It is a celebratory moment for parents when their babies achieve a milestone and learn to do things on their own. For instance, when babies learn to crawl, start to eat solids, say the first word, and take their first steps. All these moments are cherished by parents and they relive them over the years to come.
Before being enrolled into any daycare, Montessori, or a school, home is the first institution for every child and parents are his first teachers. A baby is not only dependent upon his parents to be cleaned and fed, but also to be taught and helped to achieve the milestones.
Either it is helping them to sit or to make them eat solids, a child must be helped by his parents. When the baby reaches 9-15 months they are ready to stand and take their first steps. However, a baby cannot do it alone. He needs a little help to stand properly and start walking.
When Is Your Baby Ready To Walk?
To know if your baby is ready to walk, make sure you observe the following signs during the phase of 9 months -15 months:
- They pull themselves to stand up
- Tries to stand independently on soft surfaces such as couches, beds, etc.
- A baby’s brain changes when he is ready to walk. It often makes him cranky and a child has trouble sleeping. If the baby is becoming fussy then it’s a good sign that his brain is working more than usual to prepare him for walking.
- Tries to balance himself by taking the support of sturdy objects like walls, tables, chairs, etc.
If your baby is between 9 -15 months and hasn’t started to stand or walk, then take a deep breath and relax. It is one of the important baby parenting tips, to not get worried if your baby hasn’t achieved a milestone and other babies have.
If the baby learns to walk late, it doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong with him - physically or mentally. Sometimes, it’s the personality of the baby that decides the fate of achieving a milestone.
Some babies learn to walk quickly because they are adventurous and like to explore their surroundings. On the other hand, some babies are cautious and shy. They may begin to walk if they are assisted by an adult or if their surroundings are safe.
Encourage The Baby To Stand
If your baby tries to pull himself up and tries to balance himself by taking the support of a wall, or a chair, etc. then these are the clear signs that your little munchkin is ready to be on his toes.
All that your baby needs you to do is to help and encourage him to stand independently and take his first steps.
If you are looking for baby parenting tips on how to teach a baby to stand without support, then keep reading to unveil 12 tips to encourage baby to stand and walk for the first time.
12 Tips To Encourage Baby To Stand And Walk For The First Time
1. Start Early
If you are confident that your baby has achieved all the previous milestones and is ready to stand and walk, then the first tip to encourage your baby to stand and walk is to start early.
Starting early can give babies ample time to practice how to stand independently and properly, without rushing. Try to make them stand upright with their feet touching the ground. Let them balance themselves and put their weight on the ground. Hold them for a few minutes. They will bend their knees or even bounce themselves.
Making your baby stand with support will help him to strengthen his leg and hip muscles that will help him to walk by maintaining greater stability and balance.
2. Keep The Baby Barefoot
Baby shoes are cute and babies look adorable when they walk wearing those. However, in the learning stage, it is better to keep the baby barefoot.
By keeping the baby barefoot, he can sense and experience the texture and temperature of the ground. The baby learns to balance, stand, and walk on different surfaces. This learning process is hindered if the baby is made to stand or walk with his shoes on.
When a baby is inside the house keep him barefooted so that he can feel the texture and temperature of the floor.
3. Tempt Them
What would you do if you are lying on your bed and there is a delicious strawberry cheesecake in your fridge? You would get up from the bed to have it, right?
Your baby might not be interested to have a slice of cheesecake, but many other things are lying around your house to make him get up and walk.
By keeping his favorite toys or snacks a little away from him, he will try to get them. Either by standing up or by taking a few steps. To tempt him to stand or walk, you can place baby favorite toys, or even a bowl and spoon, keep it on an elevated surface such as on the bed or the couch. Your baby will take the support of the couch or bed to stand up and grab his favorite item.
Make sure that you stay close by to support the baby if he is unable to balance himself.
4. Arrange A Dance Party
Relax! You don’t have to invite an army of dancers to make your baby stand or walk. You just need to play your baby’s favorite nursery rhymes and allow him to show you his best moves.
Make him stand by holding his hands and then let him move his back and bounce on his knees. Don’t make the baby stand for too long as it might get tiring for him. Make him stand for a few minutes and then give him a break.
