Let's be real for a minute: babies spend a whole lot of time doing absolutely nothing. They need us for everything, so it's pretty damn normal for us parents take delight in even the tiniest accomplishment. Holding their head up on their own, rolling over, smiling; all worth of celebration. However, among the most exciting (and memorable) of milestones is baby's first steps. I asked women to describe the moment their baby started walking and in perusing their responses, it's easy to see that it's often one small step for baby, one giant leap for parentkind.
When a baby takes their first steps can vary tremendously from child-to-child, even within the same family. Some children can't wait to stumble through their little worlds and begin traipsing about around 9 months. (My son actually took his first steps the day he turned 8 months old. Honestly, it was almost creepy to see a child that little walking.) Other kids want to take their time, and it's perfectly normal for them to wait until almost a year (or beyond) before they start toddling.
Whenever your particular child decides to debut their sweet new moves, it marks the beginning of a new and exciting stage; one of high energy, constant movement, and falling. So, so much falling. (Don't worry, most of them get over it. Of course, then there are babies like me, who turn into adults like me, who are just endearingly klutzy for the rest of forever. We go on to lead rich and fulfilling lives, though, so have no fear.)
"My daughter started walking at 10 months. It was so cool. She had been trying to walk for a month and had taken the odd step here and there. To see her do it and to see her face while she did it was pretty amazing. My son walked at 13 months. He had been taking the odd step for two months. I went away for five days and when I got home, he walked across the room to get to me. Best welcome home gift."
"My oldest didn't walk until 17 months. I seriously thought there was something wrong, I even had doctors x-ray her hips. But as she has proven over and over, she wasn't going to do something until she knew exactly how to do it. We were hanging out in the living room and out of nowhere she just stood up and walked across the room while holding a toy. I cried, I was so relieved. After that she never fell and never stopped walking."
"My daughter spent the first 2.5 months of her life in the hospital and had two major open-heart surgeries during that time. Her doctors had warned us that she might have physical delays as a result of everything she went through. But being the awesome miracle that she is, [she] didn't let her rough start slow her down and met all of her physical milestones within a pretty standard timeframe (something that I have never, ever, ever taken for granted).
She was about 10.5 months old and had been standing and taking one step for a week or so. Finally, we put her in front of a mirror, and apparently walking toward herself was just the motivation she needed, because she walked up to her reflection and gave herself a huge smooch! To this day, I am so grateful for every single step she takes, even when she's making a huge mess or storming away from me in a 5 year old huff."
"Both of my kids started walking around 14 months. The best part was that at that age, my daughter was bald, and had no teeth (the technical term for that is dental retardation) so we loved the sight of this bald, toothless creature finding her sea legs and laughing at herself with that gummy smile. My son just giggled, fell down, giggled some more and got back up. I find a correlation between the amount of fall down/get up and the level of giggliness."
"[My daughter] started walking about 11 months, right before my husband and I left on vacation (without her). We were so excited to be able to see it! She had been taking steps and trying to walk for so long, so we were happy it didn't happen while we were gone. She walked back and forth between us and was just as excited as we were!"
"I will never forget the moment when my son took his first steps. My husband and I were kneeling on the floor in the nursery. We had been practicing letting him stand on his own. I would lift him up, help him gain his balance and then my husband would encourage him to walk. Up until that day he would sometimes sway and eventually fall down, but on this very special evening he excitedly took three wobbly steps toward my husband. We looked at each other in shock and disbelief and then we all hugged as our eyes filled with tears of joy. We were overflowing with pride and we were so grateful to experience it together as a family. It is one of my happiest memories!"
"This might sound terrible, but I don't actually remember her first steps. I remember around the time she started trying to walk, and then I remember her walking, but I honestly don't remember the exact moment I saw her walk for the first time. Does that make me a terrible mother?"
[Writer's Note: No, Madeline. It doesn't. I don't remember either of my kids' first steps, either. Maybe they should have tried harder to "wow" me. Throw a back handspring in there or something.]