Walking and talking milestones

Walking and talking milestones | S2 Ep59

Walking and talking milestones are as exciting for both parents as they are for babies. In this episode of Sense by Meg Faure, Cass shares that Max is now 11 months old and officially walking! He’s very busy exploring his world and learning communication skills, Cass explains.

Crawl before you walk

Meg and Cass discuss the importance of crawling as a developmental milestone for babies. Meg explains how crawling helps develop fine motor coordination, spatial abilities, and messaging across the brain. They also address the pressure to get children walking and how some cultures view crawling as primitive. Cass shares how they are encouraging Max to crawl as much as possible, even though he is starting to walk, and how he seems more confident on carpeted surfaces. The moms also briefly touch on upcoming gross motor milestones such as running, jumping, and skipping.

First words and learning to talk

They then move on to talk about Max’s progress in language development. He’s babbling away and loves a good chat, Cass says. He’s saying ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ and he also understands the word ‘no’ although his developing independence also means he’s pushing some boundaries. Meg dives into the development of communication in infants and the importance of serve and return, which is the back-and-forth interaction between an infant and their caregiver. Meg also emphasises the importance of meaningful language and emotional connection in communication, as opposed to echolalia, which is the repetition of words without meaning or emotion.

The moms talk about their concerns when it comes to the use of technology and apps for learning language in infants. This leads Meg onto share a study that found that mothers who talk more have children with higher verbal IQs. They talk about the importance of verbal IQ in society, as well as other aspects of intelligence, such as emotional intelligence and nonverbal intelligence. Meg recommends talking to babies, even if they are not naturally talkative, creating a monologue around daily activities. Reading repetitively and playing with cause and effect are also important for child development. Cass and Meg also talk about the importance of play in a baby and child’s milestone development. Listen for all of this and more!

Is your baby walking or talking (or both)? Keep track of your baby’s milestones quickly and easily with Parent Sense – it’s the all-in-one baby app that helps you keep track of your baby’s routine, growth, milestones and much more! Download the app today and take the guesswork out of parenting.



Guests on this show

Cassidy Mason

Cassidy Mason

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Walking and talking milestones


Welcome to Sense by Meg Faure, the podcast that’s brought to you by Parent Sense, the app that takes guesswork out of parenting. If you’re a new parent, then you are in good company, your host Meg Faure, is a well-known OT infant specialist and the author of eight parenting books. Each week we are going to spend time with new moms and dads just like you to chat about the week’s wins, the challenges, and the questions of the moment. Subscribe to the podcast, download the Parent Sense App, and catch Meg here every week to make the most of that first year of your little one’s life. And now meet your host.


Meg: Welcome back, mums and dads, to Sense by Meg Faure. I’m Meg Faure, and I am your guide going through the first couple of years of your baby’s life. And each week on this podcast, I’m joined sometimes by an expert and this week by an expert mum because she is mum to almost an 11-month-old. And we’ve been following Cassidy and Baby Max all the way from the beginning. I mean, I can’t believe we spoke when Max was, I think 7-days old or 6-days old, that was week one. And now he’s nearly 11 months. So, welcome back Cass. Lovely to have you.


Cass: Thank you. Thank you very much.


Meg: How is our big boy doing? I cannot believe it’s almost been a year. I mean, I’m absolutely floored by that. So, how’s he doing?


Cass: Well, he is officially a walker.


Meg: Oh my… What? It had to happen before a year. And actually, congratulations to you for letting it wait for this long.


Cass: Yeah.


Meg: He looked at 9-months. He looked like he was going to walk, didn’t he?


Cass: Yeah, he did. And actually, I was speaking to someone this morning about it because we did work quite hard when he first started showing signs of wanting to walk. And we worked quite hard at kind of trying to keep developing the crawling stage and that sort thing. But he’s been on the cusp for a while, but you could very much tell it was a confidence thing. He could do it. He knew what he had to do, but he didn’t want to not be holding on. He just needed that reassurance of whether it be his trolley or our hand or whatever it might be. But no, the other day he actually moved from one place to another by himself.

