting for: your baby will let go of walls, furniture, and your hands and take her first steps on her own. Encourage your baby to walk between you and another person kneeling on the floor. Most toddlers will take their first steps anywhere from nine to thirteen months and can start walking steadily between fourteen to seventeen months. Now that shes walking, be prepared to see other exciting moments when shell try to kick a ball or move up and down the stairs.
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9: Don't compare
File under obvious but hard to remember: Not all babies are the same. They will reach milestones at different times. The time it takes for a baby to reach a particular milestone can vary due to different body weights or even personality. While it can be hard, try not to get frustrated or disappointed if your baby doesnt toddle at a precise point in her development. Keep in mind that the given walking timeline is an approximation and not set in stone.
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10: Get the right footwear
When you buy her first pair of shoes, make sure that you go at the end of the day when her feet are slightly bigger than they are in the morning. Have your toddler stand in the shoes and make sure they are roomy at the top by her toes and by her heel. Let her walk around the store for a bit and check for any irritated, red spots on her feet. If there are spots, try a bigger size.
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