Baby’s First Steps
Not long after birth the reality sets in—at some point this baby is going to move around on her own – Baby’s First Steps – and get into all kinds of mischief. When will she roll over? Sit up? Those first scoots that become a crawl?
With these tips, you can help your little one get on the move.
|Sitting to Crawling
|Crawling to Walking
|What she may be doing…
|Around 3 months, when baby starts to lift her head, arms and legs, as if she’s flying, she’s strengthening those muscles that will help her roll over. She may roll on her side while lying in her bassinet or on the floor. When she starts doing mini-pushups with her hands lifting her shoulders during “tummy time,” she’s getting even closer. First, she’ll flip from front to back, but she’ll need more strength to get back on her tummy.
|Sometime around 6 months your baby is going to startle you by sitting up on her own. Don’t resist the urge to help her get into position for scooting or crawling—the fun is just beginning! Baby may sit in some odd positions as she learns balance, and just when you see her try to go up on all fours, she may go rolling toward a favorite toy or book. She probably won’t actually realize that those hands and knees can work together till around 10 months.
|As she gains strength watch baby begin to pull herself to standing alongside the couch or a small table. Once she’s steady she may begin to “cruise,” holding on but with no fear of falling typically, to get where she wants to go. These are the first steps toward walking. She may cruise for some time before she ever tries independent steps.
|How you can help her…
|Give her lots of tummy time and hold toys just above eye level and in a way that makes her try to lift her head and shoulders off of the floor. Show her how to swim her arms and kick her legs, which will seem like a funny game but will be strengthening the muscles she needs to get moving.
|If baby has siblings, there’s nothing more fun than having a crawling party around her; she’ll love it! Put toys and desired objects just out of her reach and watch her use her own gyrations to move her body toward them. Place her in crawling position when possible but leave it up to her to figure it out. Don’t be surprised if she pulls her body with her hands and even drags her legs in a combat crawl!
|Steady baby as she starts cruising, hold her by her trunk or upper arms so that she can focus on balance as she tries her first steps. Don’t be surprised even if those first steps come right around her first birthday, many babies don’t walk until around 18 months.
|Watch out for…
|Baby still needs to spend all of her sleeping time on her back until she’s easily turning herself from back to tummy, and then returning to her back again, which is usually around age 6 months. Once she’s mastered that, she can pick her own sleep positions.
|Baby’s exploration. Whether she rolls or scoots, she now has a 6-12 inch worldview from the floor and it’s time that everything within sight is safe for her.
|Objects that can trip baby, like rug edges or toys on the floor. Keep a clear path and encourage barefoot walking for a sure grip.
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