Meg: Oh.


Cass: And he is so proud of himself every time he does that.


Meg:  That’s gracious. So, were you there to see those first few steps?


Cass: Yeah, actually what was so nice is it was one evening when Alex and I had both got back from work. Every evening we sit with him for about 45-minutes before he goes for his bath, just the two of us with him and we play or whatever it might be. And it was during that time, so we were both there for it.


Meg: Oh, precious boy. That’s absolutely incredible. So, he did it what? Ten and a half months? Ten months, three weeks?


Cass: Yeah. So, about 10 and a half months it would be that he did it. He had taken sort of one or maybe at a push two steps before, but it didn’t really count. This was proper several steps.


Meg: Yeah.


Cass: Yeah.


Meg: You know, I’m getting into the heads of the mums who are listening and I know that there is often a lot of pressure to get little one’s walking. In fact, certainly I come from in South Africa, there’s this thing about getting children into shoes, particularly in certain cultures in South Africa, getting children into shoes, getting them up and walking. You know, it’s almost like crawling or being on the floor is seen as something more primitive that maybe a different, a more primitive animal would do. And so, therefore walking as a reflection of this more advanced primate as it were. But actually, and so people might be confused when they’re listening to you and I talking about us trying to keep Max crawl for as long as possible. And I just wanted to explain the rationale there in case anybody hadn’t heard that episode. And if you haven’t listened, I think that was about two or three episodes ago, Cass and I spoke about the fact that Max was looking like he was going to walk and we spoke about how we wanted to try and keep him crawling. And the reason for that is that calling is such an advantageous developmental milestone. Little ones are on all fours, which means that they develop fine motor arches in their hands. They’re developing their shoulder girdle, which both of which is important for fine motor coordination, they’re getting the messages going across the brain across their corpus clausum because they’re moving their body reciprocally. In other words, one side doing opposite to the other side. And then it also develops early math’s ability because it develops spatial abilities by trying to fit in and under and so on. So, there’s a million reasons why crawling is a very important milestone and why Cass actually worked very hard at trying to keep Max in that space. And Cass, I’m guessing, and I’m betting that he still is probably doing a fair amount of that anyway.


Cass: Yeah. Especially if he wants to get somewhere fast, the crawling is his go-to, and I mean, if he wants to get somewhere quickly, he’ll go down and crawl there. And also, interestingly, it’s almost like he is more aware of surfaces. So, if it’s carpeted, he’ll give the crawling, he’ll give the walking a go. But if it’s sort of on our hard kitchen floor, I’ve noticed he does less walking there.


Meg: Fascinating.


Cass: So, I don’t know if now that could just be a coincidence, but it feels like he is more confident on carpet than he is on a very hard surface. Now, as I say whether that is because he’s aware, like I could really hurt myself; I have hurt myself here. And the other thing is he does much better if he doesn’t have a specific destination that he’s going to if he just sort of is randomly walking because if he has a destination, he gets a bit over excited and starts to lead headfirst.


Meg: And then he topples over.


Cass: And then more likely to fall over. So, then he’ll end up having to crawl.


Meg: And very precious. Well, there you go. He’s done his first bipedal milestone, his next one is going to be running.


Cass: Yes.


Meg: And then which will happen definitely before 18-months. And then after that comes jumping. And two feet jumping actually only really happens where two feet leave the ground together, only really happens after 3-years old. So, we’ve got a while to go for that. And then there’s skipping of course, which will come even later that’s like four or 5-years old. So, he’s got a long list of bipedal activities that’ll be coming down the line for him. So, that covers our first gross motor milestone. Before we go onto your questions, and I’m sure you do have a couple, I just wondered how things are going on the verbal front. Is he understanding language? Is he saying anything? Because that’s of course another milestone that at this age we start to see little explosions.


