BABY WALKING AND FALLING
The mother of my 11 month old stellar caterpillar student said to me, “She keeps falling down! I am afraid she will hit her head.” At 10 and a half months, after a lot of crawling and cruising, this baby embarked upon a new milestone: walking! She walked about six steps at a time and then plopped down on the floor after losing her balance. After a couple more weeks she could walk 10 steps or so before falling down. Now, she is turning one year old and she is walking distances quite quickly and confidently–a true stellar caterpillar!
The development of a baby includes learning balance with motor skills. Balance is learned very gradually. As babies learn to walk they can balance for only a few steps at a time. As their balance improves they can take more steps before falling down. Of course we see them sometimes choosing to crawl if they want to reach their goal very quickly!
ANATOMY OF BABY’S FOOT
There are many muscles and bones in the foot. There are also two arches which help provide stability when we walk. When baby first begins to walk, her feet are rather flat as she steps. With time the muscles and arches gain strength and we can see the weight shift from one part of the foot to the other as baby walks, and her foot no longer appears “flat.” It is strength in the foot muscles that baby develops as she takes her first steps and falls. If you look down at her feet you will see the slight wavering of the foot as she shifts around to gain balance. The stronger the foot muscles, the better baby’s balance, and the more stable she is when she walks.
BABYPROOFING FOR WALKING
If your baby is walking and falling, this is probably a normal part of developing her skill of balance. You should see her gradually increasing the number of steps she can take before falling down. Remember to babyproof so those falls aren’t too painful. Bumpers for the corners and edges of tables are a must! Move any pointy or hard objects off of the floor to avoid baby falling on them. And if you have not already thoroughly babyproofed your home, now is the time to do so.