Diaries Magazine

Baby Steps

By Babyjandbean
Baby StepsThese teeny-tiny feet belong to a little boy, my sweet Bean, who has been putting them to good use. Bean has been wanting to be on his feet for some time now and has been taking baby steps towards reaching his next milestone - independent walking.
At around 11 months, around the same time he started crawling, Bean started pulling up to a stand. Cruising followed a couple of months later. He would take a few steps here and there if we were holding both hands and giving lots of support and guidance with our legs. He would also let go of  whatever object he was holding on to and arms would go up for 10-30 seconds as if to say, "Look at me, ma. No hands!" We would hoot and holler and make a big congratulatory scene. Because we were, after all, incredibly proud of all the progress Bean has made.  
Baby StepsHe hung around at that stage until about three weeks ago when he started getting in to a standing position by himself in the middle of the room and would stay up for a good 30-60 seconds. He also started taking more supported steps around the house and even started walking short distances with just one hand held. We continued to talk with his physical therapist about ways to get him on his feet more and get him more support. He has low tone and pronates his feet. In addition to his therapy, we are scheduled to take him to a physiatrist to determine whether he needs ankle foot orthotics (AFOs - aka ankle braces) to give him better support.
In the meantime, he surprised and delighted us this past Thursday evening. When we were getting ready for bed time bath, Bean pulled up to a stand on the ottoman in his brother's room. I offered my hand for him to walk towards me. After two lightly supported steps, I let go fully expecting him to drop to his knees and crawl towards me. But no. Bean took his first two independent steps!!! He surprised himself, too but he was very proud of himself after receiving a tremendous round of applause. It was one of the largest, sweetest grins I have ever seen!
Baby StepsHe woke up with a nasty cold on Friday so I expected a halt in the progress. But no. He surprised me again. Every day through the weekend, despite feeling icky in general and getting very little/poor sleep, Bean continued to work on his new trick. He is up to about four steps now. It has taken a long time and a lot of therapy to get to this point, it may still be a little while before he is truly walking, he will continue to need PT and may need a little more structural support than some other kids but he WILL walk on his own. He will do it in his own time and in his own way and his baby steps will become big strides. I am so proud of his effort and achievement and excited for him to reach this next stage of independence.

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