Dear Baby, Please Don’t Walk Yet

tim chan —  November 28, 2012 — 5 Comments

“When did your baby start walking?” I used to eagerly ask every parent I talked to. It seemed like the answers ranged between 9 months to 16 months. I kept a mental note and secretly wished my baby would start walking very early so I could brag about her to everyone I knew (for the rest of my life).

Dear Baby, Please Don't Walk YetThat was two months ago. I’m a different person now. I no longer want my baby to walk so early.

Allie started crawling when she was 8-months old. Our family was very excited when it first happened. We cheered when she first moved forward, and we happily watched this new skill develop.

Then we realized we weren’t prepared for her crawling. Our house had so many baby hazards. Allie started getting herself into so much trouble – opening doors, picking up bits of dust on the floor and putting them in her mouth, pulling over chairs, poking at electrical outlets and grabbing at wires. We scrambled to get a baby gate up and baby proof the house. We had to constantly keep an eye out for Allie to make sure she wasn’t crawling into some hazard we had forgotten about. It was a bit stressful.

Now we finally feel like we have baby-proofed the house for a crawling baby.

But the house is not baby-proofed for a walking baby. We’re not ready yet.

Babies change so fast. As parents, Olive and I feel like we are constantly trying to keep up with Allie’s latest developments. Changing sleeping patterns. Changing feeding habits. New physical developments. With every change we have to adjust. We feel like we’re always playing catch-up, trying to figure out what to do. And right when we feel like we’ve got a routine going, something else changes.

It’s nice to get a breather sometimes – even for a few days. That’s why I’m no longer super eager for my daughter to start walking yet. I’m going to enjoy these days of relative peace before she starts running around the house and causing new sorts of chaos.

So Allie, please don’t walk yet. Please give me and your mother a few more weeks of semi-peaceful living where we can let you roam about the house without worrying that you’ll hurt yourself. We feel like we’ve just caught up to your development – let us enjoy it for a while.

What advice do you have for parents when their baby starts walking? Answer in the comments.

photo credit: mrtopp

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  • Yes, let them crawl for at least 3-4 months first in order for the brain to develop the coordination between left & right hemispheres. Some parents (especially Chinese) thinks that crawling is dirty or walking is more ‘advanced’, that they try to hold their babies’ arms up to walk way too early. This will actually short-circuit their development. Babies will eventually hold onto furniture and learn better about their balance that way. When the baby is really ready to take the next step, put some chairs baby arm lengths apart to help them get from the living room to the dining room. You can slowly lengthen the distance between chairs to help them take the one then two then three steps on the their own.

    • Our chiropractor said the same thing! She said to encourage our baby to crawl as much as possible, especially if she is moving all four limbs.

  • Chris Clark

    Lee started crawling a little while ago at about 5 months, but he only now mastered sitting straight up (6 months). So it seems like he should get a lot of crawling time as he does not have the balance to even remain sitting for long. I hope. He’s already trying to pull himself up to a standing position, he can get to his knees at the moment.

    And as you said, our house is not ready for this, so we have to supervise him whenever we let him free still. Definitely not ready.

    Might have to spend a weekend baby-proofing everything, that might involve a few trips to the store though as we have no idea how to do it yet. :)

    • 5 months is early!

      As for baby-proofing, we found the first things we had to do were protect the electrical outlet, putting up the baby gate for the stairs, and getting rid of all wires/gadgets/stuff on the floor. Later on, Allie started learning how to open cupboard doors, so we had to lock those ones.

      Happy baby-proofing :)