As a parent, watching your toddler take their first steps is a momentous occasion. Watching them carefully move one foot in front of the other is reason enough to start cheering. While some babies seem to go from crawling to running, others need a bit of encouragement to take those first steps. Explore some activities that’ll encourage your toddler’s first steps.
Encourage Crawling and Standing
Before your toddler starts walking, they need to crawl and stand independently. Crawling helps your little one get around and helps them build up their leg strength.
You can get your toddler to crawl by laying on the floor with them and mimicking the crawling motion, so they follow along. Make a game out of it by pretending you two are animals who only crawl to get around.
Motivate your toddler to stand up by playing some music. A little dance party is fun and helps them learn how to maintain their balance. Your child may need your physical support sometimes to help them stay standing.
Organize a Scavenger Hunt
What better activity to encourage your toddler’s first steps than one that requires movement? Hide some of your child’s toys around the house or in a specific room and help them move through the house to find each item.
Make a Colorful Path
Use soft mats or rugs to create a path that your toddler can move along and decrease the discomfort of falling. Vibrant shades capture a toddler’s attention, so use colorful mats when creating walking routes inside your house.
As your baby learns to walk, hold their hands and stand behind them to guide them. Doing so helps toddlers gain strength and confidence. Plus, walking with your baby is a wonderful way to bond!
Hold Out Toys
Encourage your child to crawl, stand, and walk as much as possible by placing toys just out of reach. Doing so will get your little one to reach for them, try to pull themselves up and, in turn, build up their leg strength for walking. Hold out your little one’s favorite toy or stuffed animal and encourage them to approach you to get it.
Trying to grab beloved toys motivates a toddler to take those first small steps towards it. Start by holding the toy only a few inches away and gradually increase the distance. Bunnies By The Bay sells the coziest handcrafted stuffed animals that your baby will race toward as they learn to walk. Nothing beats the cozy cuddle of a stuffed toy!
Every baby is different; some take their first steps around the 10-month mark, while others don’t attempt to walk until they’re around 18 months old. It’s not a race, babies take those first steps when they feel strong.
Learning to walk can be as challenging for your child as it is for you to teach them, so offer lots of praise and cuddles as your little one learns. Always provide warm hugs, smiles, and encouraging words. Remember, with patience and encouragement, your toddler will take those first steps before you know it.