Helping your toddler walk is fun for her but not necessarily productive.
You can't make your toddler walk on your timetable -- and there's no reason to try. You simply can't teach him to walk one minute sooner than he's physically ready. Walking around the house holding his hands for hours at a time may send you to the chiropractor's office, but it won't make your little guy vertically mobile. You can, however, encourage him to walk when he's ready by giving him tools that make practicing his skills easier.
1Place objects that encourage standing where your little guy can get to them easily. Low-to-the-ground footstools or ottomans with padding serve as better standing aids than coffee tables with hard, sharp edges. Little ones have to learn to stand before they can walk; it's a natural progression in physical development that occurs around 9 months, according to Tufts University. Allow him to learn to do it himself when he's developmentally ready; propping him against the furniture doesn't necessarily help either. Standing activity tables also provide incentive to pull himself up and balance.
2Provide objects to push around the house that encourage walking. These don't have to be toys; in fact, toys with wheels can cause injury if they "get away" from your little one on the move. A cardboard box with clothes in it, taped shut and turned upside down can slide along the floor but have enough heft that it won't go faster than your little one can. Choose a box tall enough so that he can keep his hands at waist level to push it. If you use a push toy with wheels such as a toy shopping cart, fill it with something heavy, such as a bag of sugar, so it won't tip over.
3Build a trail of furniture so he can walk from one piece to another while holding on. When your soon-to-be-toddler starts taking his first steps, he'll feel more comfortable stepping out if he can move easily from one piece of "island" to another in just a few steps. Going from the couch to the ottoman and back lets him practice his newfound mobility over and over. Of course, you can substitute yourself for a piece of furniture, but be warned that this is a game that some toddlers can play for hours at a time.
- Children generally learn to walk between 12 and 15 months. If your toddler is on the larger side, he might walk later than the average.
- Traditional "walkers" don't teach your child to walk and can cause injury. Walkers, exersaucers and jumpers also encourage walking on tiptoe, because they can overdevelop calf muscles. Limit their use to 10 to 15 minutes per day.Don't encourage your child to skip crawling and go right to walking. Every stage of physical development is important and has benefits.
EditThings You'll Need
- Objects to push that encourage walking
- Standing activity table