A most anticipated motor milestone is walking. We anxiously wait and wait for our little ones to start walking. And then we wish we hadn’t wished so hard because that means child-proofing, chasing them when they try to escape, and so on.
Despite all that, I was so excited for Sammi to walk. Now she could follow me from room to room. She was much happier about keeping up with me, too. It was obvious, though, why newly walking children are called toddler! Her balance was inconsistent. Sometimes she could walk across the room and other times she fell over after just a few steps. Even when she was walking, she had the “characteristic gait of the child who has not fully mastered the skill of walking.” That does nothing to explain how cute it is to see them waddle like a “duck out for a jog!”
It takes about 6 months from the first step to the coordinated smoothnes of an adult’s walking motion. It takes 6 months of practice regardless of the age of the child at the first step! Balance appears to be the factor that affects the smoothness of a walker’s motion. As a child practices and improves balance, steps become more symmetrical and there is less hesitation between steps.
Here’s a video of Sammi’s first full day of walking. What a riot!