How your baby’s growing
If your baby isn’t walking already, she’s likely to take her first independent steps soon. (If she doesn’t, don’t worry. Some perfectly normal babies are 16 or 17 months old before they start walking.)
You can encourage your baby to walk by standing or kneeling in front of her and holding out your hands. Or hold both her hands and walk her towards you. If she’s like most children, your baby will take those early strides with her arms out to the side (for balance) and bent at the elbows, her feet turned outward, and her bottom sticking out behind (also for balance).
As always, make sure your baby has a soft, safe environment in which to hone her new skills. Follow standard childproofing guidelines and never leave your baby unattended. And keep the camera ready!
How your life’s changing
Almost every mum and dad feels insecure about their parenting skills at one point or another. Try to trust your instincts – but also remember that much of your skill (and confidence) comes from experience and education. Everybody makes mistakes sometimes – it’s how we learn. Ask questions (our community is a great place to start) or look things up when you’re unsure about something. With time, you’ll feel more confident about recognising your baby’s needs and your ability to meet them. The angst may never go away completely, but that, too, is part of parenthood.
One great way to get support and relieve stress about being a good parent is to speak to other parents or join a parent group. There you’re likely to find others with similar doubts and concerns. Just hearing and seeing how others fret and fumble can give you a helpful perspective. And if it seems like they’re all perfect, that’s only because you’re letting your own insecurities colour what you see. Get to know them better and you’ll eventually discover that every mum and dad has vulnerabilities.
Quick tip: Keeping track of toys
“I use a little red basket to hold my son’s small toys and books. He can pick out toys easily and pull the basket around. At clearing-up time, it takes only seconds to load the toys into the basket and put it in the corner.” — Sara