Did you know that FCGC offers free classes for children who are not yet walking? We believe that this stage of development in a child’s life is so fundamental that every parent deserves access to education to give their baby the best chance. So why not pop down on a Tuesday from 12.30-1pm and join us to learn!?
1 – Get them standing
Baby’s from around the age of 4 months will be able to support themselves with their legs when held upright. This a great way to start building the strength needed through the hips and legs and also promotes mental stimulation. Children learn by looking, while standing babies are able to see things from a different level and are encouraged to learn.
2 - Playing with others
Children learn by watching. The more you can get your little one around children who are a little bit older and more physically advanced the sooner your will wanting to catch up and join in. Before you know it, they will be pulling themselves to stand trying to catch up with the older kids.
3 – Work to play
Rather than making play time simple by handing a toy to your child place it on a secure and reachable height. This will encourage your child to pull themselves up to be able to gain access to the toy. Start with a low surface and gradually build up the height over time.
4 – Squatting is key
Children have a beautiful squat but it something they tend to lose over time. By encouraging your baby to squat down when picking something up you will be fostering the development of leg, hip and core muscles that are all required for walking.
5 – Barefoot baby
Sensory activation is key when it comes to walking. Your child needs to be able to feel the floor underfoot to appropriately adjust their balance. Difference surfaces require your baby to engage their body in different ways. So, when they can’t feet what is underfoot it hinders their learning process.
6 – Music and Rhythm
Children love to move to music, so where possible pump those tunes and dance with your baby. You will notice your little one will do a lot of bouncing up and down which will only continue to help strengthen the muscles needed for walking. The earlier children can understand rhythm the better of their walking will be. When your child is ready to walk they will mostly likely take uneven steps and not have a pattern to their movements. But with the assistance of music we can encourage baby to walk with a rhythmical quality which will increase balance and overall stability.
This might seem like a logical one but is missed by many. Crawling is a key developmental millstone not only for walking but for many other daily activities such a writing, eating and other gross motor activities. If your baby is starting to take some steps but hasn’t crawled yet get down on the floor with them and crawl around, turn it into a game. The benefits will be monumental.
8 – Cruising
Cruising is explained simply by a child walking with assistance of something like furniture. These may be the first few wobbly steps you see your little one taking and will be a big benefit in building up their confidence to one day take these steps independently.
9- Offer the right physical support and assistance
As adults out first thought of how to offer assistance is often to hold our little one’s hand, but did you know that there are other options that will benefit you child more? Support you child from around the chest/underarms will actually allow them to engage their core and center their own weight meaning they can learn to balance themselves. By holding hands, we allow the child to lean their weight onto us meaning they are not balanced just supported.
10- Always encourage
You baby will always want to continue trying an activity if you are excited and encouraging about it. By being their biggest cheerleader, you are actually helping them develop in ways you may not even know. So continue to offer encouragement every time you little one is up on their feet.
If you have any tips for helping little ones walk for the first time, email them through to me so we care share them with the wider community – firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned for my next blog – “The power of play”