Crawling and Walking is another milestone in your baby’s life; they are now coming into the toddler years. It is also true you will now need eyes in the back of your head. They move so quickly whether it is crawling or walking and this new activity has opened up a whole new world to them; so the cupboard under the sink is very exciting and the toilet looks like great fun. From around 6 months of age you should start using words like NO, DON’T TOUCH and HOT.
The average age for your baby to crawl is between the ages of 7-9 months old. Do not worry if they are older than this age before they start, every child is different and they will do it when they are ready.
When their child starts walking or crawling, I always advise parents to get down to their child’s eye level on the floor and become aware of any potential dangers in the home. There are a few areas in the home where your child is more likely to suffer from an accident. Here are just a few things to watch for:
- Fit child locks on drawers and low cupboards
- Remove household cleaning products and sprays from low cupboards and put somewhere high and out of reach. This includes bathroom cupboards as well as kitchen cupboards
- Kettles and irons should be positioned out of harm’s way; always wrap up the cable making sure little ones cannot get hold of it
- Install a safety gate on the stairs; both bottom and top
- Always use a fire guard
- Plug socket covers
Usually around the 10-12-month mark is when your baby will start pulling themselves up on things and climbing. Again it is important to have a look in your home for any item that could lead to an accident. e.g.
- Changing tables
- Check the level of your child’s cot, making sure it’s at the lowest level
- Ensure all of your furniture is stable and secure; the wobbly shelving unit will have to be addressed and the glass-topped coffee table may have to find a new location.
For a few weeks before your child starts walking they will “cruise” the furniture. Give them lots of space to do this. They will be unsteady on their feet for a week or so, until they get their balances right. To help your baby along and to build their confidence, you can hold their hands and slowly walk with them between your legs. A “push-along” walker can also help to improve walking skills. (E.g. V-TECH© WALKER)
Remember your child will walk when they are ready and only then. I also do not advice putting shoes on your child for the first few weeks, wait until they are very steady on their feet.