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8 Things To Know About New Walkers

Karie Reynolds

Posted on September 12 2018

As a parent, the first year of your child’s life is an exciting time full of many milestones. But perhaps the biggest of these milestones is the moment your child takes his or her first steps. Below are eight things you should know about new walkers.

Early Walking Doesn’t Correlate With Intelligence

For years, we have heard that the earlier a child walks, the more intelligent they will be. This, however, is not true. There is no correlation between your child’s future IQ or intelligence and how soon he or she started walking. Children develop and conquer milestones at different times. This is a natural part of their development, and while it is good to encourage their development toward milestones, they will develop at the time that best suits them.

There Are Stages To Walking

While children begin walking at different times, they almost all follow the same stages. For example, at around six months, their muscles become strong enough to sit upright. Following the sitting-up stage, babies then learn to pull up to a stand. This process takes some time since the legs, which have to hold almost all the body mass, need to strengthen. Then comes the final cruising stage where children are able to grab onto furniture and walk around, and then eventually full mobility.

Barefoot Is Best

Just because your child has been changed by the ability to walk doesn’t mean they now all of the sudden want the latest pair of Nikes. When indoors, it is best for early walkers to go barefoot. When they begin to walk, babies are still finding their footing. They are learning how to work their toes and feet and find the balance that allows them to walk, stop, and stay upright. Until they have mastered these skills, go with the shoeless approach. As your child grows more confident and you begin allowing him or her to walk outside, then it’s time to get sized up and pick out the perfect kicks.

Set Boundaries Early

With their newfound mobility, new walkers are now able to really start exploring, which means even more potential for trouble and worry as a parent. For these reasons, it is important to not only babyproof everything you can but to also start creating boundaries for your child, making it clear where he or she is allowed to go. For example, before your child even begins to turn their curious eye to the stairs, it is essential to make it clear that this area is off limits. A secure and sturdy bottom-of-stairs gate is the easiest way of achieving this.

There Are Many Factors

If you’re wondering why some babies walk sooner or later than others, know that there is no clear answer. That being said, there are some factors that seem to directly play into walking development. For example, bigger babies tend to walk a little later because they need more strength. Similarly, babies who have older siblings may be motivated to walk earlier because they naturally want to imitate their older sibs.

Stopping Is Tricky

Once young walkers start moving, it can be hard to stop. They haven’t quite figured out how to use their knees and feet to absorb some of the impact, and they haven’t discovered how to break their forward momentum by stopping one foot ahead of the other. So what does stopping look like for a baby? Falling — ideally letting a cushy diaper absorb the impact.

Walking Changes Everything

Walking is a monumental achievement in your baby’s development. It gives them the freedom and ability to explore the world in a whole new way. The only thing that could compete with such a big achievement is talking. Not only does a walking baby make you feel like everything in your home is all the sudden terrifying, but it can also make normal daily routines — say, a walk in the park with the stroller — difficult. This is, of course, because your child has a new sense of independence and they are eager to try it out, not be trapped in a car seat and buggy. Regardless of whether you are ready for this change, there’s no stopping it once it starts.

Use A Baby Safety Gate

There are few things as frightening for the parents of a new walker as stairs. They pose a serious threat to the safety of your child. Rather than having that wide-eyed moment of panic watching your wobbly walker take off up the stairs, take this option away before they ever get a chance. Buy a bottom-of-stairs gate before they become mobile. These gates can be a lifesaver — literally.

The Stair Barrier has a wide selection of baby safety gates. Not only are our baby gates reliable and fully functional, but they are also designed to enhance the decor of virtually any home. Browse the many collections that we have and get the peace of mind you deserve.  

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