What Does It Mean By Baby Cruising?
There is nothing that can surpass the feelings parents have when holding their bundle of joy for the first time. All parents live to remember and to tell tales about that heart-stirring occasion! Children are special beings that bless us with lots of extraordinary moments every single day. Another festive moment that causes all parents to be deliriously happy is the site of their baby making the very fast steps. It’s surely worth a king’s ransom!
So what exactly does baby cruising mean? Babies normally follow a set development path which applies even to things such as their emotional, cognitive, social, language, and physical advancement. Baby cruising can be defined as the movement babies make while holding onto objects for support.
When the baby reaches the age where he/she is strong enough to try to stand, there are some things that you can do in order to encourage your baby to stand and cruise early and some of them include:
Source: Active Babies Smart Kids
1. Hold Them Upright
Start preparing your babies to stand early by holding them upright so that they can support themselves with you. If you start doing this when the baby is about 5 months, you will notice that the baby keeps on bending the knees and bouncing up and down. This is good for your baby as it helps them to build muscles essential muscles in the hips and legs which they will use for standing.
2. Be Barefoot
Keeping your baby barefoot as often as possible. This is important since babies normally guided by what they feel; therefore, if your baby keeps feeling the ground, he/she can be able to fine-tune their standing balance.
3. Place Toys on Higher Ground
Keep the favorite toys of your baby on tables and chairs that are easy to reach. Removing the toys from the ground will encourage your baby to move up and down which will strengthen their muscles and help them cruise more quickly. In case the baby is having some difficulties pulling him/herself up, you should assist by either placing a hand under the baby’s bottom or by placing your hands on the hips. This will eventually give the baby enough strength to stand up and cruise.
Source: Rob Dickson
4. Do Squats
Encourage your baby to squat from time to time. This up and down movement is instrumental in the building of thigh and hips muscles that the baby will use when cruising.
Age Of Baby Cruising
Before a child starts to cruise, there are other stages of development which the child must first go through. The following are some of the physical developments that a baby goes through:
Source: Science ABC
- They keep their tiny delicate hands clenched in their fists most of the time.
- They develop primary reflexes which are essential for their survival and some of these amazing involuntary impulses are such as grasping, blinking, startling, coughing, gagging, sucking, and swallowing, among others.
- During this period, infants are not able to organize their eyes and hands to work together.
Source: Sadie Cramer
- The baby begins to keep their hands open.
- The baby starts to kick his/her legs out and also to move the legs and the arms in a squirming manner.
- The baby is able to lift the head and chest when placed face down and can be able to look sideways.
- The baby can also be able to wrap his/her fingers around objects.
- The baby can be able to support a baby bottle when feeding without any help.
- When placed on a flat surface, the baby is able to turn over without any help.
- The baby can be able to hold a sitting position with a little help and when given support, the baby is able to bounce up and down.
- The baby tries to reach for things by coordinating eyes and hands.
- The baby can be able to sit up by him/herself comfortably.
- The baby is able to crawl on flat surfaces and even on the stairs without any problem.
- The baby is able to eat finger foods without any help.
- Lastly, the baby is able to cruise.
Hitting The Walking Milestones
Source: Ranking Squad
After the baby has started cruising, the next step will be to walk. This is a very exciting time as every parent breathlessly waits for their baby to take those first steps. Even your family and your close friends will all be waiting for this moment as you are likely to frequently get questions like, “So has your little one walked yet?”
Cruising prepares the baby for walking as it helps to strengthen the legs. Since babies start to cruise from 8-12 months, they should be walking well by the time they are 14-15 months. For the baby to master the art of walking, he/she must first learn how to lift off with one foot while balancing with the other foot. This is where the muscles gained from cruising come in handy.
This process is usually a very hilarious one for parents as they get to watch their babies wobbling like little Frankenstein’s as they try to make that step forward. All new walkers move with their arms outstretched and with a wide stance as they try to find balance. For the baby to make the first steps, he/she needs to first contract a lot of muscles so that he/she can be able to stand. Then relax the knees and hips so as to be able to walk. In this process, the challenge for the baby is usually how to get the precise measure of muscle tension in the legs.
Even though toddlers walk in 14-15 months, not all start walking during this time. There are some who start walking early and others who start walking late but they are all healthy. The following are some of the factors that influence the time that the baby takes to walk:
1. Birth order
Babies who have older siblings may be motivated to walk earlier than those without older siblings. Babies naturally like to imitate everything their older siblings are doing.
2. The size of the baby
Bigger babies usually walk later than lighter babies because they need more strength to stand up compared to lighter babies.
3. Health issues
Source: Healthy Essentials
Health issues such as abnormalities in muscle tone & power and illnesses such as meningitis & recurrent ear infections can make the baby not to walk faster. Afflictions such as recurrent ear infections throw off the baby’s balance causing a delay in walking.
Click here to learn more about factors that cause a delay in walking.
Things To Note: Cruising On Tiptoes
Source: Baby Center
Most toddlers tiptoe while cruising around the house especially when they are barefoot. Toe walking is one of the things you note when your baby begins to cruise and most babies do so out of habit. You should, however, consult your doctor if your bundle of joy exhibits any of the following characteristics when cruising on tiptoes:
- Is not coordinated.
- Is unable to bear his/her weight while on a flat foot.
- Walks on his/her toes for a majority of the time.
- Develops stiff muscles.
Cruising While Holding On Furniture
Furniture provides the best support for cruising toddlers. There are some things that you should take into consideration so as to ensure that your baby does not get injured while cruising on furniture. One safety measure is to ensure that the tablecloths are secured every time they are under heavy or even hot items.
Tables have sharp corners and they can easily injure your cruising bundle of joy. You can protect your baby from this by adding cushioned edge protectors on the sharp edges of all the tables in the house. Removing all unstable furniture from the room is another essential security measure for your cruising baby.
Cruising is the toddler’s early introduction to walking. This essential milestone is realized only after the baby learns to pull him/herself to a standing position and it helps to pave the way for the baby’s first steps without any support. Cruising allows the baby to figure out ways of coordinating separate movements of his/her hips, knees, and ankles without falling. It’s only after the baby masters this process that he/she can begin to walk.