Q&A: early walker scares mother

I'd like to thank all the teachers out there who did projects with their classes for Mothers' Day. Single moms with kids too young to come up with and make or buy their own projects don't get anything else for Mothers' Day. So thank you.

Lydia writes:

"Gah! My 8-month-old is starting to walk. She's a total daredevil, and has no control or judgement. I'm terrified that she's going to fall and get a serious head injury, and am seriously considering buying her a helmet. But then I think that's insane. I need some perspective. Help!"

Let me begin with one of my mom's favorite aphorisms:

"God couldn't make them so fast and us so slow if he didn't also make their heads so hard."

Assuming that you've babyproofed all the truly dangerous things, and that you don't let her walk around in dangerous terrain outside, she's going to find her own level. Which isn't to say that she won't fall. But if she's being monitored appropriately (which doesn't mean you have to hover–just pay attention) she won't get hurt more than her size can take. So she'll get bumps and bruises and scrapes and cuts, but nothing that would require protection from a helmet.

If you think about it, letting her find her own balance and what she can and can't do now, instead of when she's really big and can get into lots of trouble, is going to mean fewer injuries later. Plus, it'll give her confidence in what her body can do, and let her know that you trust her to be able to do what she sets out to do. So letting her learn and walk the way she needs to (helmet-free) is a gift you can give her that'll set her up for confidence and physical accomplishment for the rest of her life.

Did anyone else have an early walker? How did you deal with the lack of judgment at that age? How long until your child was smooth and graceful?

0 thoughts on “Q&A: early walker scares mother”

  1. Tricia, most coffee tables that I’ve seen either have sharp corners or glass elements or are made of material that’s not great for babies. There are all kinds of pads and things that wrap around your table to make it kid-safe, but most aren’t pretty. Plus, as Steph pointed out, taking out a piece of furniture in the middle of the room makes more space to play.It’s not a hard and fast rule :), just practical for some families. (In my case, my husband prefers to watch TV lying on his back on the floor; a coffee table wouldn’t have been good for that either.)

  2. Tricia, most coffee tables that I’ve seen either have sharp corners or glass elements or are made of material that’s not great for babies. There are all kinds of pads and things that wrap around your table to make it kid-safe, but most aren’t pretty. Plus, as Steph pointed out, taking out a piece of furniture in the middle of the room makes more space to play.It’s not a hard and fast rule :), just practical for some families. (In my case, my husband prefers to watch TV lying on his back on the floor; a coffee table wouldn’t have been good for that either.)

  3. Echoing Parisienne’s advice not to react too much when she falls — kids totally look at their parents when determining whether to cry after a spill. It’s really hard not to react strongly, but if you can take your cue from the kid’s reaction, rather than the other way around, you’re in good shape.This is difficult, though — all this mobility before the cognitive maturation catches up. Hang in there.

  4. Echoing Parisienne’s advice not to react too much when she falls — kids totally look at their parents when determining whether to cry after a spill. It’s really hard not to react strongly, but if you can take your cue from the kid’s reaction, rather than the other way around, you’re in good shape.This is difficult, though — all this mobility before the cognitive maturation catches up. Hang in there.

  5. One of my twin boys Alex had a helmet for plagiocephaly during the time he learned to pull up and walk. Whenever I see someone considering a real helmet, I feel like I have to comment! He has NO FEAR bc he never learned how much he could hurt his head falling down at an early age. He is 3 now and each month, I feel like I need even more of an iron stomach bc of his lack of fear on physical things.Avoid the helmet!

  6. One of my twin boys Alex had a helmet for plagiocephaly during the time he learned to pull up and walk. Whenever I see someone considering a real helmet, I feel like I have to comment! He has NO FEAR bc he never learned how much he could hurt his head falling down at an early age. He is 3 now and each month, I feel like I need even more of an iron stomach bc of his lack of fear on physical things.Avoid the helmet!

  7. My 2 cents on the helmet–I agree with Moxie that given appropriate childproofing, a child is built for falling (at least I hope so because I’ve lost count of how many times my son has fallen!). I’d also think that a helmet would throw off the child’s balance and make it more dangerous for them. In a lightly different situation, but I was told not to even consider a helmet for a child for bike riding until after they were one because their necks aren’t strong enough to support it.

  8. My 2 cents on the helmet–I agree with Moxie that given appropriate childproofing, a child is built for falling (at least I hope so because I’ve lost count of how many times my son has fallen!). I’d also think that a helmet would throw off the child’s balance and make it more dangerous for them. In a lightly different situation, but I was told not to even consider a helmet for a child for bike riding until after they were one because their necks aren’t strong enough to support it.

  9. When we had our son, now almost 2.5, actually even before we had him, people would come to our house and see baby death trap. I think these people had a little bruise phobia.If nothing pointy is sticking out of the wall or furniture at head height, and you’ve baby proofed the obvious things (and even coffee table corners aren’t that pointy) everything will be fine. Each time your child gets a new skill, it requires a little extra attention from you to see exactly WHAT things they are interested in using their new skills for. Are they interested in outlets or do they ignore them? Do they want to yank the TV down, are they climbers? Are they crazy maniac daredevils who will stack toys higher and higher and then climb on top and jump off them to the ground and slice open their lip on the corner of a book that is standing on end?
    That last example is true… and mentioned to point out that you can be careful about their world of predictable things, and then you go 15 feet into the kitchen for 30 seconds to stir the pasta sauce and then they are screaming and blood is pouring out of their mouths and you have no idea what happened and you spend the next day trying to piece together the crime scene.
    Another true story. My son was a bit older, but not much, last year when he ran head long into the corner of my mother’s dining room table. He was going full speed with a 15 foot start. It literally knocked him off his feet, flat onto his back. He screamed a lot, there was a visible DENT in his head, I called my husband (doctor) if we needed to take him to the hospital, he said just keep an eye on him. The next day? He didn’t even have a bruise.
    Hard, hard heads.

