Welcome to wobblerhood: Your baby's first steps
Seeing your baba take their first steps is a special (not to mention nerve-wracking) moment.
Is your little one upwardly mobile? If they are already an adept crawler and are now hauling themselves upright by holding onto your legs, furniture, or the bars of the cot, you're probably not too far away from being the proud parent of a wobbler...
When should my baby be walking?
There is no set age for a baby to start walking. As with babbling and first words, there is a wide variation on the norm. Some babies start walking at nine months, others at 12 or 13 months of age. If your baby doesn't bear some weight on their legs when you hold them up by seven months, or isn't walking at 18 months, see your doctor in order to rule out any potential problems.
Is it all in the genes?
Some experts claim that the age a baby begins to walk is genetic. i.e. if you walked early, your baby will too, with the same applying if there was any delay. Other than family history, the age a baby takes their first steps is thought to be related to their physique, weight, height, overall cognitive development and environment.
What if my baby skipped crawling?
Some babies skip the crawling stage entirely, preferring to get around via bottom shuffling, commando crawling (with their arms only), or even rolling from one end of a room to another. Although there has been some debate about whether or not skipping crawling is detrimental to children's development, the general consensus is that as long as they're on the move in one form or another, it's not too much to worry about.
When your baby starts 'cruising' - holding onto furniture or anything else they can grab to steady themselves, a safe environment becomes more important than ever. Watch out for potential hazards such as tablecloths, sharp corners on furniture, cables or wires and exposed electricity outlets.
Atishoo atishoo we all fall down
When it comes to wobblers, stumbles are unavoidable. If your baba has a fall while trying to stand alone, try not to frighten them more with your reaction. As with confidence, fear and insecurity are also learned. If baba hits the floor, calm and comfort them and get them back on their feet as soon as possible. Positively reinforce all their efforts to walk alone, and don't forget to capture the special early moments on video or camera.
You'll never have a moment's peace again...