20 Tips to Get a Baby Walking and Talking Faster

By Jessica O'Neil 9 months ago

Make a plan

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Getting organized is one of the best ways to make sure your baby is up and walking at an appropriate age. This means making time to teach them how to develop their motor skills and clearing out a safe space for them to crawl, tumble, and lean. Jotting down your baby’s walking process is also helpful for their pediatrician, as you have firm documentation of their achievements and setbacks.

Develop a reward system

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Babies want to feel as if they are doing things correctly! They look to you often for approval. Whenever your baby gets one step closer to walking on their own, give them a gift or present to encourage them to continue. Some are inherently shy, and it takes a bit to bring them out of their shell. Showing them that positivity comes from walking is an easy way to make sure they keep trying.

Create a comfortable environment

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When teaching your child how to walk and talk, you want to foster a comfortable, positive space for them to grow. This means reducing screen time and increasing interaction with the world around them. It also means giving them a section of the home that is theirs to mess around with. Purchase a large playpen so they have a safe spot to traverse, or build a playroom for them to explore freely.

Make sure all previous milestones are met

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Your baby cannot and should not focus on walking and talking if they have not achieved other important milestones. This includes sitting up on their own, babbling, crawling, and more. If your baby is struggling with these things, it is definitely a sign that they are not ready to move on to the more difficult steps. Check in with your doctor to make sure your child is at a healthy developmental stage.

Start early

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Walking and talking don’t just happen out of nowhere. You are your baby’s biggest example of how to behave. Make a conscious effort to narrate what you do and slow down to show them basic skills, like holding their bottles and spoons. Allow them to get messy at mealtimes, and don’t try to quiet them down when they’re babbling incessantly. Let your baby express themself in a way that is safe, healthy, and good for their overall development.

Purchase comfy, supportive shoes

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Though your baby should learn to walk barefoot first, having comfortable shoes from an early age will get them used to touching different surfaces. It will also prepare them to wear shoes in public and prevent them from throwing a tantrum when they need to get dressed to go out. Shoes should be wide around the toes to give their feet plenty of room to breathe, and they should be easy to remove in case of an emergency.

Choose the right socks

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Socks with great traction are a perfect way to keep a baby upright as they are learning how to walk on their own. Hardwood floors can make it hard for them to find their balance. Many brands offer socks with grips at the bottom that prevent slipping and sliding. Make sure the socks are the right size and not too small, since tight socks can prevent proper blood circulation.

Go barefoot

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Babies need to develop and strengthen their muscles as they grow. If their feet are not strong, they will not be able to stand up on their own. Allowing them to walk around the house barefoot helps keep each individual muscle strong and trains your baby’s feet to have a good grip on the ground. If you’re worried about splinters, try purchasing a thin carpet or mat so your baby can still get used to the feeling of the floor.

Speed is not key

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There is no need to rush. Your child will not magically wake up one day and be able to speak in full sentences. They definitely will not be able to walk and run without guidance. Simple activities like singing and reading are fantastic ways to promote talking in babies. When it comes to walking, guide them around the house on their feet so they can get a feel for the proper movements.

Hold their hand

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You are a safe haven for your baby. Holding their hand as you teach them how to walk shows them that you will always be there to help them out with this new skill. Having this reassurance is incredibly helpful for them. You may think that holding their hand will force them to be dependent on you, but that is not the case! They will require less support as time goes on, and they will let you know when they are ready to move forward by themselves.

Encourage independence

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Every day, your child will need less and less help from you when learning how to walk and talk. They pick up on cues from their environment and will be super excited to show you what they learned! Encourage this by being vocal in your praise and asking them often to show you their new skills without your help. You may be tempted to step in, but resist this urge!

Give them a good example

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How will your baby ever know how to walk and talk if they do not see it for themselves? Place them on the floor when you’re doing activities like cleaning or cooking and allow them to watch you take steps. Keep them in the room with you when you are having lengthy conversations so they can pick up on your words and expressions. Including your child in everyday activities helps them understand how to get their own bodies to perform in the same way.

Practice walking and talking often

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You should make time every day to learn how to walk and talk. This commitment translates well to your baby. They will understand quickly that walking and talking are a huge part of life, and they will be inspired to improve. This consistency also lets you know if your child is having trouble retaining information or is refusing to take part in the learning experience, which can indicate an underlying health issue.

Do not put them in a sitting position when placing them on the floor

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Only placing your baby on their bum or their tummy can end up doing more harm than good. When putting them down, place them on their feet first, even if they wobble a bit. This lets them know that standing up is natural for them, and it will also convince them to continue moving around and attempting to walk. Be gentle when doing this, as your baby is still in the process of strengthening their muscles.

Allow them to roam

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Even though kids need structure, they must discover the world on their own. You can guide your baby to different areas of your home, but let them traverse the room by themselves – under your supervision, of course. Too much direction can cripple their independence and make them feel as if they must look to you for every decision they make. Exploration is a huge part of childhood, so let them do what they do best!

