At almost 14 months old, Jack took his first steps yesterday! He has been walking often with his wooden walker wagon, and he can cruise on furniture and even climb the couch, but he hadn’t walked until yesterday. I’m happy that we let him do it in his own time instead of pushing him or “helping” him with contraptions that gave him a false sense of security like those plastic walkers that go around the child and have wheels (are are not allowed in Canada because they cause lots of accidents.)
The only contraption we used was the wooden wagon which is self-directed so Jack can decide when he wants to pull up on it and push it, and he has the freedom to do it or stop when he wants. I identify as an attachment parent primarily, but I like the RIE philosophy about teaching children new skills. They say that you should spot them, but not help them- so be there to catch them if they might fall, but not push them to do something they can’t do themselves. For example, I didn’t hold Jack’s hands and support/pull him forward while he tried to walk. RIE says that doing things like that gives your child false confidence and leads to injuries when he tries to do it alone. Instead, they recommend letting them learn gradually and naturally by first standing against furniture, then cruising while holding things, and then walking on their own.
It’s hard not to wish your child was growing up faster sometimes (especially in the realm of sleeping more independently!), but I’m trying to be laid-back about his milestones and providing loving support for him to achieve things in his own time, without pressure. This translates to a “wait it out” approach to sleep and knowing that he’ll sleep through the night when he is ready. In terms of talking, I talk to him a lot all day, but don’t constantly ask “what’s that?” all the time as though I’m giving him a test. With eating, I just offer a variety of foods for him and hope that he will gradually become more interested in solids. I’m definitely not in a hurry for him to grow up too fast- I feel like time is already flying by, and I want to appreciate these months when he is more dependent on me since in a few years I’m sure he’ll barely want to spend time with me anymore. I just have to remind myself of that at 2 in the morningLike