When Will My Baby Cruise?
When your baby reaches around 8-10 months you may notice that they are more willing to stand when you hold on to their hands or when you support them around the middle. The next stage after this will see your baby doing something called 'cruising'. This is when the fun starts.
Are All Babies Different?
With any developmental stage, it is important to remind yourself that all babies do things in their own time and sometimes in their own individual style. Some babies are more adventurous than others and others need more encouragement. It is down to the individual and your baby is an individual with their own personal desires and rate of development. It's easy to concern yourself with the fact that your friend's baby is walking early, but yours seems quite content to stay put at the same age. These differences are inevitable. Your friend's baby isn't your baby and that's all you need to remember.
My Baby is Holding On
The next stage after standing holding on to a parent is for your baby to realise that they can actually stand by themselves, holding onto something. When your baby seems happy to stand up whilst holding on to you, you can encourage the next stage by showing them how to hold on to a sofa or chair and then move away. Do this very carefully and stay close by in case they fall. To help them realise you have let them go, show them your hands and give lots of excited encouragement. Your baby will soon realise that they have done something remarkable and want to repeat it.
My Baby is Standing Alone
When your baby has mastered standing by holding onto furniture, you can encourage them to take the next step of standing up from a sitting position. One good way of doing this is to put a favourite toy on the edge of the sofa and encourage them to climb up and reach it. Once up on their feet they can lean against the sofa and play. It is the confidence of standing up from sitting that will see them move on to the next stage, which is cruising.
My Baby is Cruising
Babies are hard-wired to move on from each developmental stage to the next and their drive to become independent, which will continue over many years, starts here. Soon they will work out that you have put their favourite toy just out of reach and that they can reach it by holding on and moving their feet. Once they get the hang of this, there will be no stopping them. They will spend a great deal of time exploring and trying to reach things and investigate various angles and corners of the room. This is the time to 'toddler-proof' your home by moving potentially dangerous objects out of the way of little hands. TV remote controls, telephones and ornaments are some of the things that could end up in your baby's mouth as they explore the world. Put them out of reach and watch carefully when people visit, as they can put down items within reach without realising it.
What Your Baby Is Learning
Cruising helps to teach your baby how to balance and to move around independently. They begin to learn that you are separate from each other and that they have autonomy. This confidence encourages further exploration. Babies love to feel they have achieved something and you can expect to see a happy baby showing off their new skills at every opportunity. Your baby's body is also strengthening in the legs and trunk as they learn to move around. This is further aided when they are confident enough to reach down from a standing position to reach a toy that is on the floor. Soon after they have done this, they will gain the confidence and strength to squat down and return to standing. As strength continues to develop you will see your baby become extremely adept at cruising and they will be zipping around the room with great speed and assurance. From here it is only one further step (literally) to walking.