Archive for April, 2007

These baby shoes are made for walking

From about 11 months babies suddenly start walking. This is a giant leap forward for baby-kind and when you look at how mobile they suddenly become you begin to appreciate what a profound evolutionary development this was when humans got off all fours and developed a sense of balance.

Before you get all upset that your 14 month old is still crawling, remember that different babies develop at different rates and Luka only really began walking from 13 months when some of his girl friends where way ahead of him at 11 months. If Luka has inherited my sense of co-ordination then I’d expect him to be a late developer in this regard. Lance Armstrong claimed he was walking at 9 months!

When they do start to walk it’s almost an instant success and they never look back. I noted Luka was standing unaided and moving around the room holding onto things from month 10, but it took awhile for him to develop the confidence and balance to put one foot in front of the other. We had plenty of practice sessions together where I would place him 5 meters in front of me and he’d stumble forward into my arms. Gradually, as he remained upright I would subtly move away from him, increasing the distance slightly each time.

Then one day, at a little kiddy activity day, we left him alone and presto, he walked unaided or prompted across a room (about 10m) on his own. After that he quickly figured out it was much more practical than crawling and hasn’t looked back. Within a week he was walking everywhere. Since he’d had plenty of practice ‘falling over’ (a baby skill where they simply bend their knees and fall onto their bum safely) he didn’t have to worry. It was all a confidence thing, and he was too lazy to step out of his comfort zone.

Now we have a bigger problem on our hands, he’s far more mobile and moves quicker so you really have to keep an eye on him. Before you know it he’s out the door and heading rapidly for the pond! He can be playing at your feet one minute and suddenly be on the other side of the house or apartment wrecking things.

Once your baby starts walking, their world increases dramatically, they can get around much more easily and experience much more. If the dogs are barking they can soon be at the door to witness what all the fuss is about. They can follow you around, tinker with far more things and go wandering off all over the place. I like to let him go, learning independence, and patiently follow from a distance. He can pottering around a busy mall oblivious to all around him, or I might leave him at the bottom of the garden by himself and watch from the veranda. He’s so captivated that he scarcely misses me.

But, more than ever, you need to be vigilante because something tragic could happen so quickly and easily if you take you eyes off them!

(ed note!) This pic was taken when he was 15 months old.


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