What to Keep in Mind When Your Little One Is Learning to Walk
A major milestone in your child's life is when he or she first learns to walk. However, there will be plenty of wobbly steps before your toddler can confidently cruise on his or her own two feet. Here are some things to keep in mind while your little one is in the learning stage.
Gates and GuardsWhen your child starts trying to walk, one of the first things you need to do is put up guards and gates around your home. It's easy for young children to fall down stairs or wander into areas of the house that contain items that are dangerous for them. In order to prevent serious falls and injuries, it is recommended that you supervise your small children closely, place guards on windows that are above ground level and place gates at the top and bottom of the stairs.
ShoesShoes can help a child who is ready to walk and needs some support. They are also essential for children who may have problems walking and require extra help. Make sure the shoes you buy for your child are lightweight, so he or she won't have problems lifting his or her feet. Look for breathable material that allows your child to move his or her feet freely. The soles of shoes for new walkers should offer plenty of traction since your little one won't need any help slipping and falling. It's also important to see what the shoes you are interested in are made for when it comes to terrain. Some shoes for new walkers are only designed to be worn indoors and won't make it long outside.
Training ToysWalking toys are designed to help your child get on his or her feet when he or she is first learning. They usually have wheels that roll easily and a handle for a child to grasp to stay steady. Besides being a walker, some of these toys have a front that features bright lights and songs for your child to explore when he or she is not walking. It's the perfect combination of walking tool and toy to play with. Walking toys help build strength in a child's body while also helping him or her learn balance. Plus, after some success with a training toy, your child will feel confident enough to try walking on his or her own.
Sharp EdgesExpect your child to fall when learning to walk. You can't cushion him or her from every slip, but you do need to ensure that he or she doesn't fall and hit his or her head on anything sharp. This means going around your house and looking at furniture that your child is eye level with when he or she is on his or her feet. Sharp edges need to be covered with pads or bumpers so a fall won't mean a trip to the hospital for stitches. Furniture in your house that can be moved easily, such as stools or chairs, should also be placed out of a child's reach when he or she is learning to walk. It's good to let kids pull up on furniture that is sturdy, but it's a bad idea to let them pull up on items that tip over easily.
Watching your child learn to walk is exciting. Just make sure to prepare for this next step in your child's development. Before you know it, they will have gone from walking to running and you’ll have to put on some speed to keep up.
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