For any child, taking their first step is one of the most important things in their life – after all, it sets up the motor skills used for play and moving around later on in life. It is within the first three years of their life that they go from crawlers to runners, and there are some things parents can do to encourage and assist in their development, besides providing a safe and open play space with lots of supervision and patient support.
As your child’s gross motor skills are just getting themselves together in the first year of their life; rolling, sitting and crawling are all indications that the coordination for taking their first steps is coming soon. Between crawling, which helps to build muscles, and them cruising around the room holding hands, furniture and walls, they are building their muscles and expanding their coordination daily. Don’t fret if your child hasn’t taken their first step before their first birthday, it has been reported that many kids take little longer to get their first steps going.
One Year Old
Get your cameras ready, this is roughly the time your children will take their first step! After which, between the first and second birthday, their gross motor skills are firing, which means they’ll start working their way towards becoming an independent walker. But in order to have proper coordination of the movement, their muscles will have to develop properly, which means providing them a space to grow and practice safely and to always keep an eye on them.
Two-Three Year Old
As their body is growing stronger and their muscles are developing daily, your child will then be keeping you on your toes with their walking, running and jumping around. Very often, due to their adventurous nature, you’ll find them jumping off the ground or going up and down the stairs – which means you’ll will have to pay extra attention to where the little ones venture off to. While it may be a physically trying time, witnessing your child’s first exploration of the world will be an extra special one, so get your cameras ready and start filming – you’ll be rewarded with loads of memories to keep for years to come!
Originally published in “Take A Step”, in Singapore’s Child June 2011