Bring out the half-birthday cake (for you, not them), because your little one is midway through their very first year! You’ve given your baby a good start (major props!), and they’re well on their way to exciting new steps like rolling and sitting up. So, what does your baby’s development look like at six months? Here’s what to expect and how you can help them grow at this early yet crucial stage!Read More
10/09/2020 11:17 AM
12/08/2020 1:17 PM
Your little one’s first steps are one of their most exciting milestones! Whether they’re toddling steadily around the playroom or hurrying through the house, watching those little legs fly is often one of the highlights of early parenthood. So, when do babies begin to walk? And what can you do to support their physical development?
How does a baby learn to walk?
Babies tend to pass the following milestones on their way to walking and wobbling around:
- Rolling on the floor
- Crawling or scooting
- Pulling themselves up
- Moving around furniture
When do babies begin to walk?
Many babies begin to pull themselves up at around 9 months. After which, they may attempt to let go of whatever piece of furniture (or part of your leg) they’re grasping and fly solo. For most children, it takes a couple more months of wobbly attempts and tumbles before they develop the balance to stay upright on their own.
Most babies don’t take their first independent steps until after their first birthday, at around month 14 (on average). However, it’s not unusual for your little one to start cruising as early as 7 months or as late as 18 months.
It’s important to remember that every baby develops at their own pace. Your baby’s physical abilities may also depend on their wiring, build and temperament. For instance, a lean, highly active child will probably start strutting about earlier than a mellow, lounge-loving tot. So, while you can help to encourage their development, avoid adding unnecessary pressure and be sure to let them take their own journey.
How can I create a safe walking environment?
When those little legs start rocketing around, your baby’s safety takes top priority. Be sure to pad any sharp corners on furniture and use child locks and baby gates to block off unsafe areas, including stairways and low-lying drawers. Look around your home at your child’s eye level to spot any potential obstacles or hazardous zones before letting them run free-range.
How can I support my baby’s walking development?
When your little one starts pulling themselves up or pushing pint-sized shopping trolleys around the house, the best way to support them is to give them plenty of safe space and time to practise their moves. Let them roam around the living room, explore the backyard and give them lots of time outside the stroller, carrier or swing. You can also hold your baby’s hands while they walk to improve their balance and confidence, or entice them with a trail of toys, surrounded by soft cushions in the case of a tumble.
On the journey to walking, remember to let your little one take their time. Until they’re ready to tread solo, try and enjoy all the baby steps along the way.
11/08/2020 5:21 PM
Tummy time refers to the time your little one spends on their stomach while awake and supervised. It’s an essential part of your baby’s physical development and helps set them up for other important milestones, such as crawling, sitting upright and rolling over. When introducing your little one to tummy time, here’s what you need to know.
When should I introduce tummy time?
As long as your baby is awake and supervised, tummy time can begin from their very first days at home (given there are no health complications). Start by incorporating a few sessions in your little one’s daily routine, 3 to 5 minutes at a time, and slowly increase the amount each day. As they get older and stronger, you can place them on their belly for longer stretches, gradually building up to 10 to 15-minute sessions a few times a day. However, be sure to keep an eye on your baby at all times and feel free to take breaks if they’re finding it difficult.
Why do babies need tummy time?
Since babies spend a lot of time on their back during sleep, tummy time gives your little one the chance to try a new position and helps prevent a flat spot developing on their head. Tummy time also improves motor skills and helps your baby build head, neck and upper body strength. Over time, these muscles will eventually allow them to lift their head and reach other milestones, like crawling and sitting upright.
What if my baby doesn’t like tummy time?
If your baby becomes fussy or restless during tummy time, try changing the location and activity. If they don’t like being on the floor, lie down and place them on your chest while you gently play with their hands and feet. You can take this time to softly rock them, sing songs or rub their back. Your baby’s tolerance should increase as they grow older and stronger.
Helpful tips for tummy time:
- Try and encourage tummy time after your little one wakes up from a nap or after a nappy change. Avoid tummy time after a feeding, as this may place too much pressure on their abdomen, causing them to spit up.
- Create a safe and soft environment by clearing an area of the floor, placing them on a playmat and surrounding them with a few favourite soft toys.
- Lie alongside your baby and accompany them by talking, singing or reading.
- As your baby begins enjoying tummy time, work your way up to longer and more frequent sessions throughout the day.
Remember, always stay with your little one during tummy time. If they become sleepy, be sure to place them safely on their back in the cot or bassinet and always follow safe sleeping practices.