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Come on Baby, Walk!

March 28, 2016 - Rachel Seiler
My daughter just turned 11 months old and I'm excited for her to start walking!

She's been doing this army/zombie crawl for a few weeks. You know, the low to the ground elbow crawl pushing along with one leg while dragging the other behind. It's really quite funny, especially the look of determination on her face as she's motoring along.

I figured the next step would be for her to pull her legs up under and move along at a real crawl but she recently caught me by surprise when she suddenly started pulling herself up and standing on her own!

She's thrilled with this new accomplishment! She laughs and giggles as she waves her arms trying to maintain balance.

I was sure walking was only a week or so away! You may wonder why I'm in such a hurry for her to walk. I've heard parents of older children say, “Oh you just wait until they start walking, nothing's safe!”, or “Trust me! You don't want her to walk! It's easier when you can keep them in one spot”. You see, my sweet baby girl is much taller and heavier than your average 11 month old. Her daddy and I were both big babies so I wasn't surprised by this, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to hold and carry this 28 pound bundle of flailing arms and legs! To walk will be a beautiful thing.

So, I've been doing a little research on how I can help her along.

Three things really surprised me:

1. It's not the leg muscles that help a baby walk, it's the back muscles! So we're going to try to work those back muscles by playing more reaching and balancing games. Easy enough.

2. DO NOT use a walker! Did you know that walkers are actually banned in Canada?! This is shocking news. I often put my daughter in her walker thinking it would help her learn to walk when in fact it does the opposite! Apparently, this discourages them from trusting their legs can hold their body weight. Mine is being put away pronto!

3. No Shoes! My pediatrician told me it's easier for babies to learn to walk in bare feet. If you do put shoes on them, they need to be soft flexible soled shoes. Sorry sweetie, no heels for you yet! I wish I would have known this a little earlier as I've already started Quinn a nice shoe collection! Cute, but unpractical.

Ultimately, she'll start walking when she's ready. I will encourage and try to help her along but I've also invested in a few things to help ME along. A cheap umbrella stroller I've stowed in my truck for any quick shopping trip or walk and a side sling to support her little booty on my hip when she just wants to be held. Even when she starts walking, I'm hoping she'll never outgrow wanting to be held.


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