First Steps

Month 12
Month 13
Month 14

Last Month's Wow:

First Words

Baby is learning new words constantly; each one they learn unlocks several more.

The Wow of Now:

First Steps

With the first tentative steps, the stream is widening into a fast-moving river that requires a higher level of skill to navigate. Curiosity morphs into an even greater hunger for learning.

The Wow Ahead:

Walking and Talking

Movement and language development are the twin sails of your child’s boat. Together they bring greater social connection and problem-solving skills.

The Wow

Sharper gross and fine-motor skills mean more freedom for baby to explore the world on their own. However, awareness of freedom can bring awareness of potential danger. To take greater risks baby has to feel safety in their routine; nailing this balance depends on their temperament as well as their relationship with you. Only a baby who has the chance to fall can learn to walk.

Exploration is how babies learn about the ever-changing world. Stepping away and running back, holding hands and letting go—it all represents the need for independence. As a caregiver, your job is to create opportunities for this exploration within the safety and consistency of your relationship, which is their secure home base from which to explore. There’s a delicate balance between the security of routine and the attraction of novelty. This is a great opportunity to notice how baby’s approach to walking reflects their unique temperament and attachment style.

The How

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    Toddler Proofing

    Routine: Play Time
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    Baby is on the move. Now, thanks to object permanence, they can remember where things are and do more to seek them out. Time to re-do the babyproofing. Get on baby’s level and look around at what they can reach, pull, grab, and touch.  Do a “crawl” through areas of your home where they spend time and take note of what needs to be secured, locked, put away, or otherwise safety-proofed. Reach your hand up on the counters, pull on furniture, etc.  If you can reach it, your baby will figure out a way to get to it, too. There are lots of resources online to help you find the right tools and strategies. And keep in mind that baby’s exploration is a train traveling at high speed, so it’s best to make way before an accident has a chance to occur. With all that said, no amount of baby proofing will replace adult supervision.


    Yes, you want to give them space to explore on their own, but keep a watchful eye at all times; (this is especially important at large family gatherings, where the safety risks for toddlers actually increase as each adult assumes another is watching). Your task is to find the balance between support and protection that is right for you and your environment. Also, read baby’s cues, staying close when they need you and giving them some space when they want to be independent. Validate their feelings whenever possible and provide a brief explanation, for example: “You try first and then I’ll help you if you need a hint.” or, “I know you want to do this alone, but I need to stand close to make sure you’re safe.”

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    Floor Time

    Routine: Play Time
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    Baby needs plenty of floor time to practice walking and falling. While it may be your instinct to protect, letting them experience falling is critical to their walking skills. Each fall is an opportunity to learn to recover, to get back up and keep trying. When your baby falls, stay calm. Say something encouraging like, “Oops, you fell. You’ve got this, you can try again.” Keep an upbeat attitude even if baby cries by offering comfort, “I know that was a big bump, but you’re trying so hard to learn how to do it!”

    One easy way to introduce novelty during this early walking phase is to incorporate different textures for baby's feet to feel. Place our sensory-friendly Healthybaby Diaper on your floor at home and allow baby to feel the difference in the two textures. If they are taking steps independently, a new texture in their range of view will be an exciting goal to attempt walking towards, but the experience is just the same even if you have to hold baby while doing this. The different sensations perceived through each foot are great for brain development. Try as many textures around your house as you can find!


    This trial and error is important to baby’s long-term development, their perseverance, and their resilience. Learning to try over and over will impact how they face challenges throughout their life. Your encouragement and support signals that you have confidence in their efforts, and that they are capable of learning new skills.

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    Pillow Play

    Routine: Play Time

    In a safe space away from hard furniture, make your own jungle gym out of pillows and other soft materials. Allow your child to hop about, working to balance their body along different surfaces. Encourage exploration and silliness as your little one hops about.


    This activity will exercise your child's gross motor skills while also promoting confidence in your little one as they master a tricky physical space. trial and error is important to baby’s long-term development, their perseverance, and their resilience.

Support for You

You are the expert on your baby. Think about their temperament—how they react to situations—to dictate the level of support they may need from you. While some kids need lots of routine to feel brave enough to venture out into the new, others need only to touch base with routine for a minute before they are bounding out into the world.

Let's Check on the Basics

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Is baby eating?
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Is baby sleeping?
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Is baby pooping?

Yes on all three? Great! One or more No’s? Let’s talk about it.
Contact us for support resources!

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