  10. When we had our son, now almost 2.5, actually even before we had him, people would come to our house and see baby death trap. I think these people had a little bruise phobia.If nothing pointy is sticking out of the wall or furniture at head height, and you’ve baby proofed the obvious things (and even coffee table corners aren’t that pointy) everything will be fine. Each time your child gets a new skill, it requires a little extra attention from you to see exactly WHAT things they are interested in using their new skills for. Are they interested in outlets or do they ignore them? Do they want to yank the TV down, are they climbers? Are they crazy maniac daredevils who will stack toys higher and higher and then climb on top and jump off them to the ground and slice open their lip on the corner of a book that is standing on end?
    That last example is true… and mentioned to point out that you can be careful about their world of predictable things, and then you go 15 feet into the kitchen for 30 seconds to stir the pasta sauce and then they are screaming and blood is pouring out of their mouths and you have no idea what happened and you spend the next day trying to piece together the crime scene.
    Another true story. My son was a bit older, but not much, last year when he ran head long into the corner of my mother’s dining room table. He was going full speed with a 15 foot start. It literally knocked him off his feet, flat onto his back. He screamed a lot, there was a visible DENT in his head, I called my husband (doctor) if we needed to take him to the hospital, he said just keep an eye on him. The next day? He didn’t even have a bruise.
    Hard, hard heads.

  11. My girl started walking one day after she hit 10 months and she has been going at breakneck speed ever since. My philosophy was to do the standard babyproofing then just sit back and let her learn. She had bruises and scrapes pretty much all the time for a few months, but I followed her lead on falls – I waited to see her reaction to it before I intervened and she’s a pretty tough cookie. Of course I had several inward cringes each day and had to sit on my hands a few times, but I tried not to show her that. Anyway now at just over 2 1/2 she’s pretty fearless when it comes to physical things – she loves to swim and go under water, loves to run, climb and jump off of things and onto things. And I still take the “let her learn” approach unless it is really dangerous. So she’s the girl with the always-scabby knees at daycare.

  12. My girl started walking one day after she hit 10 months and she has been going at breakneck speed ever since. My philosophy was to do the standard babyproofing then just sit back and let her learn. She had bruises and scrapes pretty much all the time for a few months, but I followed her lead on falls – I waited to see her reaction to it before I intervened and she’s a pretty tough cookie. Of course I had several inward cringes each day and had to sit on my hands a few times, but I tried not to show her that. Anyway now at just over 2 1/2 she’s pretty fearless when it comes to physical things – she loves to swim and go under water, loves to run, climb and jump off of things and onto things. And I still take the “let her learn” approach unless it is really dangerous. So she’s the girl with the always-scabby knees at daycare.

  13. My 15-month-old started to walk at just 9 months, so I can relate.As Moxie says, childproofing is your friend as it means you can take a break, otherwise watch like a hawk. The worst I can remember was a 1-year-old’s party in our mom’s group in a park beside a fish pond, and a busy road. I spent two hours chasing after him, while the other moms sipped champagne and watched their kids play on the grass and occasionally crawl a metre or so.
    He got smooth and graceful very quickly, and now he runs and climbs and even jumps like a 2-year-old. He also got sensible very quickly – after a few falls, he got more careful.

  14. My 15-month-old started to walk at just 9 months, so I can relate.As Moxie says, childproofing is your friend as it means you can take a break, otherwise watch like a hawk. The worst I can remember was a 1-year-old’s party in our mom’s group in a park beside a fish pond, and a busy road. I spent two hours chasing after him, while the other moms sipped champagne and watched their kids play on the grass and occasionally crawl a metre or so.
    He got smooth and graceful very quickly, and now he runs and climbs and even jumps like a 2-year-old. He also got sensible very quickly – after a few falls, he got more careful.

  15. If it makes you feel any better my younger brother walked at nine months and started running almost immediately. Even before he mastered breaking so there were many, many bumps to the head but he’s 21 now and a real estate agent so hopefully that will provide you with some comfort.Maybe lots of time outside on the grass would be good, something soft to fall on?

  16. If it makes you feel any better my younger brother walked at nine months and started running almost immediately. Even before he mastered breaking so there were many, many bumps to the head but he’s 21 now and a real estate agent so hopefully that will provide you with some comfort.Maybe lots of time outside on the grass would be good, something soft to fall on?

  17. Ditto Lex. My son started walking at 9 months, and we just created a safe Caden zone in our living room. That’s where all his toys are, and not many sharp corners. If you have a coffee table, I would get rid of it….we did, and it created so much more baby room! (but I hated our coffee table, so it was no loss to me at all!!!) We used the Superyard XT gate to block off the TV, fireplace, and end table with stuff on it side of the room. HTH!

