Delilah on the Move

February 1, 2021, Hailey Cain

Delilah’s days of crawling will soon be behind her because this girl is ready to walk! At least she thinks she is ready, which has me terrified to be completely honest.

If it were up to me I’d skip forward to her being an expert level walker, but since that’s not how it works we’ve had to do a little baby proofing to make the process a little safer. Don’t get me wrong – seeing her learn how to walk has been so amazing. It’s remarkable to see how brave she is and how she’s learning to trust in her own abilities.

My fears nothing to do with her. Deep down I know she’s got this and she’s going to be just fine, I’m just a Nervous Nelly by nature. I think I say the phrase, “she’s going to fall and hit her face,” at least ten times every day, even though it hasn’t happened.

Back in December, before the holidays, I started to notice that Delilah was no longer content with crawling and was starting to dabble with pulling herself up onto furniture.

Of course, it wasn’t long after I had started to breathe easy about her crawling before I had something new to be afraid of.

We have hardwood floors throughout our house which stressed me out since the day she learned how to roll over. When I moved into a house with hardwood floors, I swore I would never miss carpet. Now that I have a little one there have been times I’ve found myself thinking that I wouldn’t be so scared of her getting hurt if we had carpet. We’ve had a rug in Delilah’s room since before she was born, but we didn’t have any in other parts of the house. In between her learning to sit up and learning to crawl, we’ve since purchased rugs for almost every room in the house. I never used to imagine buying rugs as a part of baby proofing, but it does make me feel better for her to have softer surfaces to play on.

I had planned to buy a push walker toy for Delilah for Christmas but got one sooner when she started to pull herself up on furniture more and more. At first, she was all about trying to pull herself up to push it, but she seemed to quickly lose interest.

Over the holidays we spent time at my dad’s house and he has carpet so I figured she would get lots of practice there. I joked that Delilah would be walking by the time we got back. But she actually didn’t get as much practice as I thought because it wasn’t really the safest for her to be practicing standing up and cruising furniture with three dogs, a brick fireplace, and a big square coffee table.

However, she did master pulling herself up to standing on the baby gates my dad set up for his dogs. Back when we filled out her 9-month ASQ there were some areas in the gross motor development area that she wasn’t quite doing regularly and it was awesome to see her reaching those milestones right before my eyes!

For example, she wasn’t quite squatting or reaching down to pick something up from a standing position. At my dad’s, she reached that milestone by holding on to the bars and squatting down to get her toys.

It’s a little funny to see it as a milestone she had to reach because she does it regularly now. Her abilities have improved so much just since the holidays. She has so much more balance and stability with standing and cruising furniture. She’s even able to pull herself up at her push toy and take steps with it, but she still needs help turning around. Some evenings when we’re all in the living room, she walks back and forth between my mom and I and we turn her around when she gets stuck, laughing the entire time. Other times she pulls herself up using my pants and holds up her arms and we walk laps around the living room. Usually I get tired before she does. She’s surprisingly fast for just learning how to walk. I guess it’s not all that surprising considering how fast she crawls. I had to order a specially sized baby gate to keep her in the living room. I would try to fold laundry and before I could get a single towel folded she’d be across the house in the kitchen playing with her baby food jars.

In the past week Delilah started trying to let go of whatever she pulled herself up on and stand by herself. She still needs something to help get her up to standing but it’s so crazy just how close she is to taking her first independent steps and I cannot wait. I know every child is on their own timeline and that I really shouldn’t compare, but sometimes I wonder if she’s taking longer than average to go from cruising furniture to walking. I try to not think too much about it but when I see videos of friend’s children around her age taking independent steps, I can’t help but wonder if my fears of her falling have delayed her progress. I wonder if I stopped her from standing up on furniture because I didn’t want her to fall. Lately, I’ve been trying really hard to encourage her and walk around with her when I’m scared, rather than trying to stop her. It makes me feel better to know that my worries are partly from my own fears and that’s something I can fix and be mindful of for the future.