5. Make Them Squat
If the baby learns to sit without the back support, then standing and walking will be like an ABC to him.
Have a little workout session with your baby. Hold his hand and show him how to squat. Stay in that position for a few seconds and then stand up again. Don’t forget to hold your baby’s hand while doing so.
Another way of doing this is to make him sit on a small stool. Teach him to place his feet on the ground and straighten his back. Once the baby learns to sit without the back support, standing up and walking will be very easy for him.
6. Cheer Them
A little appreciation and encouragement go a long way. When your baby tries standing up or if he balances himself by taking the support of a turdy object then don’t forget to appreciate him.
Babies love it when they are given attention and praised for what they do. Hug them, cheer for them, or simply clap when they stand up. Your little cheering will encourage your baby to stand without support.
7. Buy An Exercise Ball
An exercise ball is a fun way to teach your baby to stand and walk as it strengthens the core muscles.
Make your baby sit on an exercise ball. The feet shouldn’t be touching the ground. Hold them from behind while they bounce themselves on the ball.
When you are holding the baby from behind, it only supports his hips. The baby will try to balance himself and support the trunk by himself. To further make him balance and support his body, try rolling the ball forward and on sides gently. This will make the baby balance himself as the ball moves.
8. Baby-Proofing The Area
Accidents can be traumatic for a baby who is learning to stand and walk. If the child has hit himself or tripped over something, then it might be difficult for him to regain his confidence and start learning to walk again.
Before scheduling the practice session make sure that the area is baby-proof. Remove all the things from the floor which might make him trip. Don’t forget to remove the furniture with sharp pointed edges that can harm the baby.
Also, make sure that the floor is completely dry. Wet and slippery floors can make it difficult for the baby to maintain his balance.
9. Invite His Friends
Why should parents only invite their friends to home? A baby can learn to stand and walk much faster if he sees other babies of his age doing it.
Invite your friends or family members who have a baby of the same age as yours. Keep the toys on an elevated surface and if one tries to stand up and get it, the other one is sure to follow his friend.
Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t have friends of his age. You can make his siblings or elder cousins play games with him that involve a lot of standing and walking.
10. Get Squeaky Shoes
As much as we adults love to see babies in shoes that squeak, babies love it more. Squeaky shoes are the ones that make a sound when the foot is kept on the ground. To listen to that sound, babies press their feet firmly on the ground.
Squeaky shoes encourage the baby to stand and take more steps. If you are unable to find them you can look for shoes that light up when it is pressed. This keeps the baby enthusiastic about walking.
11. Keep Them Active
Sometimes the bay doesn’t try standing up or moving because he doesn’t like to be moved from his place. To prevent your baby from becoming lazy, make sure you provide him with lots of activities and fun time.
Try to make him stand and dance along with him, make him walk with you, make him stand against a sturdy object, etc.
If you use a baby stroller, then you might want to hide it if your baby refuses to stand up or move around. Instead of making him sit in the stroller, encourage him to stand and make him walk with you.
Keeping your baby active is important for both his physical health and mental health.
12. Practice, Practice, And Practice
Do not expect the babies to run a marathon after making them practice once or twice. Understand that walking is not easy for them as it is for you. Walking is to babies what skating or skiing is for adults.
Just as we adults cannot master the art of skating or skiing in a day, do not expect the babies to learn to stand and walk in a day.
Teach the bay to stand without support and help them to take a few steps daily. Never rush them to walk or lose your patience. Kids can sense the mood and emotions of the parents. Make sure you don’t get angry or frustrated as it will make the baby afraid and he might start crying.
In A Nutshell...
Watching your baby grow and achieve developmental milestones is indeed an inexpressible feeling for many parents.
Never force the baby to sit, stand, or walk when he is not ready. Don’t worry if your baby is not standing or walking during the phase of 9 -15 months, or if they start late. Give time to your baby and don’t rush him.
Comparing the milestone of your baby with other babies is not a very wise thing to do and no good is going to come out of it. Except for making you anxious and worried.
Only help your child to stand and walk without support when he is ready for it. Forcing or rushing things is not a healthy baby parenting tip. Forcing the child to stand or walk when he is not ready often impedes their physical development.
Use the above tips to help your child get on his toes when he is ready to explore the world on his feet.