There are numerous developmental milestones in a young child’s life and one of them is the learning process involved in progressing from crawling to walking.
Being able to walk doesn’t come easily and doesn’t happen without a considerable amount of learning first. It normally takes a while before babies successfully learn to crawl, but once they’ve mastered the art of crawling, they’re well away. Babies will normally be keen to explore anywhere they can reach within crawling distance and will enjoy finding out about new objects, how things feel, or how things look from their crawling perspective.
The exact age at which babies start walking varies, with some managing it at an earlier stage than others. In general, though, from about the time they’re nine or 10 months old, babies are generally beginning to explore how to pull themselves up from a crawling or sitting position into standing. At first, they’ll be very unsteady on their feet, only managing to hold to stand up with support.
However, in a similar vein to crawling, as the days go by and they keep practising the same movements again and again, their balance will become better and their confidence will grow. This learning process may seem slow to adults, but for young children it’s a necessary element of growing up. Adults can help by holding and supporting a child as they test out what it feels like to walk on two feet, rather than crawl around on their hands and knees.
Other objects, like sturdy chairs or coffee tables can also act as a useful support for a child to use to use to stand up – but do ensure they are completely safe, can’t topple over or don’t have dangerous items on them. It’s also possible to buy specially designed children’s toys that can help children learn how to stand up and start walking.
Learning to Let Go
Once a child has mastered standing up with support, and has gained that vital element of coordination and balance, then they begin to start having a go at walking. Depending on the level of confidence and eagerness of your child, then this may or may not be with your assistance. Some children can’t wait to have a go on their own, whilst others need a bit more encouragement – especially that mum or dad is there to help and support them.
Babies sometimes begin to walk unaided without really realising what they’re doing, for example if they’re keen to get hold of a toy that’s a little way away from them. Or they’re still a bit uncertain, their first steps may be taken by cleverly using various items for support, whilst edging their way forward (this is also part of the learning process – learning how to use objects in this way for support). In other cases, encouragement from mum and dad, for example by holding his hands, can assist a child in having a go at his first few steps.
Whatever the method used, or whether support is involved or not, witnessing your child take his first few steps is one of those times that parents never forget. It doesn’t always mean, though, that child will instantly take to walking all the time – it’s normal, for example, for days or even weeks to pass before he tries walking again or properly feels confident enough to do it regularly.
As time goes by and he builds up the practice of walking, his strength and confidence will increase and he’ll become much steadier on his feet. You’re sure to notice a difference in your life, as he’ll soon be into anything and everything!