This is the Golden moment on which most parents are focused. I will say that once this is turned on it is on forever.
–A hula hoop or a baton or even a broom stick handle is a good tool for these games too. You can have your child hold onto these while you walk with him or her.
–Place two pieces of sturdy furniture with soft edges like a couch and a chair arm’s-length apart. Place toys on either surface and encourage your child to hold to each surface and go back and forth. Make sure their hands can touch both surfaces comfortably to help them learn to maneuver the turn as well as the distance. This will help develop confidence and balance.
–Start with a standing position with your child leaning back into you. Place your child about 1 foot away from a soft sturdy surface like a couch. Help lure them to come forward and go to the couch. Continue this game and do not back up until your child is very comfortable with this.
–Progress this by beginning at 2 feet and continuing to increase this very slowly. Do not increase this distance too quickly. It is very important that your child gains confidence at their comfort level.
–Once your child has mastered this somewhat, you can began having him or her try to walk from one parent to another. Never, ever back up when a child is walking to you. This is very scary for your child and he or she may decide to quit and not continue.
–Hold your child’s hand and walk them everywhere in and out of the house. For instance, when it’s bath time, walked him or her to the bathtub.
–Create opportunities for standing. When your child finishes eating, stand him or her on the ground or holding to a wall when you’ve cleaned him or her up. Let them decide when to get down.
–Help your child pull into standing before you pick them up.
–Use the up/down principle: when your child is down place a toy or juice cup up; and when he or she is up, place a toy or juice cup down. This creates more squat to stand opportunities to strengthen his or her hips and legs and create better balance at the same time.
–You may have to work on lowering to sit using a variety of games like “kaboom” to help your child feel comfortable. He or she may be very scared when up and you may not realize this. One common scenario is to find your child screaming and standing in his or her crib. This may be because he or she has no idea how to get down without falling. If you have not already lowered the crib, you should do so immediately.
LOOKING FOR SHOES? Here is what I recommend to start with: Here are some of my favorite first shoes: