Baby Milestones: Crawler Becomes Walker

One of our crawlers, Enok, is just over a year old. He is an avid crawler, who loves to escape the confines of the house. He can be long out of sight before anyone notices he has gone. But he hasn’t really got into walking yet. Hopefully it’s his next baby milestone. He can hang on to things and walk, but he still prefers crawling. When I arrived at Watoto Kicheko this morning he had already managed to crawl outside, along the verandah and down the ramp without anyone inside noticing.

I saw him out on the rough concrete, happily crawling, and decided to take him for a good bit of exercise, up the hill, past the cars, as far as the dog, who (as usual) wanted to lick his face. Then we went all the way back for a drive around in a big green plastic car. After a while some of the other kids started to play with him, and I could go back to work.

Baby Milestones at Quarter to Twelve

Baby Milestones - Enok and Bahati

Baby Milestones – Enok and Bahati

It will take quite a bit more practice, but the look on Enok’s face was enough to know that he enjoyed the feeling of being upright. He has ten to two feet, and they sometimes veer towards quarter to twelve. He pays more attention to his surroundings than performing the trick of walking, but soon he will be able to do it without giving it any attention!

I’ve always found the baby milestone of learning to walk to be fascinating, perhaps even more profound than the transition from babble to talking; perhaps because it’s a quicker process. But I’ve noticed relatively sombre children becoming very happy once they can walk. I even remember one extremely bad tempered girl who became a smiling, laughing princess after she learned to walk.

Playing with Enok seems to have become the flavor of the morning now, as one of the other kids has been pushing him around in the car, helping him walk, and generally looking after him. But I’m sure he’ll do the hardest parts of the work himself. He already has the bug; he so much wants to do what the other kids are doing.

Baby Milestones, Health and Treatment

Baby Milestones - Enok snoozing

Baby Milestones – Enok snoozing

Like a number of our children, Enok has lifelong health needs. However, given the right care and treatment, he should be able to do everything that healthy kids do. He is eating, sleeping and growing well, and it’s his temperament that reassures us the most: he has a beautiful, gentle nature, and a sweet smile to go with it.

I’m always tempted to pick him up, and I don’t think I’m the only one. But I think walking is much more important now. And it’s nice to know that he will eventually walk, no matter how often people pick him up!

By Simon Collery

Simon Collery has been an online content writer and blogger since the late 1990s, developing content for an information industry website, and later, writing about development, HIV, human rights and other subjects, mainly in East Africa. He is a co-founder of the Don't Get Stuck Collective, a group of people who write and agitate for greater recognition of non-sexually transmitted HIV and other bloodborne disease, especially through unsafe healthcare, cosmetic and traditional practices, mainly in Africa and Asia. He also blogs about media depictions of African people, unethical practices by publicly funded western institutions in African countries, mass male circumcision programs carried out in African countries using mainly US funding, and other subjects. He has a particular interest in Kenya and Tanzania.