Baby Steps: Learning to Walk

James W. Rust
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Summer has hit east central Florida, and the temperatures are sizzling, but there are great places to take your kids to cool off. The Sun Splash Park in Daytona Beach gets high marks. Kids can play on the soft sand beach, boogie board in the ocean, then run up to the splash park to rinse and cool off in the colorful spray showers. Best of all—it’s free! It is a great place to help your little one who is learning to walk, because going barefoot helps with balance and coordination.

Babies prepare for walking starting soon after birth. For the first few months, their reflex is to push against things with their feet. Between 5 and 10 months they will begin to stand on your thighs and bounce up and down. Rolling over, sitting, and crawling all help develop their muscles. At 8 to 10 months, most babies will start pulling themselves up to stand. Sometimes, they don’t know how to get down again! You can show them how to bend their knees and sit without falling over.

Walking around furniture, and then while holding onto your hands, they will eventually be ready to take those first solo steps. Most kids start out walking on their toes with their feet pointing out to the side, so don’t worry if you see this pattern. Don’t worry about shoes, either. They don’t really need them until they are walking on their own outside. Just make sure their environment is safe for walking and don’t leave them alone.

Parents will always wonder if their children are developing normally when they observe things like in-toeing, out-toeing, knock knees, bow legs, flat feet, or toe-walking. These conditions will normally resolve on their own, but it is a good idea to bring them into Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates so any serious underlying conditions can be ruled out—or caught early for treatment. Give us a call in Daytona Beach at (386) 274-3336 or check for other phone numbers and locations on our website. We love taking care of children’s feet!

Photo Credit: phanlop88

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