Infants are in an amazing state of development as their minds soak in language and knowledge from the world around them.
Physical movement and exploration is one of the most important things for this age group. Creeping and crawling, pulling and pushing, grasping and biting...these all allow our children to explore their surroundings and learn about them in an interactive way.
Infants strive to stand and walk with incredible intensity as this stage of their development is a major milestone.
How can you help?
First, do not physically help your child stand or walk because he or she needs to progress slowly at the pace where his or her body is able to handle the weight of the body and the balancing of this weight when standing or walking. So, if you hold your child's hands, for example, it will prevent him or her from strengthening the muscles involved, and it will hinder balance. Also, holding your child up from his or her arms is an awkward and potentially damaging move (think if someone were to lift you by your arms). Small muscles and connective tissue can be injured in this way.
But you can help by making sure the environment is safe and promotes movement. Your child's bedroom should be completely free of anything that could injure him or her during a fall, and the floor of the bedroom should be comfortable and promote wiggling, crawling, and walking.
More details in our Montessori albums for working with infants and toddlers at home. The samples can be saved to your computer, and you can use the table of contents as a guide starting right now!
Adventures in Autism
11 years ago
you are so right about not forcing young children to walk, your examples are clear, however there is missing one reason, which I personally believe is the most important. It is not only about balance and muscles, but is about the brain development; there is a special area in brain that is responsible for handling thinks like balance but in larger aspect - equilibrium, but also for handling a neurological impulses that are running to the brain and back to the muscles, forcing child to walk before brain is ready to handle such difficult task we are not only can contribute to physical damage of muscles etc, but foremost we are damage of the brain development, which of course will have greater impact on further child development... and this damage is not recoverable like in case off muscles...
I am welling up with thankfulness for your blog & infant products! Oh how I wish I had seen this earlier but I'm so glad to see this now. Thank you!
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