Baby's first steps (8-12 months)
By around 8-12 months, your baby will start to move more by crawling, climbing, standing and cruising. The more practice your baby gets, the easier it will be for them to become confident in these skills.
Crawling and Climbing
At this age, your child may be learning to crawl and stand up with support – for example holding your hand or furniture. As soon as your baby starts to move more, it is important that you can help them to practice these skills in a safe environment.
Your baby may not learn to crawl in the classic way (hands and knees), and that is totally fine. Some babies may commando crawl on their belly, bear crawl on their hands and feet or scoot around on their bottom using their arms to move forward. Here are some tips to encourage crawling:
Place toys out of reach
Chase your baby around or create an obstacle course using cushions or toys
Try different surfaces like grass, carpet and sand
Hold your child’s ankles and guide their feet up steps or ladders
Before babies learn to walk, they need to become strong enough to hold their body up.
Here are some tips to encourage standing:
Use low furniture such as a couch or table to help your baby to pull themselves up to stand
Place toys on a table or use objects such as building blocks to encourage bending
Get on the floor with your baby and hold their hands to help with their balance
Make sure to remove anything that can break or may be dangerous, such as chemicals or power cords from your baby’s reach.
Often referred to as furniture cruising, this is when your baby starts to move around while holding onto different pieces of furniture, often lounges, coffee tables and dining chairs. Here are some tips to encourage cruising:
Leave their hands on the furniture and hold your child around the hips to support their body. The lower on their legs you support them, the harder they must work to balance.
Provide a safe environment that supports their skills – low and stable furniture.
Place toys that encourage your child just beyond their reach so that they need to move along the furniture.
For more information on movement play ideas for babies visit Raising Children: