In How to Help a Baby Walk Sooner, you’ll acquire knowledge that’ll empower you so you can support your baby’s developmental journey even better. When a baby makes that much-awaited first step, mom and dad can’t contain their excitement. These parents register this developmental milestone in the family scrapbook so that they can remember that achievement forever.
Some studies suggest that critical motor milestones such as walking or standing can predict memory performance down the road. But that doesn’t mean babies that learn to walk a little later than others won’t grow into successful people in the end.
And, there’s absolutely no harm if your little one could master crawling and walking a little faster than other babies in their age range. An early walking baby can be a profound source of pride for their mom and pop.
How Early Do Early Walking Babies Walk?
According to Medical Express, it takes the average baby 12 months to make that first step. By the time they’re hitting 14-15 months, the child has learned walking and can move around without falling over.
But we all know every child is different. That’s why it shouldn’t concern you too much if your little one doesn’t walk as early as you’d hoped. And, there are a few hope-inspiring strategies that can help your loved little one walk sooner.
Before they learn walking, babies typically can sit without a problem as well as roll prone to supine and crawl. Finally, they manage to stand, and the next thing you know, the little tyke is making that life-changing baby step.
Do Early Walking Babies Really Become Geniuses?
If a baby walks before they reach 9 months, they’re an early walking baby, probably a future genius according to some opinions out there.
Research published in 2016 in Pediatrics, Gross Motor Milestones and Subsequent Development, generated interesting findings. According to this study, the age at which a child achieves certain motor milestones may be a predictor for how well they’ll do in later child development. What the study doesn’t conclusively claim is that early walking babies turn out to be geniuses. So, keep that in mind.
Now, let’s get to the reason you landed on this post: how to help a baby walk sooner. Here’s 15 tips you can apply immediately and nudge your little mister or miss to walk a little sooner:
1.Introduce Solid Food Early
Is there a relationship between breastfeeding a baby and how soon they’ll walk? That’s a question best posed to researchers on areas such as early childhood development and related matters.
According to the World Health Organization, almost 1 in every 2 infants aged between 0-6 months live exclusively on breastfeeding. And while many nutritionists and other health professionals recommend breastfeeding without introducing solids during this developmental phase, it may not always be the best feeding approach for your baby.
One New York study revealed that babies that drank their mother’s breast milk while also taking solid foods had a 7 percent greater likelihood of standing and walking earlier than their exclusively breastfed counterparts.
However, latter research disputed that claim and as things stand, no conclusive study associates feeding a baby on solid foods and breast milk only with early baby walking. But what’s the harm in trying this approach to see if it’d help your dear little one?
2.Tantalize Your Baby
Humans tend to gravitate toward things that make their life happier. They strive to get things that promise to increase pleasure even if acquiring them may cause a little pain.
Ever heard of the carrot-and-stick method? Employers use it all the time to keep their unsuspecting employees working harder while earning just a little more. As the employee strives to get that much-needed raise or promotion, they tend to arrive earlier and leave later than everyone else in the company, including the boss.
Similarly, placing items your little one loves slightly beyond reach has them thinking they can access them if they push just a little harder. As they unleash their potential to increase fun, they’ll do all they can to reach that amazing toy or whatever it is you choose to use.
3.Keep them Unshod
You’ve probably read a blog post online listing 37 items every baby must have, and that includes nice, comfy baby shoes. While there’s nothing wrong with wearing shoes, some podiatrists think shoes may hinder rather than help motor development.
When a baby walks without shoes, they can feel the ground much better than they do shod. Now, feeling the ground better tends to keep the baby walking with their little head up. They look down less, which typically means more stability.
In contrast, a baby that starts walking in shoes from when they’re very young can experience derailed the cerebral and motor development, according to Tracey Byrne, a respected podiatrist. Byrne further states that walking without shoes offers great benefits. One of these benefits is that the child’s muscles and ligaments of the feet grow stronger. Additionally, not wearing shoes boosts arch strength while enhancing proprioception.
Just like our ancestors wore no shoes yet were stronger and tougher than us, a baby that learns walking without shoes falls less often and may end up walking earlier than expected. But I’m not saying there are iron-clad guarantees.
4.Make Your Home Safer
Your home may have top-notch home security systems and whatnot, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe enough for your baby. Especially if you’d like them to develop mobility skills early.
So, make sure to pad sharp table edges. Generally, ensure there are no danger-packed protrusions around the house that might hurt them. They may be too young to understand all that, but if they feel waddling around the room is safe and won’t result in pain, they’re going to want to try new things..new things like walking.
And who knows, enhancing safety throughout the house may help them make that first ever baby step sooner.
5.Let Your Baby Boogie All They Want
Adults like attending the rowdiest concerts in town, dancing away their worries all night. The same goes for babies. If you’ve been looking, you sure must have noticed that babies happily dance to music.
