If you're a parent, then you'll know that one of the most exciting milestones is when your baby starts crawling. This can happen anywhere between 8 to 10 months of age, and it can be so exciting when they start getting around on their own!
After your baby's surpassed this milestone, this might be next on your mind: when do babies start walking?
If you're wondering this, then keep reading. We'll give you the answer to that question plus how you can help your little ones develop fine motor skills.
When do babies start walking?
In general, most babies should start standing on their own by around 12 months. And in most cases, they'll learn to walk around independently by 15 months.
Once your baby starts crawling, then you should start looking out for signs of them walking soon. Some exciting tell-tale signs are your little one pulling themselves up or cruising, which is basically walking with training wheels. If you see them cruising, then it'll be any day now!
Do note that with some infants, they can go straight to walking, without ever crawling. So make sure you keep a close eye on your little ones, as you never know when they'll start getting around on their own two legs.
How to help your little ones develop fine motor skills
Both before and after your baby starts walking, you should help them along in developing fine motor skills. These are vital in helping your child along with coordination, such as hand-eye coordination. Not only can these activities be fun to do with your children, but they can also help your little ones grow up healthy and strong.
Here are some things to try to help baby motor skills.
1. Give your baby more tummy time
If you're wondering how to develop motor skills for your infant, then tummy time is key! The more time they spend on their stomachs, the more developed your baby's muscles will be.
This is because they build up strength in their necks, stomachs, legs, and even arms. It lets them explore and find ways to roll around, crawl, and sit up, which will all help them when they're ready to walk.
If your little one starts sitting up, help them along by placing your hand behind their back. This can help them progress in developing motor skills.
2. Give them building blocks or Legos to play with
There's a reason why babies are always depicted with building blocks. These simple yet powerful toys enable infants to test out their muscle skills and figure out how to balance objects.
The younger your baby is, the bigger the blocks should be. If you want to reduce risks, go with foam blocks instead of wooden ones.
When they get older, you can then switch out the building blocks for more complicated toys, such as Legos, Lincoln Logs, or K'NEX.
3. Play around with the pincer grasp
An important part of fine motor skills is to help your baby with hand strength. Not only will this help with grabbing and holding items, but also tasks that require more detail, like writing.
Instead of having your baby grab things with their entire fists, teach them to pick them up with just the forefinger and thumb. This works best on smaller items, like washers, Cheerios, and hair ties (...keep an eye on those car keys!).
Try and give your infant some toys that have dials and knobs on them so they can play around with these features. You can even put together your own tactile board by purchasing some dials, knobs, and switches, and nailing them to a sanded-down board.
4. Give your baby their own utensils for meals
It's insanely cute (..and messy) to watch your little one grab food and stuff it into their face! But there comes a time when you should give them their own utensils so they can learn some dexterity. If they're still pretty young, you'll want to get them their own set of baby-safe utensils.
It'll be tempting to try and help your infant along with using these "tools," but resist the urge. It'll help your baby train their muscles when they're figuring out how to use things like a fork and spoon. This can solidify their fine motor skills for other tasks too.
5. Draw with crayons and pencils
Creativity is always a great thing to encourage in your children. It can help them express themselves, is a fun activity, plus it helps develop some crucial fine motor skills!
Even babies of 15 months old are able to hold a crayon or pencil in their hands at that point, so go ahead and give your baby one of those and a piece of paper. Hold a crayon/pencil in your own hand and start doodling on your piece of paper so your little one knows to imitate you.
If that's a bit tough for them to do, then try a large piece of chalk or even finger painting. Just make sure these things don't end up in your baby's mouth, as they can be quite curious at that age.
Help your babies along with our tips
In any case, you should give our motor skills development tips a try. They'll help your little ones gain the necessary skills and experience to get along in life.
Are you interested in having your child learn through play? There are hundreds of virtual classes that’ll get your little ones moving — they’re a great way to further develop those motor skills!