I was invited to a family’s home with concerns that their little girl wasn’t walking yet, and was almost 14 months old. Now, don’t let the age concern you…it’s still considered typically developing for a child to go as long as 16 months! But, this Mom was starting to worry, so off I went.
When a parent presents a concern to us, we always try to take EVERYTHING in to consideration…and some things we just have to SEE in order to figure it out!
When I sat down on the floor and began talking with Mom, I was observing the little one in her environment, interacting with Mom and with her toys. The first thing that I noticed was that she was a very FAST crawler! I then began to look around the room. Sure enough, she was doing all of the skills her mother had pointed out. I began to take a look at the configuration of the furniture lining the room: the L-shaped couch, followed by the end table, followed by a chair, aligned directly against the toy box, which led to the entry to the kitchen, exactly where her push toy was. All of these items lined the walls. There was no reason for her to let go! No spaces between pieces of furniture, and if she HAD to let go, she would drop to her knees and crawl. LOL. Smart kid!
Mom and I tried a few different configurations (the living room wasn’t very large), and voila! Her baby had to let go! With Mom nearby and offering her reassurance, baby learned within the next few weeks how to stand independently, and then to take steps!
It’s not ALWAYS that easy. Many times, we are just as perplexed as parents and are learning together! However, just remember that sometimes a little environmental change may “set the stage” for the next developmental milestone!
How did your baby learn to walk? Were they “early”, “on-time”, “late walker”…Share with us!