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What did you do to encourage your child to walk, or didn't you?

(35 Posts)
Queeze Sat 01-Mar-14 20:59:07

I will not be made to feel guilty, so can you reassure me that your toddler was going to walk, whether or not you did anything to help. And if they didn't what did you do to encourage them.
DS, at 17 months is not walking. He began to crawl at 14 mths. Prior to that he hadn't cruised, but now he will cruise and enjoys it. We had a referral to specialist and an xray of hips and all was fine. She also said his joints were a little more flexible than normal and he would take longer to build strength, and he does walk by swinging his legs out to the side more than bending his knees, indicating he's not got that strength yet. They also said our wooden floors might have affected his development too, even though we have those rubber floor tiles, a massive rug and our upstairs is all carpet.

My FIL/BIL and my own mother seem to think I have simply just not encouraged him enough and when they visit waste no time hoisting him up for a walk/drag about the house. They don't seem to believe me when I tell them that a baby will walk when they're ready and when they are ready you can't stop them.

The thing is, I am devastated that I might be to blame. We practiced rolling a lot (I even had made up a song so it became fun as he hated it). We've tried bouncers/jumpy thing which he just sat in. He goes bare feet inside. We have the house set up so he can cruise the length of it if he wants to and so far the floors have not fazed him. I make sure I spend most of the day inside so we can play enough. We walk daily but he's not confident if his death-grip on my fingers is anything to go by.
What else could/should I do? I don't think there is anything else I can do, but it's impossible to not worry when beaky know-it-alls tell you your son has delayed development!!
Sorry this is long. Thanks in advance for any advice.

TheGreatHunt Sat 01-Mar-14 21:08:00

I didn't encourage either of mine. They had opportunity ie space to cruise etc but there's no point trying to force. Mine were early/average walkers though.

You've done the right things - seen medical experts etc so please don't feel worry.

Chipandspuds Sat 01-Mar-14 21:08:05

I didn't really do anything to encourage DS's walking, he started cruising at 10 months and walking at 12 months. I think they do it when they want to. DS always enjoyed 'standing up' from a young age, whereas other babies I've held definitely don't have any urge to 'stand' and are happy to sit up. They're all different. The only thing I would suggest is a baby walker, we got a v-tech baby walker second hand and DS really enjoyed using that to walk around until he got the confidence to do it on his own. Even at two years old he still likes to push his walker around!

Rosieliveson Sat 01-Mar-14 21:18:46

Sorry, what is cruising?

I wouldn't worry. I'm sure your DS will walk when he is ready to. It sounds like you've done the right thing and sought medical advice.
Ignore the judgeypants members of the family and do what you think (know) is best for him. As for 'dragging' him around. Tell them not to. If necessary, say the doctor has suggested you don't force it as it can form negative connotations and delay him further - bunkum of course but they won't know that wink

Mercedes519 Sat 01-Mar-14 21:26:54

17 months is later than some but it's still within normal development milestones.

The walker might help? We had a trolley that DS used to run round with when he was learning to walk. DD spurned it and didn't want to talk and then one day round at a friends house and she had something like this and she ran off down the hall. I went out and bought one on the way home and she didn't stop after that.

I'd also second the view of 'smile and nod'. Ignore ignore ignore and continue to do your best for YOUR child.

Queeze Sat 01-Mar-14 21:27:49

chipsandspuds we do have a walker so might spend some time with it next week. I'd been ignoring it, but could be time to try again. Ta
rosieliveson cruising is the word people use to describe toddlers walking but holding on to something for support. In my case clinging to something for support.

MarvellousMechanicalMouseOrgan Sat 01-Mar-14 21:30:45

We did nothing at all to encourage DD. I'm also of the belief that they'll do it when ready. She never crawled, and walked at 16.5 months.

elQuintoConyo Sat 01-Mar-14 21:34:21

We did precisely bugger all to help ds walk grin he just grabbed hold of things and off he wobbled. We never did the holding hands thing too lazy couldn't be arsed

He walked crazy early. So, yes, your ds will walk when he is ready.

Oh, and we live in Spain with tiled floors throughout and not a rug in sight! He used to BELT across the floor when he was crawling!

You're doing everything right, imho. But by all means say "oh give it a break, will tou?" next time people launch into their unprofessional waffle grin

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sat 01-Mar-14 21:36:49

If he is cruising and walking holding hands he will walk.

Really truly he will and probably quite soon

Mrswellyboot Sat 01-Mar-14 21:39:33

I have been advised not to use baby walkers but to encourage lots of tummy time.

Paloma12 Sat 01-Mar-14 21:41:38

You don't need to do anything except what you are already doing - bare feet, plenty of time to move around. He's better off crawling than pushing a walker around, crawling naturally strengthens the muscles for walking. Pushing a walker makes them no closer to proper walking, they need the correct muscle development and a strong core, which they develop from crawling, pulling up, rolling etc. 17 months is still within normal range!

Toptack Sat 01-Mar-14 21:44:15

DS1 cruised for ages before walking. We eventually got him to go on his own by putting a pair of his father's gloves on him and telling him that they were magic walking gloves... They were too big and floppy for him to effectively cling on to anything so he just toddled off on his own. Took him a while to pluck up the courage to take the magic gloves off though!!

Did nothing. How can you "encourage" them? Either their muscles and co-ordination are developed enough or they're not confused

You can probably stunt a child's development, for example if you always keep them strapped into a pushchair and never let them have a chance to try but I don't think you can make it happen quicker.

Having said that I saw DS take 3 steps at 10 months but he didn't actually walk alone regularly until 16 months, which knowing his personality now I really think was a confidence issue.

jimijack Sat 01-Mar-14 21:48:00

Nothing.
He did have a walker but it was too restrictive for him.
Walked at 9 months independently.
Honestly, we did nothing. He just did it.

Beanymonster Sat 01-Mar-14 21:48:52

Our dd was a bit early at walking (10 months) but did everything else at very average textbook times, didn't encourage the walking but what I think helped was her walker, it wasnt one of the a frame things with the phone on the front that most people seem to have, we got given a (I think vetch?) walker, which was like a walking frame, with a piano on top! So to play with the piano god I was glad to see that thing go! she had to stand and balance to hit it with her hands? I think that encouraged her to strengthen her legs, might be worth a shot?

But tbh, you've seen the professionals, maybe he's just happy taking the world in from where he is for now!!

ReallyTired Sat 01-Mar-14 21:53:02

Your son does not have delayed development. Lots of babies don't walk until 18 months and the NHS does not offer child physio until the child is over 2 years old. My son saw a child physio between the ages of 23 months and three and half years old because of orthopedic problems. Our child physio told me that "if a child sits by two years old then they will walk by four." My daughter walked at 14 months without help from anyone. The age that a child walks has nothing to do with parenting ablity.

I don't think that there is anything else that you can do to encourage your son to walk. You are doing all the right things. There is nothing wrong with just allowing your son to crawl. He will build up strength by crawling

DameFanny Sat 01-Mar-14 21:53:28

If he's hypermobile then please tell your ILs not to force him to walk. He needs to do it in his own time, when his body is ready.

Forcing him could hurt him and end up causing more delay as he won't want to hurt himself again

joanofarchitrave Sat 01-Mar-14 21:57:47

I have no doubt that nothing we did made any difference.

We were given a walker by my aunt as her five children are no longer young. I was initially worried because they are potentially dangerous, but gave it a go (on our hard tiled floor) and ds absolutely loved it, scooted around screeching with joy with his arms in the air grin

I still think he walked when he was ready. Crawling would have been harder work/more 'training' for walking if anything.

Correlation is not causation. If your parents/inlaws are willing to stand there holding his hand, and he enjoys it, great, and I don't think it will do any harm; if they say anything, give them a 'kind mummy' smile and say 'Oh it's so lovely of you to encourage him like that' while you sit down with a cuppa. Let them knock themselves out. In the unlikely event that there IS a longer-term issue, it will become evident and you will deal with it. Reminds me of a friend whose inlaws still occasionally make a remark about how she read too many books to her son and they link this to him having an autistic spectrum disorder!! Numpties.

lovingmatleave Sat 01-Mar-14 21:59:23

Now that he is cruising, I'm sure the walking won't be too far away. Its the next logical step.
One of our sons didn't walk till about 16.5 months. He bum-shuffled rather than crawled (still doesn't really crawl) and then cruised along furniture for ages but then his first steps soon progressed into walking. He's just 18 months now and still a bit wobbly. We just gave lots of encouragement and loads of clapping and cheering when he did walk by himself. He then wanted to show off. He also had a walker and will still push it and chairs etc around to help him walk.

If the professionals aren't worried, then tbh neither would I. It will come in time.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 01-Mar-14 22:02:46

With all of ours we both held their hands and walked round with them, let go and they bump on bum.
It was soon after they were sitting up playing with toys.
All 3 were walking before 1 but don't know exact ages and it doesn't matter.
Then they get to the stage of standing, wobbling, falling.
Then they gain a bit more balance and there's no stopping them.
That was our experience anyway. I suppose we sort of taught/encouraged.

abigboydidit Sat 01-Mar-14 22:08:01

DS refused help. Wouldn't take your hands or a walker. He walked at almost 10 months shock DD will happily take your hand and is still cruising at 13 months thank heavens

TheABC Sat 01-Mar-14 22:13:22

My DS is not yet at walking stage. However a good friend of mine has a late walker. No issues - her DD simply is happy to sit and observe her older siblings. Their therapist simply told them to encourage standing/cruising by putting objects on their sofa for her to reach. Babies walk when they are ready!

Misty9 Sat 01-Mar-14 22:13:48

Ds crawled at 10.5mo and walked at 15.5mo; he got around so quickly by crawling that he probably didn't see the point in getting vertical! We did nothing to encourage him, he refused to hold hands and be 'walked' but he did enjoy his vtech walker thing. He waited until he could do it properly IMO and he was very steady on his feet from the start. Nothing to worry about with your dc IMO OP smile

kaffkooks Sat 01-Mar-14 22:21:44

My 15 month old son is exactly the same. We have wooden floors downstairs and carpet upstairs. He didn't crawl until 1 year and has only started cruising in the last few weeks. He really enjoys walking with his toddle truck and, like your son walks with his knees straight and swinging his legs out the way. I encourage my son to walk holding on to my hands when we go between rooms in the house but if he doesn't want to I don't force it. Keeping him barefoot on the wooden floors is also a good idea as he has more grip that way. It's not your fault, they will get there eventually. I reasure myself with the fact that I apparently didn't walk until I was almost 2 so my son is doing better than I did at that age!

blondiep14 Sat 01-Mar-14 22:23:23

My DD is 17 months and still isn't walking about.

She also cruises, and will walk to her brothers, or if she feels like it, but is still far happier on her bum or speed crawling across the floor!

We've done nothing differently to what we did with her brothers so I guess that shows they all do it when they're ready. Boys were 12 and 14 months I think.

As she does walk (sporadically) I'm not worried it's a physical thing so just being patient.

There is nothing you have or haven't done wrong and it's pretty mean of family to suggest otherwise. If I were you I would tell them to back off. Politely, if you like!

Dragging your poor DS around when he's not confident is only likely to make him nervous. I'd start blaming them instead wink.

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