By: Christine Cox, The Choosy Mommy
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.
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.
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.
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.