  18. Ditto Lex. My son started walking at 9 months, and we just created a safe Caden zone in our living room. That’s where all his toys are, and not many sharp corners. If you have a coffee table, I would get rid of it….we did, and it created so much more baby room! (but I hated our coffee table, so it was no loss to me at all!!!) We used the Superyard XT gate to block off the TV, fireplace, and end table with stuff on it side of the room. HTH!

  19. According to my mother-in-law, her youngest walked at nine months but fell so often at first that he went back to crawling after a week or two. He started walking again, with much more assurance, at 12 months. This may be why my mother-in-law was obsessed with covering everything in the house with spare blankets and pillows whenever she came to visit after my son learned to walk at 11 months.I don’t know if this is broadly true, but my son got pretty fluid and stable after a month and a half of practice.
    Of course, once they master walking, they’re off to conquer some other perilous skill, like climbing or running. I figure I won’t be able to let my guard down until my son’s in his 20s and has mastered driving, and then he’ll probably just go out and buy a motorcycle to spite me.
    I’ve been careful to tone down my reaction when he falls so I can tell by his reaction if he’s hurt. By limiting myself to an “oops! boom!” he does the same and only cries if he’s really bumped something hard, which is reassuring.

  20. According to my mother-in-law, her youngest walked at nine months but fell so often at first that he went back to crawling after a week or two. He started walking again, with much more assurance, at 12 months. This may be why my mother-in-law was obsessed with covering everything in the house with spare blankets and pillows whenever she came to visit after my son learned to walk at 11 months.I don’t know if this is broadly true, but my son got pretty fluid and stable after a month and a half of practice.
    Of course, once they master walking, they’re off to conquer some other perilous skill, like climbing or running. I figure I won’t be able to let my guard down until my son’s in his 20s and has mastered driving, and then he’ll probably just go out and buy a motorcycle to spite me.
    I’ve been careful to tone down my reaction when he falls so I can tell by his reaction if he’s hurt. By limiting myself to an “oops! boom!” he does the same and only cries if he’s really bumped something hard, which is reassuring.

  21. My son ran 10 minutes after he first walked. He could either go fast or corner, but not both, and he chose running. He used to turn by ricocheting off walls, sofa etc. He fell a lot, but never cared in the slightest. At the swings he’d fall and strangers would turn to pick him up / calm the inevitable storm him, whereas I wouldn’t really register he was down, and judging by his grinning, neither did he. He just scrambled up quicker than anyone could get to him and carried on charging about.My mum would make a big fuss “consoling” him when he tripped, and it confused him and sometimes distressed him. Proabably because he was trying to run off and she was insisting on scooping him up. Obviously when he’s upset, I’m there like a flash, whether the cause is physical or social, but don’t assume that stumbling is automatically distressing for all kids.

  22. I just wanted to point out that this experience can recur later–at my daughter’s swimming lesson yesterday was a girl (3 1/2) who exhibited absolutely no fear of the water (4 feet, so over her head) and poor judgment regarding it (flinging herself off the side of the pool without an instructor there to catch her). I chatted with her mom for a minute; her mom said that’s why she was getting swimming lessons…to try to instill some judgment and get some skills in the water to try to make up for the lack of it.Anyway, I think that babyproofing + soft outdoor surfaces are the way to go for now.
    @ Steph: our whole married life we’ve never had a coffee table, in anticipation of kids. Someday we’ll have one…

  23. I just wanted to point out that this experience can recur later–at my daughter’s swimming lesson yesterday was a girl (3 1/2) who exhibited absolutely no fear of the water (4 feet, so over her head) and poor judgment regarding it (flinging herself off the side of the pool without an instructor there to catch her). I chatted with her mom for a minute; her mom said that’s why she was getting swimming lessons…to try to instill some judgment and get some skills in the water to try to make up for the lack of it.Anyway, I think that babyproofing + soft outdoor surfaces are the way to go for now.
    @ Steph: our whole married life we’ve never had a coffee table, in anticipation of kids. Someday we’ll have one…

  24. My DS is an early walker, too! He took his first steps at 9 months and by 10 gave up crawling altogether. It’s been exhausting, that’s for sure. The first few weeks were the most perilous in terms of falling down. Even though he’s running now, his movements are fairly smooth. The biggest problem I’ve noticed is that he doesn’t look down at all! I guess it’s too hard to balance AND look down, which makes sense. So he trips a lot – we try to keep everything picked up as much as possible, so he won’t have too many obstacles to confront. However, I did notice that he very quickly learned how to navigate the tiny step up between the kitchen and dining room (by holding onto the door frame). One of the things we did, besides the other babyproofing mentioned by earlier posters, was buy those colored foam squares for the floor – we have hard wood – to make a soft play area. For us the hardness of the floor was the biggest hazard (though just yesterday he banged his face on the coffee table and got a little fat lip). Once he ran too fast, tripped and fell on the wood so hard with the front of his head he got a black eye. This was just days before the whole Natasha Richardson head trauma media frenzy, so I was pretty upset about the whole thing. His pediatrician got a LOT of calls that week, and he was very reassuring – if the baby seems fine, hasn’t blacked out, and isn’t nauseous/vomiting, there’s no reason to worry. My DS’s head blow was pretty nasty and he was fine within a few minutes, even though the eye took 10 days or so to heal. So I would say watch her carefully, but try not to be alarmed by the falls.Oh, and for my DS, the grass outside was much more difficult to walk on than pavement or flooring. He’s a great walker but grass still makes him stumble, esp. if it’s not perfectly flat. If the little one is just learning it actually might help her more to give her smooth flat surface to practice (like foam or carpet).

