Although we are firm believers in Storm reaching his developmental milestones in his own good time (as if there were any other way…), we have been watching his progress towards walking very closely. The reason? He could only be accepted into our desired daycare after taking at least a handful of steps on his own.
I’m happy to announce that Storm is now walking. Not perfectly, and not all the time. And he has yet to figure out how to stand up without support. But he is walking, and we’re baby-proofing. That’s really all there is to say about that. But if you’re interested in how we got to this point, keep reading.
December 24 (just after he turned one) was the first time (that I know of) that Storm stood unassisted. He had a spoon in one hand and we were walking around the Christmas tree, looking at the decorations. When he wanted to grab an ornament, he had to use the hand he was holding onto me with (because he sure wasn’t giving up the spoon).
Also in late December, Storm walked/tumbled a few steps as part of a game where he would walked back and forth between the hands of Paulus and my mom. But he still very much preferred having both his hands held while walking.
In the beginning of January he became very comfortable walking holding on to only one adult hand – even without eating utensil in the other. It’s much easier to point to all the interesting things with your hand free, anyway.
But then, right after we returned to San Diego, sometime between January 7 and 9, Storm started to crawl on hands and knees, instead of his usual army crawl. I was sure that this meant he wasn’t going to walk anytime soon, just because the hand-and-knee crawling is so much faster than the army crawl.
But he continued to get more stable on his legs as well, and on January 9 and 10 he let go of the hand holding him on several occasions and stood unassisted for 1-5 seconds. And he was usually able to sit down without tipping over before loosing his balance. So that lead to a host of new possibilities on the playground.
Between January 14 and 20, he got increasingly stable, and, importantly, increasingly confident, when walking while holding one hand. He also started really enjoying playing ‘the walking game’, where he would walk between Paulus and me while we were seated on the floor. In this context, he would take maybe 2-4 steps without any support.
And then! On January 23 (so right around 13 months) he kept standing upright, after I let go of his hand one day. And then I walked around to face him, and he walked several steps to reach me at my new location, like it was no big deal. And then we promptly called the daycare to have him enrolled whenever a spot opened up.
In late January and early February, Paulus and Storm practiced walking every day in the laundry room. I say practiced, but Storm was mainly just having a good time walking between washing machines while supporting himself on them.
As January turned to February, he would increasingly often let go of the hand supporting him when entering the laundry room, so that he could take the last few steps to the machines by himself.
On February 9, he walked unprompted and independently to one of us from a piece of furniture for the first time. And in the following days, he also started walking unprompted from and to pieces of furniture, no other humans involved. It was frankly a bit startling when he would all of a sudden walk turn a corner to enter the room I was in. But in a really good way.
And on February 11, we had the first day of visiting at the daycare. Storm was a bit shy and only walked a little bit while we were there. But at home, he would now walk laps in the laundry room and through the hallways.
It’s now February 18, and just this past weekend, Storm really started finding his confidence. He has been standing still for much longer, and has been ‘walking away’ several times. So now we’re just waiting for him to discover the final piece of the bipedalism puzzle, standing up on his own. But instead of waiting for that to happen, I will post this now, and just update it later. That’s just one of the things you can do with the internet!