Ready, Set, Go
As parents, we may try to compare our kids with what other kids are doing. My son was a late starter when it came to walking, and I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother me when other parents would say, “my daughter could walk before she was one” or “my one year old runs faster than Usain Bolt.” Instead of focusing on what other parents were telling me about their kid, I should have just been focusing on my child, so I would realize that he would walk when he was ready to.
First Steps Are a Big Deal
This should go without saying, but taking those first steps is a huge milestone in your kid's life! My son's first steps were just one of those things that I will always remember as a parent. Do not hide the excitement! Make sure you ham it up and show them how special it is that they have walked.
*You might also want to start thinking about putting some of your valuables in a harder to reach places*
For my son, balancing was the biggest problem. He would get up to his feet, lose confidence, and then tumble. It was frustrating for him, but what I did was make it a game. I would get him to stand, then clap my hands, and count. He loved it and would try to remain standing longer and longer as time went on. The balancing game was a fun activity that we did together, and it also helped him to gain more confidence when it came to walking.
When my son finally started walking, he would still crawl just as much as he would try to walk. When I would catch him crawling, I’d make it a point to get him to his feet and cheer. I showed him how much fun it was to walk instead of crawl.
Time, Patience, & Lots Of Falling
Some kids can stand up and then they are off, causing all kinds of havoc around the house. But for most parents, encouraging a child to walk can be a lengthy process. Try not get frustrated, be prepared for them to start walking, then revert to crawling (as mentioned above), and even fall. As a parent, the natural instinct is to rush to your child when they fall. As long your little one is safe, falling backward onto their butt is not going to do them any harm.
Game Of Walking
Once your child starts to walk, making a game of walking is an excellent way to encourage them to keep at it. Grab your child’s favorite soft toys and hold them ransom until they do three laps around the couch… I’m joking!!! I would, however, put toys on the opposite side of the room and encourage him to rescue his friends lol. After a while, he would grab his toys and help me to put it somewhere else so he could find them. Wait that sounds a lot like I’m playing fetch with my son lol, all I can I can say is this worked wonders for his walking.
Record Lots Of Videos
There is just something so super cute about the way kids waddle along like penguins when they are learning to walk. Make sure you get as many of these moments on tape as possible. The process of learning to walk goes by in a flash, and you’ll want reminders!
Do Not Push!
A great example is my own experience with my son. I tried to potty train him before he was ready and it was a brutal mess with pee and poop everywhere! I tried to potty train him before he was willing because I heard other parents with children similar in age were doing it. What I learned is that all kids are different so do not get hung up, worried, disappointed or discouraged if your child simply is not feeling it. In a few months, you can try again.
Keep Your Cool
Look, I know it is easier said than done after getting peed and pooped on for what feels like the 500th time. I know it can seem hard, but you have to try and stay calm, so potty training is a positive experience for your little one. If you don’t your children will feel as if the potty is a punishment. Keep potty training as encouraging and happy as possible, even when you’re trying to figure out how poop managed to get on the wall (facts).
Sit On It
Now we are not talking about The Fonz (thank you, Nick at Night for that dated reference) but what I am talking about is getting your child to sit on the potty. If they have not needed to use the potty for a while, ask them if they need to go and get them to try. Get you child in the routine of going to the potty when they need it and not when it’s too late. Your child may fight you in the beginning, but the aim is to make using the potty as natural as possible.
Two Potties For Every House!
Having two potties is something that helped me out greatly! If you live in a two story house, have one potty upstairs and one downstairs. This saves you having to unleash your inner Supergirl and fly up or down the stairs to grab the potty because your child has decided they “need to go.” Stay ahead of the game and have one upstairs and one downstairs.
Have A Potty Chart
Ok so here it goes, I managed to get my son to use the potty with some good ole' fashioned bribery. Some moms will tell you that this is not a good idea, but I can tell you from personal experience that enticement can work. My son loves food especially jelly beans (I don’t generally give him candy), so we had a system where each time he used the potty and did not go in his pants, on the carpet, or behind the couch, he would get to pick out a few jelly beans to snack on. To say this worked and helped with potty training is an understatement. So if you are having a hard time and just need that extra little trick to help, maybe bribery could be the way to go.
Juanita C. Clare
Just a new mother to an amazing little boy learning things as we grow.