Cass: Yeah. So, that’s actually really interesting because I wouldn’t necessarily say he was saying anything, but he has noises that he very much… so, for example, when he sees my parents’ dogs, there is a specific noise and pitch that he goes to that is only reserved for the dogs. But then he was at a play date the other day and my friend said, “Oh my God, he just said, dog.” No, I don’t think he did. But she was hearing things that I hadn’t necessarily heard, but I think it’s because I just hear a noise and I know what he’s referring to. So, I am able to start understanding him in his different noises now. But the other thing that he definitely does understand.


Meg: Yes.


Cass: And we’ve discussed this in the past, he is pushing boundaries. And the really interesting thing is, we have a constant battle with the dog’s water bowl. And it only seems to be when I’m around. So, he was at my moms for the whole day. On Tuesday, when I dropped him off and it was just me there. He kept pushing the boundary and going to the water bowl, going to the water bowl. And I had to keep saying no and moving him, distracting him, trying all the different things. I went down to his level, spoke to him, all the things I’ve seen, and then he didn’t do it all day. And then when I came to pick him up, he immediately went straight to the water bowl.


Meg: It’s so funny.


Cass: Why? I do not know. I’m hoping.


Meg: Yeah. Well, I mean, I would definitely say that that’s him working out, that he gets attention for that. And that’s because you’re doing all the right things, which is the distraction and going down on his leave and making eye contact. But you probably are making a little bit too much of a meal out of something that you should probably otherwise just leave. So, my suggestion is to either completely ignore it and decide that it’s fine for him to do that with the dog’s water bowl and just do it, maybe move the dog’s water bowl outside as long as the amount of water’s not something he can drown in. And it’s an interesting one because I don’t know if you’ve ever heard any of my talks on that, but it’s often one that I bring up, like the app ending the dog’s water bowl. It’s just a thing. And I mean, my first born was a son as well, and that was his thing. He just had to hop in the dog’s water bottle. It was just what he had to do. And so, we had just had to keep filling it up.


So, option one is to completely ignore it, just put it outside, so it’s not, you’re not going to flood your mom’s beautiful Persian carpets or anything, but just have it to where he can actually do it and where you can ignore it, option one. Option two is, just move it out of his way. So, like, lift it up, put it on a higher level and dogs will just have to have water in the evening or when he’s not around because I think by going in and reinforcing, and giving him feedback, giving him feedback on it, you’re actually reinforcing it positively for him. And he thinks this is something that he needs to continue to do or that he gets attention from. And of course, if you’ve been out all day and have been at work, then that’s even more reason for him to then go in for the water bowl because he really does want that attention. So, my suggestion is ignoring or take it away completely, you know, it isn’t time for discipline at this age, it really just isn’t. And it’s not going to serve any purpose to be shouting at him or whatever other methods you would want to use for, you know, it’s just not going to serve any purpose at 10-months old.


Cass: Yeah. And I think it is weighing these sorts of things up, but he definitely does understand no. He understands signals as well. Like if I beckon so with finger, he knows that that means to come to him and so there’s certain things he understands. He’s definitely making noise. He’s using all, I mean the chatting that goes on; it might not make any sense, but chat… he’s even got a hoarse voice at the moment because…


Meg: From shouting at somebody,


Cass: He shouted so much.


Meg: It’s so funny.


Cass: So, he loves a good chit chat and there’s constantly new noises coming through. He says, mama and dada, sometimes in the perfect situation you feel like it is actually aimed as us. And other times it’s so random you think, oh, okay, maybe not


Meg:  Well of course, you know, languages, I think one of the most important aspects of development, and in fact right at the beginning when Max was only 6-week weeks old, I told you that my favorite milestone was smiling. And the reason that it is so important is that it is a social milestone. It’s the precursor to language really. But language is so incredible because it actually, I mean, it is not uniquely human, but certainly the way in which we communicate is uniquely human. And it takes taking a thought that’s in my head to be able to transfer it into your mouth; that that is what language is all about. So, at this age, we know that language that he is understanding the language center that actually kind of rules over receptive language runs about six to 8-months ahead of expressive language. So, he’s understanding now what he will be able to say in six to 8-months’ time. So, he’s understanding a huge amount and he’s reflecting that.