  25. My DS is an early walker, too! He took his first steps at 9 months and by 10 gave up crawling altogether. It’s been exhausting, that’s for sure. The first few weeks were the most perilous in terms of falling down. Even though he’s running now, his movements are fairly smooth. The biggest problem I’ve noticed is that he doesn’t look down at all! I guess it’s too hard to balance AND look down, which makes sense. So he trips a lot – we try to keep everything picked up as much as possible, so he won’t have too many obstacles to confront. However, I did notice that he very quickly learned how to navigate the tiny step up between the kitchen and dining room (by holding onto the door frame). One of the things we did, besides the other babyproofing mentioned by earlier posters, was buy those colored foam squares for the floor – we have hard wood – to make a soft play area. For us the hardness of the floor was the biggest hazard (though just yesterday he banged his face on the coffee table and got a little fat lip). Once he ran too fast, tripped and fell on the wood so hard with the front of his head he got a black eye. This was just days before the whole Natasha Richardson head trauma media frenzy, so I was pretty upset about the whole thing. His pediatrician got a LOT of calls that week, and he was very reassuring – if the baby seems fine, hasn’t blacked out, and isn’t nauseous/vomiting, there’s no reason to worry. My DS’s head blow was pretty nasty and he was fine within a few minutes, even though the eye took 10 days or so to heal. So I would say watch her carefully, but try not to be alarmed by the falls.Oh, and for my DS, the grass outside was much more difficult to walk on than pavement or flooring. He’s a great walker but grass still makes him stumble, esp. if it’s not perfectly flat. If the little one is just learning it actually might help her more to give her smooth flat surface to practice (like foam or carpet).

  26. Oh, and my 22-month-old now goes up to whatever he bumped into (including me, if we managed to both lean over at the same time and knock our heads together or something) and pats it a few times, saying “boom! boom!”Of course, after a major ouchie I’m not sure he’d have the presence of mind to do this, but he does it for small spills and it cracks me up. It also helps me figure out what corners may be a little too dangerous.

  27. Oh, and my 22-month-old now goes up to whatever he bumped into (including me, if we managed to both lean over at the same time and knock our heads together or something) and pats it a few times, saying “boom! boom!”Of course, after a major ouchie I’m not sure he’d have the presence of mind to do this, but he does it for small spills and it cracks me up. It also helps me figure out what corners may be a little too dangerous.

  28. I’ll just chime in to echo what everybody else has said. My daughter walked at 10 months and 10 days, and just to reaffirm your feelings – it is a lot harder! They don’t have the reasoning abilities at that age to understand danger, so you can’t talk about not running in the road with any real efficacy. I scoff at those parents who worry that their child is not walking soon enough.That said, kids are tough, so don’t worry too much about all the falling. It will teach her caution and help her learn what her abilities are. This is just the first of oh so many worrisome tricks your daughter will learn – you might as well get used to it!

  29. I’ll just chime in to echo what everybody else has said. My daughter walked at 10 months and 10 days, and just to reaffirm your feelings – it is a lot harder! They don’t have the reasoning abilities at that age to understand danger, so you can’t talk about not running in the road with any real efficacy. I scoff at those parents who worry that their child is not walking soon enough.That said, kids are tough, so don’t worry too much about all the falling. It will teach her caution and help her learn what her abilities are. This is just the first of oh so many worrisome tricks your daughter will learn – you might as well get used to it!

  30. HAHA! Graceful? My boy started walking at 15 months and is 19mths now. He falls and hits his head at least 10 times per day. I fell down the stairs on the way to the treadmill this morning and I have been walking for 32 years. I think we could both use a helmet.All joking aside, I do get the fear. But I agree with everyone that they are much tougher than we realize. Pad the fireplace corners and try and enjoy her toddling.

  31. HAHA! Graceful? My boy started walking at 15 months and is 19mths now. He falls and hits his head at least 10 times per day. I fell down the stairs on the way to the treadmill this morning and I have been walking for 32 years. I think we could both use a helmet.All joking aside, I do get the fear. But I agree with everyone that they are much tougher than we realize. Pad the fireplace corners and try and enjoy her toddling.

  32. My daughter walked at 10 months and although we babyproofed, she would always find some way to fall face-first onto a hard toy or step on a book and slip! Just make sure to reevaluate the babyproofing on a regular basis, since height and ability can change the landscape overnight. I would always say “Kaboom!” when she fell, rather than acting sad or trying to comfort her (unless she clearly needed it), and she learned to take her falls in stride. She is a very happy and resilient little kid, although at 2 she is still trying to go faster and higher than she should!

  33. My daughter walked at 10 months and although we babyproofed, she would always find some way to fall face-first onto a hard toy or step on a book and slip! Just make sure to reevaluate the babyproofing on a regular basis, since height and ability can change the landscape overnight. I would always say “Kaboom!” when she fell, rather than acting sad or trying to comfort her (unless she clearly needed it), and she learned to take her falls in stride. She is a very happy and resilient little kid, although at 2 she is still trying to go faster and higher than she should!

