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encouraging your older toddler to walk places!

(8 Posts)
averagemum Thu 16-Jun-11 12:02:12

Hello, I've been reading a few threads recently about how far people's little ones walk and the "right" age to ditch the buggy. My DS is 2.8, we live in a big city and he's definitely not into walking compared with his peers, although I walk everywhere and would love to put the buggy away definitively. We go out without the buggy a lot (no car) and get buses / metro etc. Although he's perfectly capable of walking once we get to the park, on the way he'll tire of holding hands within a few minutes and I'll inevitably carry him. The only time he'll reliably walk is to nursery in the mornings, about 5 minutes away. When I pick him up at midday I always end up carrying him home. Another mum commented on this earlier today - which made me feel even more inadequate and prompted this post! So: I know I need to just stop carrying him. But what do you do when he refuses and you need to get somewhere? Sit and wait it out? Drag? How much walking can I reasonably expect? (I don't want to hear from super 20-mile walkers at 2 years, just normal kids please!).

We're going on holiday for a week next week in the country where he's fine with walkign further - fields etc so no hand-holding required. I'd love to have new strategy for when we get back. Any tips gratefully received!

CharlotteBronteSaurus Thu 16-Jun-11 12:07:27

2.8 is young to be fretting about this, but a bit of practice will help his stamina no end.

we found leaving the buggy at home for the fun stuff (park, zoo, museum trips) was a good way to get dd1 walking, as she was distracted by all the interesting stuff going on. you can tackle walking home from nursery once his stamina has improved. my 4yo still dawdles and moans about walking to the corner shop even though she'll hike for miles in the park.

oh, and i was really embarrassed when one mum commented on my dd using a buggy for a 1/3 mile walk at about 3. a year later my dd will walk into the village and back, meanwhile her son is always on the buggy board grin.

averagemum Thu 16-Jun-11 12:16:53

Just the stuff I needed to hear. Thanks Charlotte! My worry is that it's not so much stamina as refusal! But I agree keeping it fun is the key. The furthest I've got him to walk - along a street, not in field or park - was when I was doing a super-distracting-I-spy-motorbikes game!

Tgger Thu 16-Jun-11 12:21:46

Yes, believe me all those 2 year olds ditching the buggy is not really normal! Yes, some can and will, but like all things they get to it in their own time.

Personally I think by 4 they don't need buggies- and that's when it starts to look odd, but before then it's a balancing act, gently gently does it really. Lots of encouragement and praise when he does walk, what a big boy he is etc etc.

Yes, making it into a game or telling a story works. I tell "funny stories" on the way to school every day (or most days!). This is for my 4.5 year old and works a treat. Now DD 2.5 has started to ask for them too...agggh! bit of a strain on my creative resources, although the stories can be pretty simple (mostly peppa pig doing stuff with us!) to entertain.

Tiggles Thu 16-Jun-11 12:27:06

I have a couple of 'tricks' up my sleeve. The first is to purchase a wrist strap, I just need to mention to my younger two (4 and 2) that if they aren't walking next to me/holding my hand (depending if busy road or quiet road) they will have a wrist strap on, is enough to sort that out!

DS3 is currently fascinated by his shadow so on a day when he doesn't feel like walking, he has races with his shadow, or silly walks to watch his shadow being silly too etc.

Today was bin day, so we had a challenge - DS3 had to count recycling boxes, I had to count bins (I knew the green bins had been emptied earlier in the day so some people had taken theirs in already). So we had to keep going to the next house to see if he would win at that house, I would, or if it was a draw.

averagemum Thu 16-Jun-11 12:31:21

I wonder whether having an older sibling helps? Now I think of it, the two great walkers I know have big brothers / sisters to imitate? I think it's that I love walking hand and hand down the street with him. After the buggy it feels so liberating. But he's not loving too yet!

Fennel Thu 16-Jun-11 12:31:29

I have to say all my 3 were fairly rubbish at walking any real distance til at least 3.5. They just went so slowly I'd want to scream and give up. I would have liked them to be out of the buggy at 2, and have the sort of small children you meet smiling and tramping merrily away on the top of Lake District mountains, but mine just didn't seem to be that type.

What worked for us was cycling, all 3 of them were much happier triking or cycling than walking, and we could cover much more ground quicker, yet they were under their own steam. They were all 3 very keen cyclists from around 2.5 (with stabilisers).

averagemum Thu 16-Jun-11 14:00:41

Thanks so much for all tips and tricks. Feeling better about it!

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