How to Encourage Babies to Walk
When we have a baby, the consultation gives us normal patterns of psychomotor development. More or less, babies manage to do certain things with the same months of age. But it is only indicative. If a baby does something a little earlier or a little later than expected, it is normal. They are children, not programmed machines. Just in case they do not follow a normal development, that we see warning signs that worry us, we should consult the pediatrician.
All healthy babies achieve normal developmental milestones for their age. Some before and some after. If we leave them, under normal conditions everyone does. But in this society in which we live, it seems that the baby is better than before. The one who sits first, the one who walks first, the one who controls the pee first. And we force them to do things that they are going to achieve by themselves anyway.
And as on the subject of motherhood, everybody thinks, everybody knows....because they tell us how to do things.
When the princess was little, they told me, turn her upside down and show her colorful objects, so that she learns to raise her head. But, realistically, even if I didn't put her face down, she was going to have cephalic control when it corresponded to her and she would learn to lift her head by herself.
Doesn't anyone tell us to put their hands in her mouth, so that she learns to do it on her own? So, if we don't teach her how to smile, how to suck her feet or how to pick up objects with her little hands, why do we have to teach them how to sit or walk?
Forcing the baby to maintain an upright posture when his spine is not yet ready for it, does not bring benefits. Let them learn on their own. And they'll sit, they'll sit.
And we come to the subject of walking, which is the one that bothers me the most right now. Everyone thinks that at 12 months babies walk. They have to walk. But the reality is not like that. There are babies who walk at 9-10 months and others who do not until 15 months, even at 18 months can be normal.
Walking is a long process, which requires maturation of the spine, coordination of the body itself, great physical effort, spatial orientation, development of leg muscles and a lot of other factors. In the life of our little ones, it is a very important step. But we must not force babies to walk. They will walk when they are ready.
Years ago, the use of walkers was widespread, forcing babies to remain in an upright position, leaning on their little legs, when they did not yet have control over them or their back. Babies are deprived of being on the floor and making movements on their own, developing their muscles the way they correspond. In addition, according to the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, the walker is the second cause of accidents in children in the second half of life. Luckily, there are fewer and fewer parents who use walkers, avoiding these disasters.
But what happens when the baby starts to stand up. It seems that everyone thinks they need "help" to learn to walk, and this is when we get to the point that bothers me greatly.
Like the rest of psychomotor development, a baby doesn't need help learning to walk. If we have to hold their hands for them to walk, they are not fully prepared to do so. We return to the subject of forcing positions.
My princess, she started to stand up, by herself, a couple of months ago. I have never helped or encouraged her. Obviously, she was always around to avoid accidents, but she alone has learned to stand up, to let herself fall from her ass, then to sit down. Now she takes steps, insecure, clinging to objects. She doesn't know how to move her feet well. And she's trying. At her own pace. And so I want it to be.
But every day, from everywhere, I get the same comments, the same advice and the same attitudes:
They ask me, is he still not walking? Well, no, he's not, he'll walk, he's in it, but I'm not worried, when he wants to get somewhere, he lets himself fall and crawls, he runs and peels them.
They advise me, give her your hands, hold her upright. Well, no, I'm not going to hold her standing up so that she can walk, if she wants to stand up, she can do it, and if not, she can sit down.
And worst of all, how they act. They take her by the arms and take her for a walk. But milk, I don't want it to walk, not like this. I don't want her to learn to walk carried by her arms. Least of all, I don't want her arms to be stretched upwards to prevent her from feeling (possibility of dislocation of the elbow). Well it seems that all adults who see the princess, have the need to take her hands and take her for walks in this position. And every day, I have to explain the same thing, so no, leave her, she will walk alone when her body is completely ready for it.
Just last night, she took two hesitant steps alone towards me and fell into my arms.
Let babies develop at their own pace.