Maya started walking last week, at just over 15 months old. Her timing doesn’t really qualify as late walking, but it started to feel late when all of her little friends were already walking, even those born 3 months later than Maya!
I know “late” walking concerns a lot of parents but I was mostly amused that my daughter hadn’t joined the bipedal world “on time”. It made me giggle to see my 23 lb girl slithering like a snake (her preferred crawling method) among teetering 11 month olds. She just didn’t seem interested in walking, even when everyone around her was doing it.
Her first attempts at walking were what a friend calls “baby tennis” – Simon would hold up Maya and she would take a couple lurching steps with no assistance, before collapsing into a giggly heap in my lap. And then she would lurch back toward Simon. Most often Maya would take one wild sideways step and then fall dramatically, the back of her hand against her forehead like a fainting Elizabethan-era lady.
Beginning of January:
It was only after her sleep situation fell apart that I wanted to really encourage the walking. I hoped that her early wake-ups and skipped naps were due to her excitement about walking. I’ve definitely seen her sleep disrupted just before major milestones in the past.
Then last week, I jokingly asked her “Maya, is today the day you start to walk?” while she played on the floor with Simon. He propped her up, and she took a couple wavering steps before sitting down and laughing at me. But by that evening, she was walking. A lot. She would sit herself on the step to our sunken living room, then teeter toward the couch where I sat. And after giving me a huge hug and a grin, she would toddle back to the step and start over again. Back and forth, back and forth. When she fell, and that happened a lot, she would shake her head and crawl back to the step to start again! Young children are amazing in their patience and perseverance… if only we all continued to learn skills in such a careful way! After dinner, she kept practicing, this time jumping into Simon’s lap.
Beginning of February:
The next day, she didn’t walk at all. But the day after that, she was up and toddling all over the house. Now she walks about half the time and crawls the other half. She can’t figure out how to get onto her feet without pulling up on something, but once she learns that, I imagine she will be a full-time walker!
(Oh, and her sleep didn’t really improve. I think she is trying to transition to one nap a day, but isn’t quite ready yet. So we’re just going one day at a time and following her cues for when she’s tired)
And yep, I cried when I watched her first, hesitant steps. My consolation is that she’s moving toward me, with her arms wide open.