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a family with a baby and a toddler

baby steps: how to encourage walking at your own pace

2 minutes


Your baby taking his or her first steps is a huge milestone, and - alongside laughing for the first time and saying their first word – is one of the most exciting to witness. And that’s why it’s easy to start getting impatient if it feels like it’s taking a while for your child to get there. And of course, being parents, many of us start to wonder whether any kind of ‘delay’ is a sign of something more worrying.

However, while some babies can start walking as early as nine months, it can take a baby until they’re 18 months to take their first step, and that’s nothing to worry about.

Ways to encourage a baby to walk

While babies will develop in their own time, there are a few simple things you can do to help things along. For instance, you can help them find their balance by holding their hands, and encouraging them to take a few baby steps, knowing you’re right there with them.

And if your baby finds themselves in a standing position for the first time, you can help them relax their knees to get back into seating position, as they may not know how to do this at first.

Your baby is walking - worries over safety

‘It’s sounds clichéd, but you find yourself desperately wanting them to walk, then as soon as they are you wish they were crawling again,’ says Rachel, mom to Jaxon, 2. ‘All of a sudden there were hazards everywhere and if Jaxon wasn’t pulling something on top of him he was falling over somewhere.’

With every new stage of a your baby’s life comes a few new concerns, and if you’d like more advice on how to handle a mobile baby, read our piece on looking after your baby as they grow and explore. But remember, this is a huge adventure for your little one, and while there will certainly be a few bumps and grazes, the best approach you can take is simply to enjoy it alongside them – every little step of the way.

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