Baby on the go! 8 things that happen when your child starts to walk
2. Even if you don’t support baby leashes, you begin to understand why people use them.
My son was a late(ish) walker. He was a doughy little baby and, much to my dismay, showed little to no interest in walking until a couple of months after his first birthday.
At his birthday party, we tried to coax a few steps out of him but, reluctant, he stood in place, blinked a few times, and plopped back down on the floor.
After many evenings spent jangling car keys and holding his hands, my son took his first steps just a few days shy of fourteen months.
In the seven months that he’s been upright, I’ve been surprised again and again about what I didn’t realize about having a walking baby when he was still on all fours.
Baby just started walking! Here are 8 things that are about to change
1. Going to the playground becomes a legitimate outing.
Before they can walk, a mommy-baby trip to the park consists of a nice roll in the stroller or a sandbox sitting session.
Once they start running, the park becomes not only a fun outing, but an absolutely necessary after dinner energy-burning ritual. Though you won’t be relaxing on the bench, going to the playground with your walking baby can be buckets of fun.
Before my son took his first steps, other mamas told me to enjoy the crawling stage—that it only gets harder when they learn to walk. They were right that it gets more difficult… but it also gets so much more fun.
Enjoy that toddling tot coming your way!
2. You have to baby proof. Again.
Before my son started to crawl, my husband and I put socket protectors in all of our outlets, clasps on all of our cabinets, and baby gates at the top and bottom of the stairs. When we were done, we high-fived each other for being fabulous parents who knew just how to keep our baby safe.
When my little guy started to walk, we had to do it all over again. All the bottom and middle shelves, all the doors with flip handles, everything on the edge of anything. It’s all game to a walking baby.
3. Dance parties!
If they can walk, they can dance. Enough said. The cuteness is nearly impossible to bear.
4. Even if you don’t support baby leashes, you begin to understand why people use them.
Babies are fast. Their speed is impressive but what makes them really tough to catch is their ability to fit under tables, between strangers’ legs, and through clothing racks at the mall.
The first time your little one takes off and you find yourself darting around strangers or jumping shrubs to chase them, you’ll understand why baby leashes exist.
5. A baby might take their first steps and then revert to crawling for weeks.
On a blustery February day my son took his first steps. He successfully walked from my husband’s arms to mine, five steps, before collapsing in a fit of exhaustion.
And then he didn’t take another step until mid-March.
We thought once he took his first steps he’d be off and running but, for some babies, walking starts and stops a few times before they really get the hang of it.
6. Things begin to… disappear.
Last night we searched for 45 minutes before finding my husband’s wallet in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
We’ve also found my car keys in our umbrella stand, my checkbook in the trashcan, and my husband’s glasses tucked ever so delicately into my hiking boots.
Once baby can walk, their sole mission seems to become putting things (your precious things) in other things (mainly places you would never look).
7. Carrying in groceries gets a lot easier…kind of.
Coming home after a long day of work with a briefcase, diaper bag, lunch bag, purse, and baby makes for an impossible load.
Groceries are usually a multi-trip affair. When your baby starts to walk, your arms suddenly get much freer. Carrying in those loads is easier but, be warned, the path from your car to front door is unlikely to be a straight line ever again.
8. You start to really appreciate the cuddles of a sleepy baby.
Once your baby starts walking, running, and dancing, those sweet baby cuddles that used to come so frequently become fewer and farther between. When you do get a cuddle, at bedtime or after bath time, you begin to really soak it in.
A version of this story was originally published on April 14, 2016. It has been updated.