Baby’s first steps: what you need to know

That memorable moment when your baby takes their first steps is the most obvious and exciting sign that they’ve become a toddler.
Most babies start to walk between nine and 18 months, so try not to stress if someone else’s baby has begun walking and yours hasn’t. However, if they’re not making an attempt to walk by the age of 18 months, that is a cause for concern and it’s best to consult a medical professional.

Signs your child is preparing to walk

Before your baby starts to walk, they might start crawling first (although some babies skip the crawling stage)! You don’t need any fancy equipment to encourage them as walking is a milestone that comes naturally. In fact, babies start preparing to walk right after birth. Kicking their feet up, rolling and spending tummy time has helped them to develop and strengthen all the motor skills they’ll need for walking.

Keep a look out for these clues that your baby is getting ready to walk soon. Once you notice baby is doing these activities regularly, it’s only a matter of weeks before they’ll be upright and on the move!
• Leans on furniture to get into a standing position and may even let go and stand on their own for a few seconds.
• Walks around the room, holding onto different pieces of furniture for support. This is known as cruising.
• Takes one or more steps on their own before falling.
• Stands up on their own without holding on for support.

Ways to encourage walking

Carry them less often. Carrying your child is instinctive and you’ve both come to enjoy it because it’s part of your comfort and bonding routine. But spending too much time holding them can delay their efforts to walk. Put them down so they can spend more time practising. When you do pick them up, put them back down on their feet to encourage them to stand.

Offer physical support

Stand behind baby and hold up their hands for support. This helps them to balance while they try to take steps.
Set challenges
Place them on the floor and put a favourite toy on the couch, which motivates them to pull themselves up to reach the toy.

Praise them

Clap and praise your child whenever they take steps, even if they fall. This encourages them to keep trying.

Dress them in supportive shoes

With My First Steps range of toddler shoes by Ackermans, their first steps will be comfortable, supportive and fashionable. This is why:
With flexible, non-slip soles that have arch support, the shoes grip little feet gently and grip the ground too so that baby stands firm and won’t slip. Arch support is all about making sure that the softest part of the foot is supported to move around and grow freely.
Only the most comfortable and breathable materials are used to make My First Steps shoes. This way, the shoes are gentle enough on baby’s feet but  durable enough to withstand busy little feet.
Easy to wear
Wide shoe openings and special features like Velcro straps make sure that feet get into the shoes easily so that dress up time is quick and free from frustration. Velcro straps allow you to adjust the size so that the shoe fits snuggly and stays on.

Read more on how to toddler proof your home.

Images: Shavan Rahim