Provide sturdy surfaces nearby

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You do not need to be right next to your baby to help them walk. Tables and chairs that are designed for toddlers are high enough for them to grab onto as they move around the room. Make sure any dressers or TV stands are firmly attached to the wall to prevent them from tipping over onto your child. Secure any decorations, like glassware and vases, and keep them out of arm's reach from your baby.

Add an extra set of helping hands

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When teaching your baby how to walk and talk, two is better than one. Parents should work together and interact in front of their children so they have multiple examples of healthy behavior. Also, babies get stubborn too. They may be more apt to show off their skills in front of another person if they are used to being around you 24/7. Invite a friend over and ask them to play with your child while you cook and clean.

Offer unstructured playtime

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Direction is helpful, but it is not always needed. Giving kids time to play as they choose strengthens their creativity and helps them make choices that lead to walking and talking. Excessive guidance during playtime can make children feel like there is only one way to explore life, which can make them reserved and uncertain. Break them out of their shell by giving them the space they need to do their thing.

Play music

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Music stimulates the brain, and following a tune can help children develop their language skills. Listening to music has been proven to elevate a child’s pattern recognition skills, which is key for learning how to speak any language. Music also encourages kids to dance, which is another helpful way to get them up and walking. Play kid-friendly beats at home or in the car and watch your baby start speaking in no time.

Don’t freak out when they fall

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It’s very tempting to rush to your child’s aid and make a big deal when they fall. It is natural – you hate seeing your baby in pain or stressed, and your first inclination is to resolve the issue for them. Try not to do this. Instead, let your baby know that falling and failing is okay, and help them resume their walking activity. They’ll forget their blunder soon enough and will likely stop crying or fussing shortly after they fall.

Focus on nutrition

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Feeding your child the right foods is one of the most important things you can do early in their development. Choose brain-healthy meals with good fats and proteins, like fish, avocado, leafy greens, and lean meats. Carbs are important too, so incorporate things like sweet potatoes, rice, and plantain into your child’s diet. Steer away from processed snacks that are too heavy in sugar and opt for homemade treats like freezer pops or banana pancakes.

Consult with paediatrician<

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There are so many tips and tricks out there to get your baby walking and talking, but if there is a health issue lurking around, the best thing you can do is talk to your child’s paediatrician. They will make sure any food intolerances or allergies are addressed that may keep them from developing properly. They will also give you scientifically-backed feedback on how to keep your baby motivated to get up and move or converse with you.

Offer a selection of push toys

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Tables and chairs aren’t the only physical support your baby can utilize when on the go. Push toys will help your kid stay upright and are a fun way to tucker them out before nap time. Some brands have even created push-toys that look like vacuums or lawnmowers, so your baby can “assist” you when you’re stuck at the house attending to your more mundane duties.

Choose different terrains

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Though the weather dictates when and how long you and your child can stay outside, getting them to walk around on different surfaces is crucial for their development. Walking on pavement versus a carpet or hardwood floor feels very different, and the only way to make sure they muscles and limbs are adjusting correctly is to give them plenty of time to explore all these surfaces.

Stay positive

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It can be hard to not feel down when your child isn’t at the milestone they should be. Some parents feel like they are doing something wrong, but more often than not, your baby may simply have different needs than others. Stay upbeat and don’t give up – your child is very affected by your temperament, and your disappointment can be palpable. Show them that you are happy with their progress, no matter what stage they are at.

Cheer for them!

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Kids crave positive affirmations, and they want you to be vivid and vocal about it. When you see your baby taking an important step on their own, or saying their first word, show them just how excited you are! Clap, cheer, hug, and kiss them. It will only make them want to accomplish more, and this type of positivity eventually translates into their own relationship with other children.

Incorporate other kids into the learning process

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You are one of the best role models for your child, but babies can also benefit from seeing children their size walk and talk around them. Schedule playdates with fellow moms and have your kids play and interact with each other. This will prepare them for daycare and school, and it also helps them learn how to communicate with children their age and beyond.

Perform helpful exercises

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Babies should not be placed in front of a TV for hours with little to no movement. An active lifestyle keeps them happy, healthy, and strong. Certain exercises, like squatting, balancing on one leg, and rolling around can get them used to standing up and walking from a sitting position. Exercises that require bending may also be good for digestion and can relieve constipation in children as well.

Make sure they get adequate sleep

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Most adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep to function properly. Babies, on the other hand, require much more. Babies will need about 11-14 hours of sleep per day until they are about two years old. This includes morning and afternoon naps. When a child does not get adequate sleep, it messes with their brain function and appetite. Be consistent about their sleep schedule so they are able to meet the appropriate milestones and stay on track.

Avoid sit-in baby walkers

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Many parents have been steering clear of sit-in baby walkers. When learning how to walk, babies are very likely to get themselves into some sticky situations. A sit-in walker does not allow them to escape this danger quickly. It can also delay their ability to walk, and they may move too quickly for your baby to keep up. Use a push-toy instead or a wagon if you want to cart them around on wheels.