The other thing that’s very interesting about what you said is that when you beckon him with your finger, he knows that that means come and signing is, you know, became very fashionable in the early naughty, you know, kind of 2000, 2005, it was very popular to do signing classes with your baby. And I think it’s maybe somewhat less in at the moment, but it’s really interesting. I actually did a signing class with my third child and abandoned it. And the reason I abandoned it was that I found that it was just adding too much pressure to what was already for me, a very pressurized time of life. Just keeping her alive, keeping her fed, dealing with sleep deprivation, you know, whatever it was that was enough for me. So, I didn’t go with the signing. But little ones of his age certainly can learn to sign, and it is worth teaching them the basic signs like thank you and please and more because they can then actually commute, start to communicate, I’m thirsty. There’s are certainly ways.


And then of course, the other way they communicate is through things like pointing. So, they point at the fridge and actually, there’s a lot of non-verbal communication that goes on. What’s key in all of that, whether it’s expressive language or separate receptive language or signing is this what we call serving return. That he says something to you, whether it’s through a sign, a sound, or a word, and you say, wait, and then you say something back. So, it’s that backwards and forwards. And you can think of a game of tennis, you know, one person serving the other person returning the serve. And that is really what’s magical. And that’s almost more important right now than whether or not he’s saying mama in the correct context. It’s that there is serve and return happening. And I think a key stimulation strategy at this age is to actually focus in on that. That when he is communicating. And case in point, your friend who said that, he said, dog, you know, actually going back and when you hear a word that you think might even vaguely sound like it, to actually go in and re repeat it back to them because that is all that reinforcement of the principle that you’ve actually said something that has meaning and then also of the actual word itself, which is obviously a higher level. So yeah, we definitely betting down all those foundations, and I’m going to be excited to hear when he says his first word that, you know, absolutely decisively is in context. And I’m going to put money on the fact that it’s going to be dada because that’s what they do.


Cass: Well, and that’s when he sees Alex, he does seem to say Dada, then he’ll say Dada when Alex isn’t around. So, I don’t know if he’s saying like, where is Dada or…


Meg: Yeah.


Cass: And we’ve sort of started saying things like, yeah, you know, especially even when he makes his noise that we’ve realized now is associated with something will say yes and then say the actual word to try and sort of help him along that way. And little things like when he’s dancing will say, you dancing and then he’ll look and he’ll dance harder.


Meg: Yeah. It’s amazing. So, he really does understand, that shows the understanding. And I’ve got this great video that I’ve shown a lot of my courses that I do of a little one playing, is it called Hello Tom or something. It’s like a little app where you tickle the cat’s tummy in the cat purrs and you say something to the cat and it repeats it back to you. It’s a really inane game as most games are on iPads. Anyway, but there’s this incredible video of this baby who’s playing with Hello Tom or whatever this cat is called. And he tickles the tummy and Tom purrs and then he says, Hello, and Tom comes back and kind of says, Heyo but it’s completely not in a language context, it’s just echolalic, which is just repeating. And it always makes me feel so sad because actually what that baby’s doing is utterly magical. It’s that first rudimentary communication with meaning heyo. And instead of having somebody go, hello Maty love, how are you today? Or did you say hello? He’s got to catch us going heyo. Like just flat tone and really no emotion. And that’s one of the reasons why I am so vehemently anti-technology and apps because sometimes parents think, oh my goodness, he must be learning to speak from hello Tom or whatever this this app is called. And actually, echolalia has got nothing to do with learning because echolalia does not involve serve and return. And in fact, echolalia is something that autistic children can do.


So, autistic children can repeat back words with no meaning, with no context, with no emotion, really well. And that doesn’t mean that they’ve got language at all. It means that they’ve got echolalia. And of course, what we are wanting from our kids is language which has meaning, which has emotion, which is reciprocal and which has a serving return. So, that’s why it’s so critically important to really be in tune with how they’re talking even when it doesn’t make sense.


Cass: Well, it suits me very… I’ve always talked to myself a lot. So, now Max is making me a little slightly less insane in public, particularly on the waitress shop. He has a full monologue of what we’re doing.


Meg: What a session.



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Meg: Well, you know what’s so interesting about that now there was research, it was done where they looked at verbal IQs of children born to different types of mums. And you and I both were chatty mums. We both are talkers. It’s right out there. And I can quite imagine you walking down the way, Allen railway and talking away through your shopping list.

Cass: Absolutely.

Meg: I sometimes do too. So, moms who are chatty, it has been found naturally have children with higher verbal IQs. And that was a really important finding. And the reason it’s such an important finding is that your verbal IQ sadly is often the way that your intelligence is judged because we know that IQ is really not a predictor of success and it’s not a predictor of intelligence per se at all. I mean there’s so many other aspects to intelligence like emotional intelligence and nonverbal intelligence, but verbal intelligence is because it’s out there, children who have good verbal intelligence are judged to be cleverer. And children who have moms who are chatty are more likely to have higher verbal IQs. And so that buds very well for Max and buds well for my children. But the moms who are listening who just don’t talk and who are more silent, it really is a hard concept to hear. And what I always say to those moms is that it is important. There’s no two ways about it, but what you should be doing is doing exactly what you do when you’re walking through waitress. And that is create a monologue around what you’re doing in your life.

So right, we’re going to change your nappy now. Let’s see what’s inside the nappy. Oh, my goodness, let’s see what that is. Let’s take out some wipes. Let’s count how many scoops of formula, whatever it is. You know, you kind of have this rolling rhetoric that goes on and that’s actually how you do develop language. So yes, I think Max’s language is going to bode very well on that basis.


Cass: And the other thing that’s great is he loves books. You know, he really loves us reading, but he’ll sit quietly and read them as well. And I’ve heard that reading a book repetitively is, is great for that development as well.


Meg: So important. So important. Yeah, it really is.


Cass: And We’ve often talked about his favorite toys, but he has gone to a whole new level with loving balls, like keep playing by himself for hours, just chasing a ball. And we had a really lovely moment. We were at mom and dad’s, then he actually, our dog there loves balls as well. And he would bring the ball back to Max. Max would kind of do this, throw a “music” because it was sort of a, I don’t know, but it was an attempt at a throw.


Meg: Brilliant.


Cass:  And the dog would get ball, bring it back to Max. And this is…


Meg: It’s incredible.


Cass: … for about 15 minutes back.


Meg: Oh, I would.


Cass: Yeah. Which is really, really lovely. And then actually when we were at the same play day that I spoke about earlier, Max had more fun playing with the dog because this dog had a ball.


Meg: Well, it’s quite fascinating, you know, I mean it’s really fascinating what you’re talking about because play has milestones as well, just like walking and talking have milestones, but play has milestones and the milestone that he’s in at the moment is what we call solitary play. They really aren’t really playing with another friend. So, if he was a friend sitting next to Max, they would be doing either solitary play or parallel play, which means that they’re doing their own thing, playing with themselves. They might be playing the same thing but they’re certainly not playing together. That comes later and that’s developmentally appropriate. But what he’s doing with the dog is really interesting because actually he’s using cause and effect, which has actually developed now because cause and effect comes around about eight to 10-months old.


So, he’s established that, which is if I push the ball, the ball will come back to me. And that’s the sort of thing that they do. You know, when a baby’s sitting in a high chair and they drop a rattle on the floor and it gets picked up for them a million times and everyone gets frustrated, it’s actually just cause and effect. That’s what they’re doing. They’re just saying if I drop that, do you give it back to me? And he effectively is using cause and effect with the dog but is starting to move to out of just parallel play into cooperative play, which I think is completely fascinating. So Yeah.


Cass: Yeah. And I mean I was impressed with the dog as well.


Meg:  Yeah. Good dog, good babysitter.


