At about 9 months, babies start showing some signs of their developing skills regarding their desire to walk: they’ll probably start pulling themselves up and hold onto furniture (make sure everything is sturdy along your baby’s path) to adventure into what one day will be walking… No doubt those first steps will happen much easier with help. You’ll see, babies just love to stroll around the house or park holding their parent’s hands. This task won’t always be a breeze – grownups and aching backs, of course! – but, let us all just admit it, it is worth it.
The best way to encourage these first steps is to leave your child barefoot on the floor, on top of a rug or on the carpet. Babies need to train their muscles to remain seated, then get into a crawling position, and once they have those skills, they’ll be able to stand up holding onto furniture for support (heavy enough not to fall on them), and that’s how your baby will learn to walk.
The walker, which was used a lot in the past, is totally discouraged by the main pediatric associations around the world. The American Academy of Pediatrics asked for a ban on the use and sale of the walkers in the US in late 2018 – the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics has the same opinion and made a similar request in 2013. Studies show the walker is one of the main causes of accidents involving children, especially those resulting in head and neck injuries, which can lead to death – even if there is an adult nearby since the object makes the child gain more speed.
Walkers may also slow down the child’s motor development, making it difficult to crawl and delay walking.
Walking, or well…, getting there, it is no surprise 09-month-old babies are getting more and more curious. Get ready to ride along in many new discoveries around the house, like pushing light switches to watch the light go on and off, or open and close drawers. To avoid accidents, be a close watcher.
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