Feb 25, 2014

Baby Steps

Addison is 16 months and not walking.


Sometimes I feel like she is the only one not walking. I know that Addie will eventually walk. I know that she will get there and that she will do things in her own time. She has always done it that way. She took her time rolling. She waited until 11 months to crawl (with crawling the doctor wanted her to be moving at a year, so she was cutting it pretty close). With walking, she's supposed to be doing it 18 months, so no doubt she'll do the same thing again.

At our last appointment, 15 months, we had a chance to talk to the doctor about her lack of walking. Upon further discussion about what she is doing and not doing, we found out that she is slightly delayed on her gross motor skills. I wasn't overly surprised by it actually. But the doctor said that we needed to work with her on a daily basis. But she did warn against pushing her too hard where she gets frustrated or discouraged. We could set her back further. We had to find the right mix of pushing her but not pushing her too hard. That's vague and daunting.

But we knew we had to find a way to help her, so that's exactly what we did. Rob and I started small. We sat just a few feet away from each other. I would stand her up and face him. Rob would take her hands, I would put my hands on her waist, and we would tell her to go give daddy a hug. She wasn't always happy about it but she would take the two or three steps necessary to get to him. Then we would turn her around and do the same thing but this time giving mama a hug. Eventually we tried moving farther and farther apart, and she was growing more comfortable. Then we didn't have to support her around her waist, but just had to hold her hands.

But practicing with two people limited practice time. So I had to start forcing her to walk with just me. The first couple times were a killer. I would hold on to her hands and pull her to her feet. She would try to tuck her leg immediately the first couple times. But eventually she finally gave in and started standing with me. Then we tried taking a few steps. I supported most of her weight for awhile and we would only walk a few steps. But we kept trying. We kept going. Every day I push her a little farther.

And now we are walking across the house. I hold on to both of her hands still - eventually she'll have to make do with just one hand. But I'm not supporting her weight anymore. I'm only making sure she doesn't fall down while she's finding her balance. She still leans too far forward and really really shaky on her balance, but she's getting there. I let her find her balance. I let her adjust as she needs to while holding her hands.

She's not willing to try at all by herself. She's not even willing to let go with one hand yet. But we are making great strides (haha - I didn't mean this as a joke, but pretty funny, right?). Even a few weeks ago, she would just collapse. She wasn't willing to try. I think she's even enjoying walking now. She prefers to crawl. She gets where she wants to go faster, but she tries now. She's willing to try. She has improved so much.

I have been worrying about her lack of walking for awhile now. I know she's a big girl so it takes some time for her to get her body moving. She was delayed when it came to crawling, so it's no surprise that she's delayed with it comes to walking. But she's getting there. But I am definitely worrying less. At this rate she will take her first independent steps before 18 months. I truly believe that. I think one day she will just let go and she'll be off. She has a lot of me in her and she doesn't believe that she can do it. And I don't think she completely realizes what she is doing. And the day that she does realize is the day that she will start walking on her own and I will have a terror on two legs on my hands.






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