Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Big Milestones in Infants: Walking and Talking

By: Christine Cox, The Choosy Mommy

Believe it or not, Cam is going to turn 1 tomorrow. His whole first year of life went by so quickly! And I know that children grow up really fast because I truly can’t believe Capri will be 4 this summer, but I feel like Cam grew up both fast and slow. Fast because it has already been a year, but slow because of our early start to his life (remember that he was born at 33 weeks). I would always compare his “skills” to other children his age and try to determine when his milestones would happen, but I have come to accept that he may not hit his milestones when other children do because he was born 2 months early. Reaching those development milestones like smiling, rolling from back to belly, sitting up, crawling and eventually walking, are of course important, but Cam is not racing anyone but himself to reach those goals.

No two children are alike and this is true for all aspects of life. But when it comes to Cam, I have to consider his adjusted age when trying to track about when he should be reaching milestones (so about 2 months later than children born at 40 weeks). I have to laugh at him though, because he was pretty lazy. Capri would do a lot for him so I don’t think he felt the need to overachieve. But now that he is crawling, I feel like life is just pouring out of him. He is happier, his eyes are brighter and his personality is just shining. But we still have milestones to reach, especially the two big ones that I am so desperately waiting for: walking and talking.

Walking

We learned from Professor and author Steve Sanders that balance and strength are the two critical movement skills of infants. And you would think that all of the child’s strength would have to be in their legs, but this is not true. Back strength is where you should concentrate when helping your child learn to walk. To strengthen their backs, do extra tummy time and encourage movement of the head and neck by catching their interest with different things. Balance comes with time, and some bravery! Babies learn to pull themselves to a standing position on furniture or with their bigger toys, but cruising around those objects and eventually letting go, that is a whole new ball game! To encourage balance, make a path of furniture or toys that can support them while they hang on and walk around. Additionally, offer your hands as support when they get to the end of their path. When the child feel comfortable going from their path to your hands, they will build confidence in themselves and will eventually try to reach the next piece of furniture or toy that is not in that path without your assistance.

Talking

Most parents can’t wait to hear which word comes out of their child’s mouth first: typically mama or dada (or in my house, Capri hopes it is her name!) Babies understand what others around them are saying long before they can verbally respond. And you know this because they smile, clap or even coo. But getting them to start verbally responding can be a long road, especially if they have chatty siblings and can’t seem to get a word in edgewise!

Talk constantly to your baby. If you feel odd speaking to something that isn’t going to respond back, read books to them. By hearing your voice and others around you, they are learning how to move their lips and make those sounds that you are making. When a noise does make its way out, praise your child and encourage them to keep making it. I always made noises into a fun game, and it is even more fun now that I have two kids. Capri really like to play the noise game with Cam. Even if you are driving in the car, playing music and singing along to it helps because they are still hearing every word you say.
So to parents like me who can’t wait for their children to reach milestones, my advice is to hang in there. Your child will eventually walk and talk and do all of the things that you can’t wait for them to do! And trust me, these milestones are only the beginning. Wait until you get to potty training, or even the things I have yet to experience!

About the Author: Christine Cox is the blog master for Choosy Kids. She has always had a passion for writing and is honored to contribute her work to this blog. Most of her writing inspiration comes from her daughter, Capri, who is fun-loving and full of energy, and newborn son Cam. Click here to learn more about Christine.

21 comments :

  1. Both of my boys were late walkers, but they did it eventually. It's so cute to see little humans walking around :)

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  2. He is such a little sweetheart! All of my kids have walked at different ages. I always say it isn't a competition:)

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    1. Awe thank you! So are your twins both walking??

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  3. Great post! I only have one, and she was an early talker and an average walker. But now she runs like the wind haha! All kids go at their own pace, and my mother in law always says they don't go off to college crawling or wearing diapers, so don't stress! LOL

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  4. My daughter was an early walker but late talker. Kids just do things at different paces :)

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  5. This is great advice. I was so excited for my kids to take their first steps and say their first words!

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  6. Kids do go at their own pace. My nieces and nephew all walked and talked at different times. It is so much fun watching the grow and change.

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  7. All kids are different. My oldest started walking when she was 8 months old and my youngest was a late bloomer and didn't start walking till she was over a year old. We thought she would never walk!

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  8. Milestones are always exciting, I definitely get why parents are always anxious to reach another one as often as they could. But really, it comes when it does and it's okay to get excited but we should definitely just wait for our kids to reach them.

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  9. I agree with the post, eventually they'll get there. Every child has a different metabolic development (I know, it may sound nonsense) and just because the 9 out of 10 can walk after a few months doesn't mean you have to worry.

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  10. Each milestone of a child is extremely exciting to watch! Each kid is different to another, some can walk earlier but there are some that are late bloomers. Regardless of their milestones, kids are lovely!

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  11. I love taking notes of my son's milestone. He is not much of a talker but he is an active boy. He walk on his 12th month.

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  12. Boys do take a wee bit ore to walk, yet they do eventually do walk, and its such a joy watching them bud and explore!

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  13. I remember my two son I can't wait to their first walk and their first word

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  14. I love your post, yeah, each child is different and we have to wait patiently for them to reach their milestone!

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  15. Agreed, every child is different and grows at different paces. My oldest was a "late" walker and talker, but noone can stop him now!

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  16. I still remember when my girls first started walking and talking. I was amazed because they started walking at such a young age. It's such a joy to watch them talk and walk for the first time.

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  17. This is really a great advice, I always remember the time that I can't to say Mama and to his first walk

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  18. Both my boys started walking right at 12 months. I love the walking and talking age :)

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  19. I got four kids and they all were walking before one and my youngest who is almost 3 has taken the longest to actually talk.

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