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  • Writer's pictureMarine Lienard

Encouraging your child's first footsteps

The moment your child takes their first steps is a monumental milestone that marks the beginning of a journey toward independence. It's a joyous occasion for parents as they witness their little one explore the world on their own two feet. Encouraging your child to take those initial steps involves a combination of support, patience, and creating an environment that fosters confidence.

French baby learning how to walk with French nanny.

Create a safe and stimulating environment:

Ensure that the spaces where your child spends time are safe and conducive to exploration. Clear away obstacles, secure furniture, and provide a clear path for your child to navigate without hindrance. Having a safe environment allows your child to feel more confident and less hesitant to take those first steps.

Use supportive tools:

Invest in toys or walking aids designed to support your child as they learn to walk. Push toys, walking carts, or stable chairs can provide a sense of balance and security. These tools offer physical support while allowing your child to gradually build the strength and coordination needed for independent walking.

Encourage cruising:

Before taking unassisted steps, many children engage in "cruising" by holding onto furniture and walking along its edges. Encourage this behaviour by placing interesting toys or objects slightly out of reach along the edges of furniture. This not only helps your child practice walking but also builds their confidence in maintaining balance.

Hold their hands:

Hold your child's hands and gently guide them as they take steps. This physical connection provides a sense of security and helps your child learn the rhythm of walking. Be sure to maintain a firm but gentle grip, allowing your child to feel supported while gradually developing their balance.

Celebrate small victories:

Acknowledge and celebrate each small step your child takes, both literally and figuratively. Positive reinforcement, such as clapping, cheering, and offering words of encouragement, builds your child's self-esteem and motivates them to continue exploring their newfound mobility.

Avoid overcorrection:

It's natural for children to stumble or fall during their early attempts at walking. Avoid overcorrecting or expressing excessive concern, as this may create anxiety. Instead, offer a reassuring presence and encourage your child to get back up and try again.

Foster independence:

Gradually allow your child more independence as their walking skills develop. Encourage them to take steps toward you or reach for objects independently. This gradual transition to independence helps your child build confidence in their abilities.

Encouraging your child's first steps is a thrilling and heart-warming journey. By creating a safe environment, providing support, and celebrating each small achievement, you contribute to the development of your child's physical and emotional well-being. Cherish the moments of discovery and remember that, just like those first steps, the path to independence is a series of small, joyous strides.

Marine, mother and founder of St Pancras Recruitment

Marine Lienard, Founder of St Pancras Recruitment


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