Friday, February 24, 2012


I love watching Finn and Camila play together.  Last night they were running around the house, hiding behind the drapes, laughing, screaming, holding hands dancing.  Simple pleasures of parenthood. 

A little more than a year ago, I didn't know who would walk first: Finn or Camila.  Finn didn't start walking long distances (more than 10-15 steps at a time) until about this time last year, but he didn't just start walking at 2 years and 4 months, he started running too. 

Finn is such a boy, we know he had been dying to run around outside and push his lawn mower, chase after birds and run from bugs.  He was able to climb from a young age, but Finn has a very cautious personality.  He is not a risk taker (well, wasn't until Camila came along). 

When Finn turned 2, he started walking a few steps between two people.  I asked his therapist if I can say he is walking now?  She said, I could say he is walking "short distances."  I repeatedly asked her when he would start walking all of the time.

Getting Finn to walk was not easy.  Its something we worked on every day.  Finn had a gait trainer that he wouldn't walk in.   We tried different orthotics and different shoes.  We used highly desirable objects aka cookies to try and coerce him over.  Nothing seemed to work.

Looking back, I think walking is just something you can't rush your child into doing.  Finn has low muscle tone and his joints are very loose and flexible.  He has multiple problems with his feet.  I was constantly worried that he would dislocate a hip or a knee.  Finn walked when he was physically and mentally ready.  

I do have a few tips that may help:

  • Try getting your child involved in swimming.  We saw a huge confidence boost in Finn after he started swim lessons.  In addition, it got his body moving in a way it had never moved before.
  • Try walking wings to help get your child in the right posture and help you as a parent with your back. We bought a pair on amazon.
  • Try having them walk without the boxy shoes that fit over orthotics and maybe not using orthotics all together at first will help.  Some of those orthotics are so constraining and don't allow the ankle to be as flexible and mobile as it needs to be.  In some ways, I think orthotics do more harm than good through the crawling/walking phase but every child is different.  You can also ask if it would be ok to add hinges to them to allow for more flexibility. 
  • My other words of advice are simply to hang in there and be patient.  If your child will be ambulatory, he or she will do it when he or she is ready and then you have a whole new set of problems :) 
Dan and I often talk about how we got to experience the joys of the "baby" phase a little longer than most parents.  I love that Finn liked to be held and babied for so long and I'm so happy with how far he has come, I do miss that phase!   

Finn walking up and through and down an airplane on his own :)

No comments:

Post a Comment