  34. My son was not an early walker, so no advice to offer on that front, but I just want to echo the huge thanks to my son’s preschool for getting the kids to make Mother’s Day presents. I’m a single mom, and you’re absolutely right — that was my only special Mother’s Day anything, and it was very, very much appreciated.

  35. My son was not an early walker, so no advice to offer on that front, but I just want to echo the huge thanks to my son’s preschool for getting the kids to make Mother’s Day presents. I’m a single mom, and you’re absolutely right — that was my only special Mother’s Day anything, and it was very, very much appreciated.

  36. DS1 walked at 9 months and DS2 walked at 11 months. For both we removed our coffee table from the living room and covered the fireplace corners. Both really had the walking down within a few months, but watching DS1 was always easier- DS1 (now 3 1/2)has always been a very cautious kid and DS2 (22 months) is the daredevil. I swear I’ve aged 10 years since he was born. The second he could walk he figured out how to climb and has been perching on tabletops, desk tops and counter tops ever since. The child is never without a bruise somewhere. He has no fear!

  37. DS1 walked at 9 months and DS2 walked at 11 months. For both we removed our coffee table from the living room and covered the fireplace corners. Both really had the walking down within a few months, but watching DS1 was always easier- DS1 (now 3 1/2)has always been a very cautious kid and DS2 (22 months) is the daredevil. I swear I’ve aged 10 years since he was born. The second he could walk he figured out how to climb and has been perching on tabletops, desk tops and counter tops ever since. The child is never without a bruise somewhere. He has no fear!

  38. For those worrying they’ll miss having a coffee table- we didn’t have one when we first moved into our house (our previous apartment had been too small). So we bought some flat top ottomans to use as a coffee table. When we have guests, we can pull them together and make a table. Otherwise, we have a couple blocking access to the TV and one in use as an actual ottoman. Since we bought ours, I’ve seen lost more ottomans with storage inside, too. We got some that look like padded, rounded benches. They actually made a great tunnel when Pumpkin was crawling.I don’t have much on the actual topic. Pumpkin walked at 11 months, and then advanced far too quickly to running and climbing. We babyproofed as well as we could. And we make liberal use of our “owie bunnie” (a little bunny that holds a plastic ice cube in the middle). Pumpkin asks for it when she’s really hurt.

  39. For those worrying they’ll miss having a coffee table- we didn’t have one when we first moved into our house (our previous apartment had been too small). So we bought some flat top ottomans to use as a coffee table. When we have guests, we can pull them together and make a table. Otherwise, we have a couple blocking access to the TV and one in use as an actual ottoman. Since we bought ours, I’ve seen lost more ottomans with storage inside, too. We got some that look like padded, rounded benches. They actually made a great tunnel when Pumpkin was crawling.I don’t have much on the actual topic. Pumpkin walked at 11 months, and then advanced far too quickly to running and climbing. We babyproofed as well as we could. And we make liberal use of our “owie bunnie” (a little bunny that holds a plastic ice cube in the middle). Pumpkin asks for it when she’s really hurt.

  40. I just want to speak up for the poor coffee table here. I have a 3.5-year-old, and I have had a coffee table continuously since her birth–a rectangular one with sharp corners. And we never even bothered to put those protector things on the corners. Yes, she hit her head on it plenty, but she survived. And I couldn’t live without my coffee table. Where would I put my beer? So if you’re considering abandoning your plans to have children, take heart, you can have a coffee table and a child too.

  41. I just want to speak up for the poor coffee table here. I have a 3.5-year-old, and I have had a coffee table continuously since her birth–a rectangular one with sharp corners. And we never even bothered to put those protector things on the corners. Yes, she hit her head on it plenty, but she survived. And I couldn’t live without my coffee table. Where would I put my beer? So if you’re considering abandoning your plans to have children, take heart, you can have a coffee table and a child too.

  42. I’ll just add that when, and they will happen, you have head bumps and nasty goose-eggs on the forehead, try using Arnica gel. It’s a homeopathic treatment for bruises and also helps with the pain. Works like a charm to keep the bumps from becoming huge bruises! You can buy it at natural food stores.Though their heads are really strong – if you have a major fall on a really hard surface, watch for signs of a concussion. It’s something to take seriously.
    We had a scare with my son when he fell onto the tile around our fireplace and cried hysterically until he fell asleep (a sign of a concussion) so we had to rush him to the emergency room. Luckily, it wasn’t a concussion, but he did have a nasty hematoma on the side of his head for months.

  43. I’ll just add that when, and they will happen, you have head bumps and nasty goose-eggs on the forehead, try using Arnica gel. It’s a homeopathic treatment for bruises and also helps with the pain. Works like a charm to keep the bumps from becoming huge bruises! You can buy it at natural food stores.Though their heads are really strong – if you have a major fall on a really hard surface, watch for signs of a concussion. It’s something to take seriously.
    We had a scare with my son when he fell onto the tile around our fireplace and cried hysterically until he fell asleep (a sign of a concussion) so we had to rush him to the emergency room. Luckily, it wasn’t a concussion, but he did have a nasty hematoma on the side of his head for months.