Cass: Yeah, exactly. Because he’s not usually quite so generous with his ball, but yeah, so that’s been really interesting to watch. But one of the areas that I can’t… so there were two questions actually with play building blocks. He loves to bash them down, but I can’t remember. When I was pregnant, I seem to remember someone telling me that there’s a certain age where they should really get to the point that they’re also building as well as knocking down. Is that quite a way off?


Meg: That’s quite a way off, yeah.


Cass: Okay, good.


Meg: It certainly is.


Cass: In my mind, it was a year and I thought…


Meg: No.


Cass: No.


Meg: No, no, no. So, there’s a couple of things that have to happen in terms of stacking a tower. The first thing that has to happen is a baby has to be able to grasp a toy, which happens before 6-months, then they’ve got to be able to release a toy, which happens six to 8-months. Then they’ve got to start to be able to coordinate and they’ve got to have shoulder girdle control, their shoulder has to have control, the elbow has to have control, their forearm has to have control, and then they’ve got to actually coordinate a grip to let go. And even with a very large block, to actually do that and put it on top of another block is really difficult. Now, when you’re grading activities as an occupational therapist, we spend our time learning how to grade activities, but one of them is to go from big too small. So, what you can do is you can start off with a block that’s slightly bigger. Like for instance a tissue box, you know, put one tissue box on top of another tissue box and that’s a really big block effectively that then will actually balance and it won’t fall off. So, you can start off with bigger blocks and then obviously go down with the small blocks. My goodness, you’re only really looking at that when they’re about 18 -months old, two years old, that they’re starting to actually release a net go. So, no, don’t worry. He’s definitely not delayed in that aspect and the knocking down is actually important thing right now. So, that’s perfect that he’s doing that.


Cass: Well, if he can destroy anything, he’s doing really well on the development of destroying, Max the destroyer. In fact, we were at a playgroup the other day and they have sort of outdoor connect for, I don’t know if you’ve seen them, but they’re quite large sort of connect for games and he basically moved the whole thing in one kind like, like it was like the incredible Hulk was, had come to play. It was ridiculous. But talking of looking ahead and bit them being ready, when is it that they dropped the morning sleep?


Meg: Okay, so is he having two or three at the moment? Two.


Cass: Two.


Meg: Yeah. So, they move from three sleeps to two sleeps at 9- months. And they move from two sleeps to one sleep at 12 to 14 months.


Cass: Okay.


Meg: So, he’s a little bit way away off and I would not recommend dropping it if you can help it.


Cass: He can barely make it to two and a half hours for his best sleep.


Meg: Yes, no, that’s right.


Cass: But for the rest of the day, he can do three and a half no problem.


Meg: That’s also correct. Yeah.


Cass: But I can’t see anytime soon him being able to short sight.


Meg: No.


Cass: Twelve months didn’t seem that far away. And so, I wasn’t sure.


Meg: No, no, no, no. So, this is how happens. So, he will stick with that two and a half hours now. So, he’ll probably only just make it to nine o’clock now and then have his first sleep then and then as you said, stretch for the next maybe three and a half hours and have the next sleep between 12 and one and that’ll take him through until about 2:30. And then he’s got a big stretch to go from 2:30 or 3:00 until bedtime. And that’s typical for this age and kind of just after nine months that long stretch to bedtime’s tricky. And so, you often have to bring bedtime forward, but as they move towards a year, they’re better able to cope with that long stretch in the later afternoon. And so, that’s absolutely perfect and that will stay in place until he’s 12 months old for certain. And then between 12 and 14 months what will happen is that he’ll start to show you a couple of signs. The first one is that he starts to fight the second sleep. So, he’ll might go down for that 9:30 or nine o’clock sleep. But when it comes to that kind of 1:00, 12:30, 1 o’clock sleep, he’ll just fight it and he won’t want to go down.

