Ben took his first steps in my kitchen. He stood up, I let go of my hands holding him, he took two full steps forward and then he dropped. My baby officially walked. The following week, my little dude learned on his own, hands free and taking ten steps in a row. Seeing him go from baby to toddler in a matter of days (first birthday only 3 weeks away), stopped my heart. I was proud, watching my little wiggle worm become closer to a little person, two feet steady on the ground, a few falls along the way.
Everyone said, “Wait until he starts walking.” And they give you this worried look, like you should be more prepared for the destruction that awaits.
Walking is great, a milestone, a rite of passage for a little baby to a little person. I heard the urban motherhood legends; sh!t gets real with a walker. So, it means I move more, keep my eyes peeled closer to my walking kid.
Not so fast, there’s more than just a walking baby around the house with a new sense of freedom, there are a new set of predicaments that you may or may not be prepared for.
Shoes or No Shoes? When I was pregnant, someone gave me this advice, “Don’t buy shoes for your baby. It’s a waste of money. Wait to buy shoes when baby is walking.” So I didn’t. When the time came to buy shoes, I had no idea what to get. I found a pair, faux leather and soft soles, less than ten dollars and no idea on the size. I bought the shoes from the baby section in Target, the shoes fit – sort of – I was good to go. Right? Well, baby shoes are a bit more difficult and daunting than perceived. Baby shoes don’t stay on, walker or no walker. My kiddo, takes them off. The shoes slip off, only to stay on with double thick socks. Trying to wiggle a baby foot in a shoe, is a whole other story. When wearing shoes, my baby stomps like he has two cement blocks to his feet, unpleasant and unsteady. After playground and sidewalk wear and tear, the shoes are worn and on its last leg of life.
That’s when it dawned on me, I bought crib shoes. Crib shoes, those really exist. Babies have crib shoes and real shoes. Both are hard to put on and barely standable, making baby struggle a bit more with each step.
Safe bet, stick with bare feet for as long as you can.
Destruct-O Baby Exists
All is calm and quiet in the house, no destruction or total devastation. Rooms are baby proofed, wires cannot be eaten, plugs are covered, and breakables are safely hidden away and high above from the baby’s reach. The crawling stage is down, mastered by little Ben. He can only go so far, and so fast.
Then it happens, the transition from a little baby, curious and wide eyed, to a full blown walker. The house is safe no more.
Hide your plants.
Hide your remotes.
Hide your cell phones.
Bolt down your kitchen Tupperware drawer.
Put any sort of bathroom or kitchen cleaners up high, like really high so baby cannot reach them.
Same with the jewelry box.
Keep your books out of arms’ reach.
Coffee cups too.
And your Friday evening glass of wine.
Basically, re-baby proof your house. Because it’s going to get destroyed if you leave anything out for curious little hands to grab. It’s a new world for baby, they want to grab, pull, destroy, topple, fling, and throw everything in sight.
No Fear Baby
Free range. Check.
Fear of falling. Um…no check
Bumps and bruises may happen when baby starts walking, a couple spills and baby tears will most definitely happen. But what comes with a walking baby, is a baby with no fear. They don’t care where and how they walk, only if they are walking. After all, this is new territory and fear, really isn’t an option. My baby tempted his fate with a right-foot leap off the couch (caught him!). Those pesky stairs, baby wants to walk right off, like big people do, not climb down. Walking baby also means monkey baby – they want to climb everything. And when they get to the top, they want to walk on whatever surface they conquered and climbed, never mind the edge below. Take extra precaution with your ottomans and coffee tables. If baby can climb it, then they can walk on it.