Kids’ doctors on how a baby learns to walk

Kids' doctor in Gastonia, NC

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If your baby is learning to walk, Gastonia, NC kids’ doctors have advice on how you can help. Since none of us remember learning to walk, we have no sense of how discouraging it must be. A 2012 study on the process of learning to walk, in which researchers from the National Institutes of Health observed 151 infants for 15 to 60 minutes each, shed some light on the process.

According to this study, a baby learning to walk will fall 31.5 times per hour, or a little over once every two minutes. On the other hand, a crawling baby who has been crawling for some time will only fall 17.4 times per hour, or less than once every three minutes — and since the baby is already on all fours, it’s much less of a fall when it happens. (This shouldn’t be so surprising, when you think about it. The process of walking is basically falling forward with every step and using one foot at a time to catch yourself.)

Nevertheless, they persist. According to this same study, walkers spend a third of their time trying to walk, while crawlers spend only about a fifth of their time trying to crawl. Walkers also cover nearly three times as much distance per hour. Babies notice the extra speed and mobility walking has to offer, and they enjoy it. They like it so much they’re willing to fall down a little more often while they’re learning. Besides, it’s what all the grownups and older kids are doing.

Helping with baby’s first steps

First, make sure your home is baby-proof and all the furniture is secured in place. Kids’ doctors say your baby will start walking by cruising, letting the walls and furniture to support his or her weight at first.

Before your baby learns to walk, he or she will learn to crawl. Don’t be alarmed if your baby’s legs seem to be trying to pull him or her backward — your baby will get them sorted out. Give him or her a clear space to practice. Babies generally start pulling up at around eight months. Show them how to bend their knees and stand again so they can practice it themselves. The most important thing is to give your baby lots and lots of encouragement.

A kids’ doctor in Gastonia, NC

Gastonia Pediatric Associates is a kids’ doctor conveniently located west of Charlotte. It is one of the first medical practices for children in the Gastonia area, has served three generations of families with personalized care and offers medical advice for parents 24 hours a day. Its staff includes three physicians and three nursing staff. Gastonia Pediatrics is owned and directed by its own physicians. If you need a kids’ doctor, call today.