You’ll often see them moving their head up and down while their arms and legs make all kinds of movements in response to the rhythmic beats. Here’s the thing: as they try to dance and be happy, they’ll move. They might even make that first kiddo stride the first time ever just because there’s soulful music blaring in the room.
But is there any research supporting that babies and toddlers actually love to dance? One 2010 study published in a famous journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, made an interesting revelation.
In the study, the researchers played pre-recorded speech, classical music, and rhythmic beats to 120 infants aged between 5 months and 24 months. The participants were made to sit on their parent’s lap, and the parent was requested not to move during the experiment.
The researchers found that the children smiled more as their ability to synchronize the music with their body movements improved. They discovered that babies respond better (move more, right?) to music than to simple speech. So, get your little one dancing. They might just surprise you by walking sooner than you anticipated.
6.Become Your Child’s Motivational Speaker
Well, we all have listened to some typhoon-like motivational speakers, you know those that speak until everyone feels like their life will never be the same. While the effect of such soul-moving speeches may not last, it’s not rare for people to go home and start transforming their lives. And when your manager at work or your adorable spouse at home acknowledges you and your talents or skills, you want to do even better to make them happier.
It turns out kids aren’t any different; they need to know that great positive thoughts swirl in your head and heart all the time. They need to know you think they’re amazing, and that you appreciate that they’re trying.
One expert thinks that affirming babies and children makes them feel more secure. Additionally, affirming children may boost their fighting power against challenges, even if their current difficulty is putting one little foot ahead of the other. So, keep praising little Ryan until he does the right thing — walks as early as he possibly can.
7.Give Them a Helping Hand, Literally
We all remember that lovely person that gave us the little support we needed to win. Sometimes, a little encouragement and a helping hand is all you need to make considerable progress.
And the same goes for babies. If you’ve been trying hard to help your little one walk, chances are they’ll soon make a step forward. But because their muscles and tendons aren’t as strong as they need to be, you should support them. So, extend a hand to them and hold them every time they try to move, no matter how seemingly inconsequential the movement might be.
Your supporting them will make them feel that it’s safe enough to stand and even move forward. As you do more of this, their confidence levels will soar. And sooner than you imagine, the magic may just happen, and both of you will smile.
8.Let the Egret Branch
Babies are like young eagles. At first, they’re with mommy, depending on her for every little need. But egrets aren’t always idling around in the nest awaiting help. They’re always trying to spread their wings and jumping, something they do until they learn to jump onto the nearest branch, a process called branching, something they keep practicing until they finally learn how to fledge.
So, learn from mother eagle and stop mothering or fathering your baby too much. Yes, it’s all right to swaddle them and hold..sometimes, not all the time. So, learnt to release them so they can learn what most babies eventually learn — walking.
They have feet, and those little pieces of flesh are meant to help them walk. If you stand some distance away and beckon to them, they’ll struggle to come to you. And as they put their weak muscles to work, they’ll get strengthened, and walking will stop feeling extremely difficult to them. The thing is, your baby needs being held and made comfortable, but they also want some space to exercise their independence and self-reliance. In the process, they’ll learn balance and coordination, critical elements when it comes to doing that maiden step forward.
9.Let Them Do Some Legwork
Ever tried to bounce a baby? They love it! They never stop smiling and giggling as you help them move their tiny legs up and down. Here’s the good news: your baby is having more than fun. They’re growing stronger, firmer legs, and their lower body is becoming more powerful.
But it gets better. They learn how to balance better, too. So, start holding your little angel’s hands and help them bounce around the house. Sooner or later, the little man or woman will start walking, and everyone will be happy.
10.Sitting Helps, Too
You’re likely wondering how on earth sitting would ever help any baby learn how to walk sooner or at all. But sitting on some stool sure helps.
So, sit them straight up on a baby stool, their back without support and their feet touching the floor or ground. Be sure to stand behind the child to ensure they’re safe in case they fall backward.
Chances are the baby won’t still. They’ll exert pressure on their soft, cartridge-filled feet as they attempt to feel the surface underneath. As they do that, their legs will become stronger, and they’ll likely learn to stand and then walk.
11.Certain Kinds of Shoes Can Encourage Walking
Aren’t we contradicting ourselves here? We earlier agreed that walking barefoot is a good thing for any kid trying to walk early. But it’s also true some babies just like wearing comfortable shoes the whole time they’re crawling or toddling around.
It turns out that the right baby shoes can encourage a baby to walk somewhat more. If you’re wondering what magical shoes these are, stop wondering and order the squeakiest pair of baby kicks you can afford.
Many parents have observed that wearing shoes that make noise as the child walks encourages the baby to walk more. Amazon and other online places like that carry all kinds of nice-looking squeaky shoes.
If you’re unsure what squeaky baby shoes to buy, consider ordering the Ikiki squeaky shoes for toddlers. These baby shoes are comfortable and have good traction. The shoes are designed to help babies and toddlers stay upright, which means they’re amazing at helping babies learn how to walk..early.
