Baby Milestones Remembered: First Steps

My daughter, Morgan, had mastered the baby development step of cruising for months before taking her first unassisted steps. I worried a bit, since I couldn’t even find shoes to fit her too-small feet.

When she was about three weeks shy of her first birthday, we were doing her usual holding of my finger while walking around our home (another baby milestone I had come to love). I knew she was ready to walk but was timid and afraid to let go. At that moment, I decided to gently slip my finger from her grip, and as I did, she took three steps and ended up on her bottom.

I couldn’t believe my eyes, but as I tried to get her to conquer this baby milestone and to walk again, she kept falling on her bottom and crying out of frustration. I was certain it was confidence that she lacked, and I was set on helping her build it up. Once she would take off, she would never stop -- a prediction I was 100 percent correct about.

The day when my husband came home from work, we decided to help Morgan try to achieve this baby milestone again, with us supporting her as a team. We started her by me, and after helping her up, my husband held out his arms for her to fall into. I’m confident that seeing someone she trusted in front was the confidence booster she needed, and she walked right into his arms.

With each successful step, we moved farther and farther away from each other, and watched in awe as she took more and more steps. Two of my favorite parts of this baby milestone experience:

1.    She gave us a hug each time she made it across the room.

2.    The way she held her arms above her head and looked like the cute baby version of Frankenstein. We then deemed her, Morganstein.

From there, our baby’s development was happening all over the place. She learned to let go of the furniture she was holding onto, again building confidence. She soon learned to put her arms down while walking, and to stand up on her own without holding onto a table or sofa.

Watching my daughter grow her independence was both a proud and somewhat sad moment. I know this independence will only increase with time as she continues to conquer all of these baby milestones. But the best part about her ability to walk on her own now is, when I come home, I see her face light up as she runs to give me that same hug she gave while taking her first steps.