Baby Not Yet Walking?May 03, 2022
Do you have a baby between the ages of 14 and 18 months that isn’t walking yet? If so, I’ve got some liberating tips to help you navigate this period as a parent. I myself am currently navigating this situation with my 18-month-old daughter, so I’m right there with you. I know this can feel stressful and even overwhelming at times, but trust me, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and things aren’t anywhere near as bleak as they might seem. Don’t worry, we’ll go through this together. Breathe. Now, to the tips!
- Check on yourself. First and foremost, make sure that you’re ok. It’s easy for us to spiral when we think something isn’t quite right. It’s also easy for us to give our power away and defer to someone else who we think knows better because we have this feeling of shame and guilt that our child is in this position in the first place. We tell ourselves, “I should have known better”. Take it from me, I’m a pediatric occupational therapist, and I had to take a moment to quiet those negative voices. Nothing good comes from that downward spiral, so take a moment and clear any negative doubts.
Don’t be afraid to ask for support. So many of us take on a “superhero” syndrome where we feel like if we put ourselves in a position, we have to be the ones to get ourselves out. The thing is, there are some great resources in this community but you might not realize that because it’s so easy to build resistance against asking for support. We hate not having the answers and admitting that we’re stuck. It’s ok, we all go through it, but you’ve got to raise that hand and see what resources are available to you.
The other piece of this is the time we spend hemming and hawing about whether we should ask for support or not. It can take time to get the support you need, so it’s a waste of time to sit on the fence. If you feel you’re sitting on the fence, just go ahead and ask. Find out what’s available and get the ball rolling to see if it’s going to be aligned with you and your child’s needs.
- Trust your intuition. Any therapist and/or specialist that might be of service to you and your child, is beautiful. They can really positively impact the trajectory of your child’s development. What else is true is that you know your child best. Don’t take yourself out of this equation because YOU are the most important piece. You’ll know if something doesn’t feel aligned, whether it’s the type of exercises they’re doing, or the frequency they’re being done, if something feels off or isn’t working for your family, don’t be afraid to raise your hand and let them know what is and isn’t working. Any great therapist/specialist wants to hear your feedback and will be more than willing to make adjustments that are going to serve you and your family. Why? Because if the process isn’t working, everyone’s wasting their time and your child isn’t getting the support they need.
Your child will (almost surely) figure it out. If you have a little one who is a bit behind in their development, please know that 97-98 percent of children either figure it out with support or they figure it out on their own. So we can leave the worst-case scenarios behind. We don’t need to engage with them. Why waste energy trying to entertain them when, chances are, your little one is going to be just perfect?
We have to understand that every kid has their own unique timeline. It doesn’t necessarily look like the kid across the street or the kid you saw at the park. Stop comparing. Stop telling yourself that you’re not doing enough. Trust their timeline. Trust your support team. Trust your intuition. Your child's got this. So do you.
For more, watch my Youtube video on this topic here.