12.Buy Baby Shoes for their Ergonomics
The baby shoe market swarms with unsuitable products that no child should wear. Most of them have soles that are way too stiff; shoes that seriously restrict movement. Not only do such shoes potentially hurt children, but they’re also uncomfortable and children just aren’t eager to wear them.
Other times, the heels are too high and inappropriate for babies, particularly those learning to walk. Be sure you understand what kind of baby shoes work best for your child’s soft feet with weak ankles. Basically, that’s shoes that perfectly balance support and comfort.
So, stop choosing baby shoes on the basis of how nice they look. Just because that new cute pair of baby shoes looks amazing doesn’t mean it’ll help your little one walk faster.
13.Place Furniture Strategically
Having too much furniture around the house tends to restrict the baby’s movement, and that can’t be a good thing if your goal is to have your baby walk early. The same applies to having tons of small household items sprawled all over the place. Such items stand in the way, and worse, the baby may trip on them and who knows what might happen?
So, have your beautiful furniture do more than hold weights and fill up your interiors. Have the furniture serve as supportive objects that’ll help your child stand with confidence and perhaps walk sooner.
How do I place my furniture strategically to aid my little one’s mobility development journey? It’s easy: line them up rather than have them clumped together. But be sure not to place them so far apart that the child has an incredibly hard time moving from one object to the next one.
14.Reduce Over-reliance on Walking Toys
Everyone says to use all kinds of assisting toys such as baby walkers, bouncers, playpens, swings, and more. Well, there’s nothing wrong with spending your hard-earned dollars on all these fancy toys. But in truth, having your baby over-rely on them is just not a good idea.
It comes to a point where they expect the toy to do all the hard work while the child does less of it. Most of these products are designed in a way that hampers rather than helps active movement. And if your little tyke isn’t moving all that much, chances are they won’t be an early walker.
Instead, parents need to encourage activities aimed at promoting active movement. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kid-friendly games, floor play, and activities where the baby stays on their tummy for periods of time.
15.Let the Baby Use Push Toys
You’ve probably heard that baby walkers can cause falls, and that they don’t necessarily help babies walk sooner. In fact, some baby health experts believe baby walkers should be discontinued through legislation, but that’s yet to happen.
But who says you must buy a potentially harmful baby walker when you could always buy something safer? Why not opt for a push toy, especially the type that mimics real-life items such as lawn mowers, vacuum cleaners, or even shopping carts?
As your little one holds the bar and pushes the object, they’ll learn better balance and coordination. In the end, their gross motor skills improve.
These kinds of toys are designed for babies who’ve yet to learn standing or walking. As babies and toddlers stand behind these toys and push, their strength, balance, and ultimately self-confidence increase tremendously.
Soon, the child starts standing and walking on their own. And sometimes, that happens earlier than it happens under normal, unaided situations.
One good thing about push toys (also known as push walkers) is that buying them usually won’t break the bank. Additionally, these types of toys are pretty sturdy. Plus, they last forever, which means babies that come into your life down the road can still use them, and that would save you money.
Baby Walker vs Push Walker/Toy
What’s the difference between a baby walker and a push walker? The main difference is that a push walker is designed for babies preparing to stand and walk while a baby walker aims to promote walking for babies that have already learned to stand.
Not much of a difference, you’d say, but most parents and baby care experts say baby walkers generally aren’t as safe as push walkers. The last difference between a baby walker and a push walker is that the latter tends to outlast the former.
Note: Regardless whether you opt to buy a regular baby walker or the supposedly safer push walker, adult supervision is strongly recommended. Be sure your child isn’t using either device near accident-prone areas such as fireplaces, stairs, or the pool.
In the end, both items can be dangerous if used carelessly. Always make sure a responsible adult is nearby just in case the child needs help during play.
How to Help a Baby Walk Sooner: Final Thought
When it comes to helping a baby walk a little sooner, there are no absolute guarantees. However, there’s a number of approaches grandparents and parents can employ to help their little one reach that great developmental milestone earlier.
It’s best to use all the suggestions outlined in how to help a baby walk sooner as part of a comprehensive strategy geared toward producing faster results.
Well, some of the strategies recommended may necessitate purchasing of products, but none are insanely expensive. Hopefully, happy mom or dad, your little one will respond well to the methods you choose to use and start walking a bit early.
I'm Esther Moni, a proud stay-at-home mom and a psychology graduate of the United States International University (USIU) . I hate it when anyone calls me a housewife, because what does housewife even mean? Being a mother of two babies and a pup, Bailey, as well as being Ricky's wife tires me to no end, but I still manage a smile at the end of it all. And when my boys aren't done doing mischief, I juggle writing a post on parenting or baby gear performance for this blog and running my little counselling office based out in Nairobi. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/esther.moni/">Visit my Facebook profile here</a>, and this is my <a href="https://ke.linkedin.com/in/esther-moni-3841b573/">LinkedIn profile</a>, and here's my <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKcVb3NNDrURDH8C0KiAE1g/">nascent youtube channel.