Sunday, November 05, 2006

Day 258 - First Steps

Today's first time parenting tip - Encourage your baby to walk by finding the thing he loves most

Most parents try to get their baby to walk by holding him up or crouching in front of him as he's cruising. Then, some type of dialog starts that basically repeats "Walk to mommy/daddy!" over and over again. Maybe your baby takes some steps, maybe he doesn't.

The point here is to think about this a tad differently. Rather than only offering him yourself or his other parent as incentive, think of the thing that interests him the most. This could be your smiling, laughing face.

Or it could be the dog. A ball. Or in our case, the cat.

Our son loves petting and watching the cat walk around. A lot of the time he'll crawl over to him or try to work himself out of our arms when the cat is underfoot. So it seemed pretty natural that his first steps were to get closer to the cat.

Your baby is going to try, fail, try, fail, try, fail at a lot of things, because that's how they learn. The most important thing is to offer a supportive environment that encourages experimentation, and to also help your baby accomplish all the new things he's trying to learn. Offering something he's naturally interested in rather than trying to force something is a great way to help him have the best chance to learn.

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