taking time to take his first steps

Uri is now a year and 19 days old. He’s now switched to formula (i can no longer breastfeed, he has 8 teeth and bites!), eats all types of food and drinks from a glass. He has mastered sitting, standing and squatting, but not walking.

standing still

We’re really not too anxious about this walking milestone for his first birthday. Ari started walking during his first birthday party. Unlike Uri, Ari is slapdash and carefree which is probably why he’s been to all sorts of accidents–from bleedy nose to broken teeth. Uri is more cautious, his movements measured. I think he’s trying to master standing and perfecting his balance before he attempts on his first step.

What’s a nanay to do to encourage this initial stride towards independence?

  1. Let him experience the feeling of walking by holding his body and cruising forward together. It gives your child confidence that you will be with him as he conquers this new feat.
  2. Once he gets the hang of this, you can try holding both his hands and walking him toward you. Your voice, your smile and your embrace will be his main source of encouragement as he moves forward.
  3. Some pediatricians encourage the use of push toys that baby can hold on to and can make walking an enjoyable activity. Be sure to choose one that is sturdy, stable, has a wide base of support and is appropriate for your baby’s height. The use of baby walkers are not encouraged since they make it too easy for your child to get around and can prevent upper leg muscles from developing correctly.
  4. Make sure your baby has a soft and safe environment where he could practice this new skill, and never leave your child unattended.
  5. As your child goes on attempting to take his first step, he is likely to fall down or get stuck in a certain position. Ease his frustration not by picking him up but by helping him figure out what to do next, showing him how and letting him try this by himself. This way, he learns to do things on his own with a little guidance, and with him maintaining his trust on you as his parent.

If he hasn’t taken his first step on his first birthday, don’t be impatient and never put pressure on your child. Children achieve milestones at different timetables. But if your child seems to be lagging behind his peers signifcantly, it’s appropriate to inform his pediatrician.

Don’t be in a hurry, but know when to be concerned.

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