  44. My son walked at 8 1/2 months. Was running by 9. Like many of the other posters, we babyproofed as well we could. He fell a lot though! And it wasn’t until about a year or so that he stopped having bruises all over his head. But he didn’t seem to care much and we were pretty blase when he fell down–we didn’t make a big deal about it in the beginning and then it happened so often. You should have seen the looks I’d get from other parents rushing to help him at the park, though. Our ped. assured us he would be okay and that they had hard skulls for a reason. His gross motor skills have always been way ahead, so this may just be the beginning for you. Start thinking about what your little one will be able to climb on in the near future! Good luck. And, yes, we are going to push the second one down to keep this from happening again! Ha ha.

  45. My son walked at 8 1/2 months. Was running by 9. Like many of the other posters, we babyproofed as well we could. He fell a lot though! And it wasn’t until about a year or so that he stopped having bruises all over his head. But he didn’t seem to care much and we were pretty blase when he fell down–we didn’t make a big deal about it in the beginning and then it happened so often. You should have seen the looks I’d get from other parents rushing to help him at the park, though. Our ped. assured us he would be okay and that they had hard skulls for a reason. His gross motor skills have always been way ahead, so this may just be the beginning for you. Start thinking about what your little one will be able to climb on in the near future! Good luck. And, yes, we are going to push the second one down to keep this from happening again! Ha ha.

  46. The wonderful benefit of not reacting too much when your kid falls down is that you’ll be able to tell when they’re really hurt, because that’s the only time they’ll really carry on. Although the other day we were out at a class, and my S fell down and another mom picked him up and was carrying him. After that, anytime he so much as tripped he’d lie down on the floor and wait for someone to come comfort him. He does NOT do that at home!We do still have our coffee table with the ugly padding, which actually made a great teether for the little guy, so I don’t think getting rid of it is a necessity. It is pushed against a wall, and nicely blocks off the windowsill so I can keep my laptop there and out of reach.

  47. The wonderful benefit of not reacting too much when your kid falls down is that you’ll be able to tell when they’re really hurt, because that’s the only time they’ll really carry on. Although the other day we were out at a class, and my S fell down and another mom picked him up and was carrying him. After that, anytime he so much as tripped he’d lie down on the floor and wait for someone to come comfort him. He does NOT do that at home!We do still have our coffee table with the ugly padding, which actually made a great teether for the little guy, so I don’t think getting rid of it is a necessity. It is pushed against a wall, and nicely blocks off the windowsill so I can keep my laptop there and out of reach.

  48. #2 stood at 8m, walked at 9m, ran at 10m (he’s got pretty amazing balance). He’s 2.5yrs now and despite loads of bumps he’s doing just fine. He’s not a daredevil but he does have very little (apparent) respect for his body. He doesn’t seek out dangerous stuff or anything, but he’s more inclined to laugh than cry in pain. Eg. he intentionally jumps as high as he can, lifts his feet out and lands directly on his butt.Eventually you learn to just sigh/roll your eyes/shrug dismissively (after confirming no real injury).
    Good luck!

  49. #2 stood at 8m, walked at 9m, ran at 10m (he’s got pretty amazing balance). He’s 2.5yrs now and despite loads of bumps he’s doing just fine. He’s not a daredevil but he does have very little (apparent) respect for his body. He doesn’t seek out dangerous stuff or anything, but he’s more inclined to laugh than cry in pain. Eg. he intentionally jumps as high as he can, lifts his feet out and lands directly on his butt.Eventually you learn to just sigh/roll your eyes/shrug dismissively (after confirming no real injury).
    Good luck!

  50. My 1st started walking at 8.5 months. Like other commenters, we also got rid of the coffee table (put it in the garage) because for some reason her head was a MAGNET to it’s sharp corners. She also took several dives into the leg of our piano, so we ended up just wrapping the offending piano leg with a blanket for a few months.She still took lots of spills, but we saved her quite a few bruises by getting rid of/amending the most troublesome areas of the living room.
    Since then, we’ve acquired a (faux) leather ottoman that we use in place of a coffee table. I’m thinking it will prove to be a much better furniture choice when DD2 starts pulling up/walking in the next couple months.
    Good luck!

  51. My 1st started walking at 8.5 months. Like other commenters, we also got rid of the coffee table (put it in the garage) because for some reason her head was a MAGNET to it’s sharp corners. She also took several dives into the leg of our piano, so we ended up just wrapping the offending piano leg with a blanket for a few months.She still took lots of spills, but we saved her quite a few bruises by getting rid of/amending the most troublesome areas of the living room.
    Since then, we’ve acquired a (faux) leather ottoman that we use in place of a coffee table. I’m thinking it will prove to be a much better furniture choice when DD2 starts pulling up/walking in the next couple months.
    Good luck!

  52. My kid walked at 7 months and change and the biggest problem for her was other kids. She was a tiny thing and got knocked over easily, if we’d go to the mall play area I had to spend the entire time shielding her from everyone else. She got pretty quick at dodging though.The best purchase we made (besides the Pampers box which taught her to pull up/push/walk) was a large ABC block mat from Babies R Us. She could practice all day on that and since it was cushioned I didn’t have to worry about her noggin. Kid fell *A LOT*.

  53. My kid walked at 7 months and change and the biggest problem for her was other kids. She was a tiny thing and got knocked over easily, if we’d go to the mall play area I had to spend the entire time shielding her from everyone else. She got pretty quick at dodging though.The best purchase we made (besides the Pampers box which taught her to pull up/push/walk) was a large ABC block mat from Babies R Us. She could practice all day on that and since it was cushioned I didn’t have to worry about her noggin. Kid fell *A LOT*.

