Seeing your baby take the first steps of their entire life is a big milestone for any parent. It can be exciting for both you and your baby. Since their birth, babies are gearing up towards this moment where they can learn to control their body movements and get the freedom of walking on their own.
Getting on their feet and watching the world from a new point of view is an adventure for the baby. Although clumsily at times, they are excited to get back on their feet and do it one more time. They start learning to get on their feet anywhere from 8 months to a year. Gradually as their muscles strengthen and their balance improves, most babies learn to walk on their own by 18 months of age.
Soon, you will find them running from one corner of your home to the other. When this starts to happen, you should be there watching out and looking after them. Babies will fall down on their own no matter how vigilant you are but you can ensure that you prevent incidents that are possible.
Potential injuries while your child learns to walk
Babies cannot differentiate between substances that are toxic to them and those that are harmless. During the age that they start to learn to walk, they will also start to put everything in their mouths. It is important that you keep all the medicines, cleaning supplies, alcohol and cigarettes out of their reach. Even some of the plants can be dangerous to babies, so make sure to keep them out of reach.
A very common accident that happens when children learn to move around on their own is that they fall down. As long as they are surrounded by safe furniture and are under constant care, they will learn to get back up and learn from the fall. However, sometimes the fall could be dangerous if your baby isn’t in a baby safe environment. It is important that you don’t leave your baby alone under such circumstances.
We as adults have learned to walk around the corners and sharp edges of the furniture to avoid getting hit by them. Even then we stub out toes once in a while. When it comes to babies that are just learning to walk, they cannot differentiate between safe furniture and a non-safe one. It becomes your duty as the parent to cushion and proof as many possible edges as you can. It is obviously not possible to eliminate every possible fall but you could reduce the impact that the fall could have on your baby by adding a cushion to the floor or a rug.
It is never safe to leave your baby alone with any kind of pet. Even though your little doggie might seem completely harmless, it’s only a matter of time before something that your baby does might seem like a threat. You would never want your baby to be alone in a house with pets without your presence.
Once your baby starts to walk around, make sure that the reach to the bathroom or the swimming pool isn’t easy. Babies can drown very easily in small amounts of water. So, make sure to keep them out of this risk.
Not just when your baby learns to walk but even when they learn to crawl, the electric outlets are one of the most common targets. Babies might rush onto the outlet and put their hands or fingers inside the sockets. Make sure to cover all of the outlets that are in your baby’s reach.
How to protect your baby from the potential injuries
One of the most important things to do is to baby-proof your entire home or at least the spaces that you let your baby spend time at.
- Make sure that the locks and hinges in the cabinets are babyproofed along with all the electrical cords and sockets.
- Do not leave any doors without guards that prevent fingers from getting pinched in the hinges.
- The corners of the furniture are extremely unsafe for babies. They can run into and bump their heads on the corners. So, take necessary steps to safety proof them.
- Make sure to cover the living room space as well as the nursery floor space with thick rugs so that it cushions your baby’s falls from when they are learning to stand or walk.
Yes, you can do your best trying to safety-proof your home but without proper care and looking after your baby while they are playing none of this would work. The truth is babies will fall down once in a while and you need to be there to ensure their safety. There is never a full guarantee that a home is a hundred percent baby safe. There is always something that might be harmful to your baby. Your baby doesn’t know how to differentiate between what is safe and what isn’t. So, someone should be there with them at all times until they learn to.
Spend time outside
The easiest way to help your baby play in a safe environment without worrying about the furniture and stairs is to let your baby play in a free and open environment outside. If you have a backyard, take them outside for a walk or play. Or you can take them for a walk in the park. They might even be able to make some friends in the park.
Of Course, you want to dress up your baby in the cutest outfit possible. But it is important that you consider what is the most essential while deciding on an outfit for your baby and it is their comfort. When they are first learning to walk, they need to be in extremely comfortable clothes and shoes. They are always wobbly and unbalanced as they are only learning to walk, don’t let the clothes and shoes become an added pressure on them.
- Safe Routes to School Guide: http://guide.saferoutesinfo.org/pdf/TeachingChildrenToWalkSafely.pdf
- Learning to walk: https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/learning-to-walk
- Walking Safety: https://www.whattoexpect.com/toddler-walking-safety.aspx
- Safety for Your Child: 1 to 2 Years: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/Pages/Safety-for-Your-Child-1-to-2-Years.aspx
- Home Safety for Infants and Toddlers: https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/health-wellness-and-safety-resources/helping-hands/home-safety-for-infants-and-toddlers
- Learning to Walk: Bumps Along the Way: https://www.chkd.org/Blog/Learning-to-Walk–Bumps-Along-the-Way/