Friday, November 2, 2012

Did You Let Your Baby Walk this Halloween? (Physical Excellence Friday)

Did You Let Your Baby Walk This Halloween?
Did you let your baby get out and walk while trick-or-treating this Halloween?

Physical mobility is extremely important to a child's overall health and well-being, and is intricately interconnected to brain development and cognitive function. Walking, in particular, is a fantastic brain- and health-developing activity, as it works and strengthens the connections between the two sides of the brain as both sides of the body work in coordination with each other. Walking increases blood and oxygen flow to the brain as well.

This Halloween Damien split his time between riding in the stroller, occasionally being carried, and walking. Once he finally got down to walk, though, that is all he wanted to do.

He very happily walked from house to house with the sweetest bit of determination, anxious to get his coveted "candy" and "chocolate". We even got a few adorable "thank you's" out of him once he was up walking with the big kids. What an adorable experience (and exercise opportunity) we would have missed if we would have kept him strapped in his stroller the whole time!

Glenn Doman's advice, in How to Teach Your Baby to Be Physically Superb, is that if your baby can walk a little (just learning how to walk), let him walk a little. Then go ahead and carry him for the parts that he can't. And if your baby can walk a lot, then let him walk, walk, walk!

Seems like good advice to me.

Damien can walk a lot! So I try to let him walk as often as I can. I do often bring the stroller along, it is a great backup. But most of the time, that little guy's energy will dictate him walking and walking for hours per day, especially when we are somewhere new and interesting!

Sometimes it is more "convenient" for him to be in the stroller. Either to keep him safe and out of the way so we don't really have to pay any attention to him, or to save time (since pushing a stroller is faster than walking with a toddler).

But it's a good reminder to tell ourselves that the most important thing in life isn't convenience. Our children's needs, development, health, and potential is worth more than a little time saved!

It's worth that little extra effort put out in having to actually pay attention to them, talk to them and give them directions (which will in turn build their language, vocabulary, memory, and comprehension skills), and walk alongside them, being present with them.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween, and I hope this post will be an encouragement to remember not to miss those many simple, built-in opportunities we have for helping our babies' development.

If your baby can walk a little, let him get out and walk a little.

And if your baby can walk a lot, let that baby walk!

"Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee." Genesis 13:17

Damien is 16 months (1 year and 4 months) old

1 comment:

  1. 2012/11/18 at 5:05 pm

    PLEASE update this site soon. I really love your blog.


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