  54. We swapped out our coffee table for a big leather (okay – pleather) padded ottomon. I actually like it better than our coffee table because (a) lots of storage inside for the kid crap (b) wipes clean with a damp cloth (c) DS just bounces off. The one we bought came with a tray so we still have somewhere to put drinks.

  55. If it makes you feel better to put your coffee table in storage for a few months, do it. If it bothers you to take that step, don’t! I’d put any glass ones in storage, by mine are these hulking huge pine things that I don’t worry about. I also recall a friend who gated off his entertainment center to give himself peace of mind. Made more sense than keeping the baby in a playpen.However, now is the time to make sure all your tall cabinets, entertianment center, bookcases, dressers etc. are ANCHORED TO THE WALL. In a stud.

  56. DS is now 18 mos old, and he walked/ran by 10 months. He is super accident-prone, risk-preferring, and likes to climb everything, which we try to encourage in the safest way possible. (We’ve aged considerably since these milestones!)His biggest injury so far was sustained by simple tripping while walking on the kitchen floor at 13 mos, bloodying his nose and lips pretty severely, getting 2 black eyes, and necessitating a trip to see an ENT dr. & get an x-ray. Amazingly, his nose was not broken. Dr. was most concerned about a possible infection after the severe bleeding left a ton of dried blood in the nose, so we had to irrigate his nasal passages with saline for a few days to clear out the bloody gookus…. eew, TMI.
    Anyway, we’ve found he’s most at risk for scary injuries like that when there are actually 2 adults present, supposedly watching after him, but neither has accepted the primary responsibility for him. So the best solution we’ve found is to always make sure one of us is “in charge” of watching after him – on the weekends, it’s usually DH, weeknights it’s me: “You’re watching him tonight, right? Yep.” Even though we’re both playing with him.
    Like others have said, we also got rid of the traditional coffee table, but this was before DS came along (I was constantly bruising my shins on it, and our dog had chewed the corners), and we wanted some padded ottomans that we could rearrange for guests and also store stuff in. Super handy for storing kids toys. Dog now leaves ottoman & toys alone. Put a little tray on top and you have a makeshift coffee table. We have started noticing this all the time on the shows on HGTV. Love it.
    The latest babyproofing challenge happened just this weekend, when we realized DS can both open and climb over the baby gate that’s supposed to keep him from going upstairs. So we’ve been practicing how to safely go down stairs. Did I mention I’ve started sprouting extra grey hairs? Good times!

  57. Best advice…put your child in soft shoes like Robeez. Podiatrists recommend anything that mimics bare feet while protecting the foot and keeping it warm. The old-fashioned hard shoes are unnecessary, make it hard for the foot to grow properly, and don’t let the child balance as well.My SIL had her early walker in hard shoes, and I’ve never seen a kid trip and fall so much in my life.
    Barefoot is best, but soft shoes are 2nd best.

  58. We have concrete floors in our house so we went to the sports store and got some 1/2″ gym mat for the living room. It is completely un-sexy but it was cheaper than the pretty kid foam and thicker/more durable {I assume – since you can put a weight bench on the stuff}.At 8.5 months and excited to stand up/waddle regardless of actual ability to stand/waddle the mat is worth it’s weight in gold because it has already caught a lot of face-plants.

  59. Mine never crawled and started walking at 8 months, and she fell all the time. She was not good at falling, either – she’d fall like a tree and wouldn’t catch herself with her hands. She didn’t fall into things, really – we kept all our furniture and babyproofed pretty minimally, just getting rid of the obvious hazards – she mostly fell on the floor. So we spent a lot of time running around behind her teetering self, so that we could catch her when she fell. We also got foam mats for her bedroom (hard wood everywhere else) so she had a “safe” area. She still managed to bang her head a few times, but she was never seriously hurt. I do think they’re sturdier than they look! But she got to be a better walker after a couple of months, and, more importantly, a better faller, and that was that.As a bonus, she is such a tough kid, now. When she hurts herself, nine out of ten times, she shakes it off. If she cries, we know that whatever happened is going to leave a mark, and even then, she’s fine moments later. I think it is the result of the early falling, personally.

  60. I second Cloud’s suggestion re: ottomans. Great for resting your feet when watching TV or with a tray on top they serve the purpose of a coffee table. And they do make great barriers.We have two small tables we use as coffee tables, which I will be re-covering soon to be ottomans (both for DS who is learning to pull up now at almost 11 mos. and for us – more comfy to rest your feet!). They are positioned together at night in front of the sofa, and during the day, I split them up. One to barricade the glass fireplace doors which DS can open (& likes to bang), and one to barricade the corner near the TV where there are a few cords we have yet to get rid of / tack down. Works like a charm. Leaves more area to play. And he doesn’t even pay attention to those areas anymore. Well, except that now that he’s trying to pull up, he likes to practice with the shelf on the coffee tables. Yikes.
    And a last note: FWIW, we have two nephews who seem to be blessed with (thankfully) ‘canceling out’ qualities: one is strong as an ox, but very cautious, the other is not-so-strong, but a complete dare-devil. I like to think that this is nature’s way of balancing them out and making sure they don’t get into too much trouble. 🙂

  61. This is a bit off-topic, but I’m very curious how many of the early walkers didn’t crawl…I’m really interested in the connection between the Back to Sleep campaign, children not having enough time on their bellies, not crawling, and early walking.
    FWIW, my son was a belly sleeper because he had good head/neck control and wouldn’t sleep any other way (and our risk factors for SIDs were nil), and he crawled well and didn’t walk until 14 months or so.

