Help your baby's physical development

Believe it or not, your newborn will soon be rolling, sitting, crawling and walking. Here’s how to help him reach those amazing milestones

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  • How to help your baby learn to walk

    Believe it or not, your newborn will soon be rolling, sitting, crawling and walking. Here’s how to help him reach those amazing milestones

  • Baby learns to lift their legs and kick first

    1-3 months Just for kicks

    In the first few weeks, your baby’s leg and arm movements will seem random, but, by two months, he’ll gain a bit more control of his limbs and will enjoy stretching out.

  • Feet become very interesting!

    How to help:

    Let him have a good kick under a baby gym, and give him short periods of tummy time to help develop his neck and back muscles. He’ll soon be lifting his head for a good look around.

  • Next stage is learning to rock and roll

    3-6 months Rocking and rolling

    By now, your baby may be reaching for anything in sight and trying to put whatever he can grab into his mouth – he especially loves his feet! He’ll soon learn how to roll over, so be extra vigilant when changing his nappy on a change table or other high surface.

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  • Baby's roll from back to front next

    How to help:

    By five months he’ll start sitting up for short periods. Make sure you stay nearby to provide support, and surround him with cushions to soften those inevitable tumbles!

  • Once on their hands and knees....

    6-9 months Doing the crawl

    By around nine months, the real excitement begins as he learns to crawl. Look out, life will never be the same again! He’ll start by getting into position, and rocking backwards and forwards – as if revving up! However, not all babies crawl – some wiggle on their tummies, while others shuffle on their bottoms.

  • ...they then begin to crawl

    How to help:

    Give him lots of tummy time and put a few toys in front of him as an incentive to move. His grasp is improving, so let him hold his own bottle with two hands.

  • Baby learns to walk with some help

    9-12 months Walk this way

    Your baby will now be keeping you on your toes as he crawls speedily across the carpet, and starts to ‘cruise’ around the furniture. He may even attempt to take his first steps.

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  • Walking gets easier with some help

    How to help:

    Give your baby access to sturdy furniture that’s at a good height for him to pull himself up on, and help him down if he gets stuck. Encourage your baby’s first steps by holding both his hands and ‘walking’ him towards you, or by giving him a push-along toy that he can hold onto for extra stability.

  • Then they're up and away by themselves!

    What next… At 13 months, 75% of toddlers are walking on their own – albeit quite unsteadily. But, if yours isn’t, don’t panic! Babies develop at different rates. Some children don’t walk until 16 or 17 months, or even later.

Last updated on 26 May 2011