Some children, when they start to walk, are afraid of letting go of parents' hands or furniture. They walk phenomenally holding Mom and Dad's hand or leaning on furniture, but the moment the support or help disappears, they get scared and they sit on the floor and keep crawling.
This is usually normal, and there is no need to worry excessively. We must bear in mind that walking requires coordination, strength, security and confidence. The child may be more fearful, may not yet be ready to walk without support, or at a time when he has started to walk alone he may have become scared because he has fallen or lost his balance. We tell you what to do before babies afraid to walk.
Parents tend to worry if we see that our baby is not walking yet or if we see that he is excessively afraid, but we have to understand that in most cases it is normal and that surely our child is more fearful or simply his time has not yet come.
But as always, there are some things that parents can do so that our son gains confidence and finally lets go.
- First of all, do not obsess. Each child has his own rhythm, and sooner or later everyone will learn to walk alone.
- Do not force. Many times when we get overwhelmed because we see that he is not walking, we force situations for him to walk alone, (we remove the furniture or we let go of his hand), or we do not let him crawl and we "force" him to walk. These situations must be avoided, because it can be counterproductive.
- We have to stimulate but not force. I can put toys that he likes on a low chair or table to make it easier for him to stand up, move them around so that he can go for them with supports, move them away, but let the child be the one to set the rhythms and the way to reach them .
- Offer you mobile supports, as a ride-on, or a drawer that you can drag to move around the house or down the street. This way you will experience the sensation of moving and little by little when you have a good balance, strength in the body and coordination, you will go without the supports.
- If you fall or trip, try not to act out. It is normal that if they fall we get scared, but if we go to catch them with a scared face or scare, the child can interpret that what has happened is serious and dangerous and get scared, which does not make it easier for him to let go to walk alone, because thinks it's dangerous.
- Monitor them but without stressing ourselves. We can provide an environment free of obstacles so that the child does not stumble and hit, but we cannot guarantee zero risk, so we can be with them and control them but without overprotecting.
- Reinforce every advance they make. If suddenly one day he lets go of a hand, or takes a step by himself, we can applaud him, praise him, smile at him, show him that we are very happy, so the child will see that it is something positive and it will be easier for him to do it again and advance in its development.
Normally children can take up to 18 months to learn to walk alone, therefore we should not worry excessively if it takes a little longer for other children of their age, although if after this time it still does not let go, it would be good to assess if there is some problem at a psychomotor or maturational level. Some children take longer to reach developmental milestones than others, but in the event of any suspicion we can go to the pediatrician or an expert in child development, who can assess the situation and advise us on the best way to act.
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