Those first milestones for your child can be some of the most exciting that’s for sure! 😆 Their first words, first solid food, first time they crawl leading up to those, oh so important, first steps. Parenting can be one of the rewarding positions in life since we get the mind-blowing chance to see a human being learn everything for the very first time.
I know I’m one of those dads that just can’t wait for his little boy to start walking around so that we can do all sorts of fun things together and explore the world. I’ve found since being a parent that a lot of fathers are like this today. Now while there’s nothing wrong with wanting your child to excess in life, but often times parents have been caught pushing their child too hard, too fast. I wanted to write this article to help my fellow fathers understand how long it can take for their child to walk, give tips on getting there and give information on what not to do while aiming for this milestone. 👍
How long can it take for a child to walk? 🤔
Parents! Teaching your child to walk is not a race, it’s not a way to determine if your child is better in some way and if they take a while to learn it DOES NOT mean they have any type of athletic handicap. The learning experience no matter how long should be enjoyed by you and your child so that they can have a healthy relationship with learning new things.
With that being said not all babies walk by their first year like most would believe to be the norm. Heck, my sister skipped crawling and went straight to walking. Babies can often take until the age of two to become fully capable of taking their first steps and it can be due to plenty of factors. The baby’s genetics come into play first with this situation. Were your partner and you risk-takers as children? Did you take your first steps early or late? Does your heritage have high muscle volume in it? Remember a baby is the result of the parents joining their genetic blueprint so it’s only natural they would follow after you guys.
The child’s experiences up to that point will be next in line. Does your baby fear taking those steps without support? If a baby has fallen and hurt themselves the first couple times trying to walk then the scare or pain from that moment can linger in their little minds hindering the process. Just make sure to cheer them on twice as much when they do excel! 🥰 So don’t expect too much too fast.
Tips on getting them walking
Now that you know you have time and don’t have to rush things here are some tips to get things moving in the right direction. The most important tip when teaching your child to walk is to practice, practice, practice. This may seem simple but it takes a lot more work figuring out the perfect times to practice. You want to make sure that your kid isn’t tired, hungry, sick or just not in the mood. That’s what brings up the difficulty and daily routines can help a ton. You don’t want to force them to practice because they will only resist and you don’t want them to dislike the process of learning to walk.
Once they’re getting around better on the floor ditch using the excersaucers and bouncers as much since they stunt the process more than help. Your child needs to learn how to get around unassisted so that they can build those essential motor skills. While we’re on this subject also make sure that you follow the excersaucer, bouncer or jumper’s weight limits so that the child’s legs don’t grow abnormally since their bones in the process of fusing together.
When they are just trying to stand barefoot is always best since it will give your baby the best grip to get around. You can also find socks with grips on the bottom to help out your little ones. (shown below) I find that shoes seem to get in the way when trying to teach my son to walk and often don’t allow for too much ankle freedom.
Working on their leg muscles as much as possible is key to getting them up and mobile. Find fun ways to get your child to want to exercise. You can use simple games like, I’ll chase you and then you chase after me. While looking up ways to help my son out I came across an awesome article on Fatherly.com called, “The Trick to Teaching Kids to Walk? Playing the ‘Mission Impossible’ Theme Song.”
This article talks about using the beat of a song to get a toddler moving. Of course we all know music makes you want to move but this is brilliant. He states to use the jazz version of the song, but explains how it causes his child to want to move around more and is a fun way to bring some of your past into your kid’s life.
There are many ways to teach them to stand is what I’m is trying to get across here. You just have to make sure that you’re being imaginative with the process so that it’s fun for everyone and doesn’t feel like boot camp. Give them a fun reason to walk and they’ll want to help you out even more!
Parents don’t do this!
So while reading the parenting book “What To Expect The First Year” by Heidi Murkoff I came across a horrific fact that I felt needed to be spread to the parenting community. Now I know that to most this may seem like an obvious thing not to do, but honestly with how hectic it is with a toddler I’ve even done it a few times. 😬 Which after learning this will NEVER happen again!
What I’m talking about is lifting a baby/toddler by their arms to pick them up. The problem with this is that the ligaments in their arms are still too loose and the muscle has not built up enough. If they’re pulled up with too much force, or just simply weigh too much for their arms to handle, their elbows can easily dislocate causing what is called, “Handmaid’s Elbow.” This is an easy fix for doctors as they only have to pop the elbow back in place, but the child goes through immense pain.
So think twice before you decide not to bend over enough to grab then by the armpits or sides. Oh, plus make sure not to swing the child by their arms in between you and your partner as you all walk. I’m sure a lot of you know what I’m talking about and had it done to you as kids. It can be dangerous so make sure that your child is old enough and has built up enough strength in their arms. 💪
If any parents out there have any other cool tips to bring to the table go ahead and put them in the comments for us please. If you know a parent this could help share it with them as well. Love you all and I think you’re doing an amazing job! 🙏 Sign up below for the DaysoftheDad weekly newsletter so you can keep up with all things parenting. #garyveechallenge