The baby has developed in the space of one short year from only minimal control of his head and neck to using his head to initiate rolling over from his tummy to his back. He developed strength in his torso and arms and began to bring his body into a hands and knees position. He rolled, crawled, and creeped around the house and now as he moves about he comes to a parent or a sofa or a toy and pulls himself to standing.
What a wonderful new outlook on the world this must be! With sturdy objects for balance he takes his first steps--baby is cruising. Cruising is the term given to the mode of movement for baby when he using an object for balance, pulls himself to an upright position, and walks, using the object for balance.
Babies who are cruising are strengthening their core and their brains are learning how to control all the many large and small muscles. As parents and caregivers we seem to know that we should place toys or other enticements just out of reach on that sofa baby is using to cruise and we find great joy in watching him achieve this milestone.
As baby becomes adept at cruising we notice he often forgets to hang on to the sofa as he studies a new toy with both hands. We watch closely. Will he take that first step away from his support today? When we walk with him we hold his two hands. He loves this mode of transportation and if one parent is doing this, their own muscles cry out to stand up straight. As parents, we sit across from each other, encouraging our little one to take those tentative first steps toward each other. Then, this entire time of preparation is over. Most likely it has taken a little over a year, though times vary greatly from one child to the next. Baby is walking, toddling about. He has graduated from being a baby to being a toddler.
Ricky Rectangle is my name
My four sides are not the same.
Two are short and two are long.
So I can dance the whole day long.
(Make a larger Ricky and give children turns to show the short and long sides)