A baby’s first year is full of exciting new discoveries for them when it comes to getting mobile. From bum-shuffling and crawling through to taking those wobbly first steps, your little one will experiment with lots of types of movement until they feel confident and independent enough to start toddling around. Before you know it, they’ll be zooming round the house spiritedly and you’ll be wondering where your docile little bundle of joy went!
While most babies learn to crawl between 7 and 10 months of age, and take their first steps between 9 and 12 months, it’s perfectly normal for them to take longer (or to do their own thing entirely!). My little girl, Katie, preferred to roll herself around rather than crawl. She actually skipped crawling altogether and moved straight to pulling herself up on items of furniture (the coffee table and sofa were favourites), using them as walking aids to get used to the feeling of toddling. Your baby will follow his/her own timeline and approach – moving around in the way that feels right for them until they are ready to brave that big first step.
Your baby is strong enough to start experimenting with crawling as soon as they can sit up properly without your support. Being able to do this shows that the muscles in their arms, legs and back will hold their weight when they push up into the crawl position. Some babies just like to slide around on their tummies at this stage, while others will try to push up onto their hands and knees. After a few attempts, they will soon work out that they can move forwards and backwards from here, and, once they know how to do this, there is no going back: they will be scooting around everywhere!
As parents, most of us have an image in our heads of the day our little one lets go of the safety of the coffee table and totters bravely towards our open arms. Your baby’s first steps are a magical moment – the start of their transformation into an independent human being. And, while it would be wonderful to be able to provide you with a set time that this is going to happen, the truth is that your baby could start walking at any time between 9 and 17 months. Every baby is different, and the time it takes for them to develop the coordination and muscle strength needed to walk can vary. They might be an early walker, or they might decide that they are perfectly happy pulling themselves along on the furniture a bit longer.
To keep your baby or toddler safe as they start to find their feet, you could dress them in a Slumbersac sleeping bag with feet. The comfortable bags reduce the risk of your little one tripping over as they crawl or toddle – giving them the freedom to explore properly!