And then you’ll start to have situations where you’ve kind of got him falling asleep at four o’clock in the afternoon, which is a pain and he can’t keep him awake. His head falls into his food in the evening tiredness. And then you can’t get him down in the evening. So, he starts to mess with that day, number one. Number two, if he does go down for that day’s sleep, he starts to mess with bedtime. So, he starts to not want to go down at seven, he wants to now go down at 7:30 and push that out. Number three, he might start to pull back his morning wake time from six to five to four. So, really early in the morning. And number four, the fourth sign that they can show is that they do an hour in the middle of the night wide awake for no reason. So now he wakes up, he’s wide awake and takes him an art to settle. When the one of those four things are showing up quite regularly, then it can be a sign that he actually is ready to drop a day of sleep. But I would never recommend it before a year. So, you would never drop to one sleep before a year and many babies do it at about 14 months.


Then what you do is you don’t just drop an asleep. You don’t just say, right, we’re not doing the nine o’clock sleep or no, we’re not going to do the 12 o’clock sleep. What you do is you merge them both at a time, at about obviously 11 in the morning. So, what happens is the nine becomes a mission, because as you said, he’s absolutely dog tired, but you push him forward until, let’s say 11 o’clock, you give him a nice big snack before 11 and then he has a sleep from about 11 until one. And then at about four in the afternoon, if you have to, you give him the tiniest cat nap, you know, like literally 15- minutes if necessary. And if he doesn’t have it, then you pull bedtime forward and it’s a little bit of a kind of hit and miss for a few days. Some days he’ll do two, some days he’ll do one, you know, kind of backwards and forwards. And then eventually after about a month, they’ve then have gone down to one sleep at about 11, 11:30 and then eventually 12 o’clock. And that becomes your toddler routine going forward is a 12 o’clock sleep.


Cass: I mean, none of that fills me with any joy. Not one of those four situations sound joyful.


Meg: I know, but they are things that you need to know so that you know when he’s showing you the signals. But don’t worry, you’ve got two months, you’ve got two months, which is almost a quarter of his life, so don’t, you know, it is quite a period of time. You’ve got a quarter of his life to look forward to still. And then he is going to do that shift for sure.


Cass: But then that’s it.


Meg: And then that’s it. And then well then, the next shift comes, so then your next cusp edge comes. And the next one’s quite interesting because for some babies it happens like at two and a half years old. And for other babies, like my middle child, she kept her midday sleep until she was six years old. I mean, she was an anomaly, but most babies between about two and four years old will drop that midday sleep. And then one of the principles there for the toddler moms, you listening, you have got to keep her midday rest. And that is an important principle. So that is a time of day where regardless of whether they sleep, you’re just going to… they have to go to their room and they can play with Legos or do play on their bed or they can read a book or they can do anything they want. They don’t have to sleep, but they have to be in their room. And for any moms who have a second baby, that becomes kind of a lot of respite because you then actually able to sleep at midday alongside them. And even if you don’t have a second baby, it just gives you some downtime where you know they’re going to have a sleep. But that’s very important that midday rest. It doesn’t have to be asleep after two, but it does need to be a rest.


Cass: Indeed. Just to come full circle back to the walking things, topic of shoes. And I wondered from a developmental perspective, at the moment he’s in bare feet all the time. It’s summer and you know, that sort of thing, but should now he started walking, is it better to get him shoes as soon as possible or avoid for as long as possible?


Meg: So, I personally like the very soft sold leather shoes. They’re almost like booties, like soft knitted booties, except they’re leather. And the bottom of them is generally a non-slip suede. So, if you’ve got the non-slip suede on the bottom and the leather on the top, in South Africa, there’s a brand called Chu Shoes. I’m actually not sure of the brand or what it would be in the UK, but I really like those. But when I say they’re soft sold, they have absolutely no solid. It’s literally just leather flipped the other way so they don’t slip. So, it’s the suede side and the top are, is very soft like a booty. Definitely no form, no hard soles at this age, you know, you often see little ones because of course those very expensive, you know, 59-pound Adidas tacky that you can buy for a thousand grand, shoes that you could buy for babies that they’re outgrown three weeks are absolutely ridiculous. First of all, they’re complete waste of money, but second of all, they’re really not good for little one’s feet. So, absolutely no need for shoes. I do prefer barefoot. If they’re not barefoot, then the soft sole leather shoes are the way to go. I do think that they do need them, because what’ll happen in the next two to three months is that you’ll be walking around retros and he won’t want to stay in the trolley anymore and you know, in the pushing in in the shopping trolley. So, then you are going to need shoes because unfortunately there can be hazards. So, it’s not so much about, you know, I mean I feel nothing for dirt, but I am more worried about hazards. Like somebody’s dropped a glass bottle somewhere or a dog’s pooed somewhere, that’s when you are going to need shoes. But barefoot for me is something that’s really fabulous for little one’s feet.


