NUK. Understanding Life.

Learning to walk

stages of life > 8-16 Months

With their first steps, your child will see the world – and you – differently.

Even if your child is perfectly equipped for walking and has been revved up and ready to go for some time, the transition from crawling to standing, cruising and finally walking is a large one. Every step requires a lot of self-belief. Some babies are plucky and manage to walk at 11 or 12 months, whilst others take twice as long. It could be that your child would rather concentrate on developing her speech right now and doesn’t have the time for excessive physical exertions.

This is perfectly normal – no need to look daggers at the toddler next door, who is already waddling merrily around the garden. You should not, under any circumstances, try to speed up your child’s development. Forget baby walkers: they can cause knock-knees or bowlegs, malalignments of the feet or even back injuries. Besides, your child is extremely sensitive to signs of dissatisfaction on your part, which is anything but beneficial in terms of her self-confidence. It’s better if you encourage your child to achieve only what she’s ready for, and what will be more easily crowned with success.

Once this huge step has been taken and your child is able to walk, her whole worldview will immediately change. Being able to change locations means that things can be seen from different perspectives. And with this ability comes an ever-increasing sense of self. Your child will begin to have a more conscious perception of herself and others as discrete persons. From now on, she will be concerned with finding out about “me” and “you”, “yours” and “mine”. This is also the time for you to put a few "disaster prevention" measures in place, such as stair guards, child-proof windows and balconies or non-slip staircases. But sometimes a loving but firm “No” is a useful way of restricting your child's breakneck careerings.