There are many landmark moments in the first year of a baby’s life, but an infant’s first steps rank as perhaps the most profound development imaginable.

It’s a very moving moment for mums and dads, and those small steps are a conquest comparable to Neil Armstrong’s tentative first steps on the surface of the moon all those years ago. And, just like the achievements of the Apollo 11, success isn’t immediate but rather the result of a long journey that your baby began many months ago…

During this time you have a very important role -to encourage your child. So, are you ready to begin this journey?

Ready or not, encouraging your child is the role that you must fulfil in order to aid your baby’s growth, and here you will find some tips designed to help you along. So, let’s look at what you should do.

There are several key areas discussed below that will help you in this important journey: suggestions and tips about different methods, tricks and even clever strategies. Consider that Mother Nature has already designed everything, and that you only need follow your baby’s lead and be there to support and encourage the natural process.

Before talking about our recommendations, consider this: every baby reaches the milestone that is walking at different times: recognise that. Many parents spend a lot of time asking, “when do babies usually start walking?”.  It is an obsession for most parents. The raw truth is there isn’t a fixed answer, but they will likely take their first steps between 9 and 15 months. So, relax and let nature take the lead. Meanwhile, children will explore the world in different ways; crawling, for instance, is one such way, and its value is often underestimated.

Now, let’s see together how we can encourage your baby’s first steps.

1. Be a relaxed supporter

At around ten months, babies are able to make complex movements. They can move from a supine position to a sitting one, lean on furniture and cling on objects etc. During this period you should support them by creating a peaceful atmosphere. Shun anxiety and show them your smiles. Children count on you so you have to be a safe guide and give them security.

2. Encourage babies to crawl

Crawling is often underestimated but it is the first step towards learning to walk. Crawling teaches babies to be conscious and to use both sides of their body, as well as their arms and leg muscles – so come on, get down on your tummy!

Lie on your tummy next to your child and show them how to do push-ups. Eventually, you baby will copy your movements. You can also demonstrate how to stay on stretched arms and knees. At this point you can encourage your child to crawl towards their favorite toy.

With the Penguin Musical Wobbler, children can experience sounds while they are crawling and delight in the penguin’s soothingly funny waddle. Most probably they’ll try to follow it!

Place it slightly out of your baby’s reach and encourage them to move towards it.

Crawling also teaches babies how to use their arms and legs together in order to coordinate their movements. Reward them for their efforts by letting them play with the toy!

Take your child in your arms and encourage them to stretch and stand on their legs, offering your hands in support to pull them up. Standing up on their legs allows them to strengthen their muscles.

3. Show your babies how to sit down or stand up on their own

During this time, babies may find themselves standing up and leaning on something, but the problem is they often don’t know how to go down. Don’t worry baby, your dad is here for you! Come closer to the baby, hold on to the object just like they do and show them how to bend their knees and sit on their bottom. They will be enthused to sit down just like you showed them!

4. Smile when baby falls down

Day by day, children make good progresses until at last – they can walk! At the beginning, children often lurch along with open arms, but once they get going, the next challenge is to figure out how to stand. Can you imagine out how many times your baby will fall down during this time? Remember to keep calm and help. Falls are inevitable, so avoid giving them more importance than necessary. Your reaction may scare your child more than any fall. So there’s no time for despairing, just maintain a firm attitude and act like nothing happened.

5. Use a toy to beckon your child towards you

As with crawling, a toy can be a great tool when helping children to walk. While your baby moves forward, you have to move backwards with a toy in your hand, beckoning them to you and giving them some vital practice.

Or, you can use a toy specifically created to help children to learn how to walk. If that toy is the My First Musical Walker, you can sit back and assess how the toy is helping your child on its way. See their faces light-up as they start to walk and hear the pretty music playing as they go. It’s a fun way to support your baby.

6. Follow the colored path

When you least expect it, your little one will begin walking, and once they have achieved good coordination with their leg movements, they should be encouraged to walk alone – which presents a new opportunity for fun! How? By playing “Follow the colored path”.

Create a path with coloured wooden blocks, for example, that will draw your child’s attention. Remember to place a toy they love on every five tiles or steps, which will motivate them to complete the challenge.

Play is the best way to learn walking and helps you guide your children during their growth process.

Be the best guide for them, keep calm and encourage your baby’s first steps. And, never forget to enjoy the moment, as it is full of fun and happiness for all the family!