8-12 Months Baby Motor Development Characteristics (2)

04 Practicing Standing and Trying to Walk

Although crawling dramatically changes how a child views and interacts with the world, don't expect them to be satisfied with it for long. They'll notice everyone else is walking and want to join in. They'll seize every opportunity to stand up.

Initially, when they start standing, they might not know how to sit back down. If they cry for your help, you can demonstrate how to bend their knees and slowly lower their body rather than just plopping down.

Once they feel stable standing, they'll try taking a few steps while holding onto something. For example, if you're not available to hold their hands, they'll hold onto furniture and "cruise" around. Make sure the furniture they're holding onto doesn't have sharp edges and is heavy or securely fixed to the floor.

As their balance improves, they'll occasionally let go with their hands, only using them to steady themselves if they feel unbalanced. Initially, their steps may be unsteady, and they may take just one step before being surprised or relaxing and falling. However, soon they'll be able to take several consecutive steps forward until you catch them.

05 Walking Equipment Practice

Some parents start using baby walkers at this stage or even earlier. However, baby walkers don't actually help babies learn to walk; instead, they can discourage walking.

Worse, baby walkers pose significant safety hazards as they can easily tip over when they encounter small toys or carpets. Babies in baby walkers are also more prone to falling down stairs or wandering into dangerous areas they couldn't enter without the walker.

A stationary jumper or activity center is a better option; they don't have wheels, only seats that can rotate or bounce. You can also consider sturdy push toys or baby strollers with handles that your child can hold onto while walking. These devices should have handles for your child to hold onto and enough weight to prevent tipping when your child pulls themselves up using them.

Once your child starts walking outside, they'll need to wear shoes. Shoes should be closed-toe, soft and comfortable, with flexible non-slip soles and room for the foot to grow - athletic shoes are good.

Children don't need shoes with special insoles, reinforced high heels, or special arch support designs to provide support or maintain foot shape, as there's no evidence that these are beneficial for normally developing children; in fact, such designs can make walking more difficult.

During these months, your child's feet grow quickly, so shoes must be replaced accordingly. Your child's first pair of shoes will only last for 2-3 months, but during this developmental stage, you should check them every month to see if they still fit properly.

8-12 Months Baby Motor Development Milestones:

Can sit up without assistance and maintain a sitting position without other support. Can crawl forward using stomach on the ground, pulling with arms, and pushing with legs.

Can support body with hands and knees.

Can crawl using hands and knees.

Can transition from sitting to crawling or prone position.

Can stand up while holding onto something.


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