Cass: And those soft sole booties, are they strong enough to deal with those hazards like broken glass?


Meg: Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, that would be absolutely fine. That would be fine. I mean, a massive shard of broken glass or a rusty nail that’s sticking up out of a piece of wood probably would come through, but for that I wouldn’t be, you know, not using them. I would be still being sticking with those.


Cass: No. And hopefully, I would see that before each post settlement.


Meg: Exactly.


Cass: Because I’m developing eyes in the back of my head.


Meg: Yes, you have to. He’s at that age.


Cass: I have.


Meg:  Well, I did tell you this, but if you probably don’t recall is that for me, the most exhausting period of time in my baby’s lives was nine to 18-months. I just felt like I was permanently on high alert. They were completely dangerous. They didn’t know what they were doing. They were moving particularly germs because he started walking at nine months, much to my dismay. They’re a disaster and it’s exhausting. It’s just absolutely exhausting. And then they get to 18-months and they’re just suddenly, they’re a bit more sensible. They’re a bit more human. They have an understanding. You can say words. Let’s push boundaries because they’ll be toddlers, but it’s this stage which is just exhausting.


Cass: Well, I’m quite glad I’m moving out of the finger-walking, the back breaking, having to lean forward on is fingers. I’m very glad that that is solely moving further and further for us.


Meg:  Yeah. And that he’s now a walker. That’s amazing. Well, Cass, as always, it’s been amazing to chat to you. I mean, I’m loving going back and listening to our talks from earlier on in his development because it’s just been an incredible journey to watch the absolute miracle of human development through you and Max’s eyes. So, thank you for sharing it.


Cass: No, thank you very much. And yeah, I’m the same. I’ve been going back and listening to them and it’s amazing at the time, it seems… if there are any new mums out there at the time, it seems so horrific. But now when I’m listening back, I think, oh gosh, I’d completely forgot it.


Meg: It’s amazing. And that’s why we go on and have second babies because we have selective memories.


Cass: Exactly.


Meg: Yeah.


Cass: There’s light at the end of the tunnel.


Meg: Absolutely do this.


Cass: I’ve been through the 17-week seat regression, which I think is the podcast I last listened to


Meg: Yeah. And that’s a hell of a thing. Yeah. And I think that’s what we all fear the most. I mean, I remember my biggest fear was a baby having colic because I had treated such colicky babies and I was like, oh no, I don’t want to have a baby with colic. And somehow my babies didn’t. Oh, James had a bit of a 17-week sleep progression, but mom seemed to fear it a lot. I know. Anyway, Cass, lovey to chat and we’ll chat again in the next couple of weeks.


Cass: Yes. Goodness knows what he’ll be doing by then.


Meg: Well, I’m going to put money on him saying a word.


Cass: Oh God. Alright. Thanks Meg.


Meg: Thanks Cass. Cheers.



Thanks to everyone who joined us. We will see you the same time next week. Until then, download Parent Sense app and take the guesswork out of parenting.



Meg faure

Meg Faure

Hi, I’m Meg Faure. I am an Occupational Therapist and the founder of Parent Sense. My ‘why’ is to support parents like you and help you to make the most of your parenting journey. Over the last 25 years, I’ve worked with thousands of babies, and I’ve come to understand that what works for fussy babies works just as well for all babies, worldwide.