  62. Our son started walking at 9 months, and he’s never fallen hard enough to get us worried. The good thing is that they’re so short, they don’t have far to go! And it seemed like our guy figured out how to break his fall with his butt or hands pretty quickly. We keep an eye on him but let him wander as freely as possible within the house, and we don’t make a big deal of it when he takes a tumble. We do the “Oops! Fell down!” routine and make sure he’s not truly hurt. Carpet certainly helps, too! His motor control got lots better within a couple months.

  63. My pediatrician said that, barring unsafe surfaces and pointy things, babies just aren’t TALL enough to seriously hurt themselves when they fall from a standing position.The falling is important.
    EMBRACE THE FALLING.
    Learning how to fall safely (and this is a skill that they can only learn on their own) is a really important part of locomotion.
    Fitz-Hume was an early walker, too. Sam was horrified. I said “Well, what do you want me to do, trip her? I can’t stop her. This is just what she wants to do.”
    We didn’t comfort after falls unless she was in distress. Any non-cry falls were treated as non-issues, although we would (sometimes) help her up afterwards.

  64. My girl (who is now just over 2 years old) started walking at 10 months and quickly went to climbing. She had no concept of heights, edges or other things that were not safe. She got into EVERYTHING. Our initial baby proofing simply wasn’t enough.We also took the coffee table out of the family room for a few months (although once we were confident in her walking, we moved it back in) and put up really secure baby gates to block off that room. We would often take the cushions off the couch and put them on the floor to give her safe things to walk around and climb on that weren’t to high off the ground.
    She got graceful and capable pretty quickly and didn’t fall much or hurt herself really when she would fall. However to this day, I think the only concept of danger she has is to seek it out.
    I also say try not to make a big deal out of the falls, but let her know you are there if she is hurt. We are now able to go, “Are you okay?” and she answers yes or no based on whether she really is or not and we can respond accordingly–usually we give her boo boo a kiss and send her on her way. That’s all she usually wants, an acknowledgement that she did hit her foot or bump her head but not a big deal. And most of the time we just say “oops!” and she laughs and keeps going.
    As for the baby proofing… You have to gauge what your child needs, and what YOU need. My husband is a worrier. I’m more likely to let her try something new (that he would consider unsafe/dangerous) and see how she does, standing nearby but not hovering. My husband tries to stop new things because all he sees is the risk. To compromise, we babyproof more than I think she needs, but it makes him feel better about our little daredevil.
    And no, she’s never stopped being a daredevil, but you wouldn’t believe the things she can do! She’s really incredible and keeps up with kids a year or two older than herself!

  65. Oh yeah, she gets clumsy and falls more when she is tired or going through/just gone through a growth spurt. So something she was completely capable of can become something we have to watch her doing carefully when she goes through the clumsy period. And then we also have to re-assess the babyproofing (growth spurts for a child in the 97% for height means nothing on kitchen counters pretty quickly).

  66. @akeeyu – LMAO at “Fitz-Hume was an early walker, too. Sam was horrified. I said “Well, what do you want me to do, trip her? I can’t stop her. This is just what she wants to do.”” I’ve had similar conversations with my husband, though I never thought of the trip her line!

  67. @meggiemoo, my earliest walkers did funky crawling (one leg normal, the other leg crossed sideways, which allowed them to push backwards into a nice half-crossed sit without rearranging their legs). Looked weird, but definitely worked. My latest walker rolled first, then crawled. The one in the middle was the latest crawler. All were side/back sleepers (head on my arm).Not sure if it correlates for us, really. The earliest walkers both had reflux, though, and were the most likely to push themselves around in the bed with their legs while they slept on their backs.
    RE: early walking + ‘seeks activities without regard to safety’ – my kids have sensory integration issues, mainly in the borderline zone. Nothing severe, just past the margin of diagnostic. The ‘seeking activities without regard to safety’ is a sensory processing issue, per our PTs. It’s actually on the list of questions they ask. Such a nice way of putting it. Better than ‘crazy monkey child’ or ‘speed demon’ or ‘accident prone’ (I like ‘risk taker’ too).
    Mr G was an early walker (10.5 months or so? I forget), but was cautious and careful. Mr B was bad (another of the ran-one-week-after-walking, though he was the latest walker, I think), with the careening into walls and corners… but he didn’t walk until 12 months. Miss R walked around 12 months as well, and was reasonably normal about her crash-and-burns – we vote with the ‘boom!’ or ‘oops!’ noise if you have to comment on falls, btw.
    And Miss M pulled up at 9 months, and walked around 10 months. She was one SCARY child on the walking, because she learned to walk, then climb and jump off, then run – which led to run-climb-jump-off… no clear sense of balance, and no fear of heights or falling. BAD combo. And of course, she’s a twin, so she’d pick the moment I was attending to Miss R to go climb something and leap off it. I toyed briefly with the idea of removing all chairs from the house, because she was up on the dining room table so often. ARGH. (Plus she was a tool using animal and problem-solver – the girl has the engineer gene, no foolin – so she’d find a way to get up there, stack things precariously, get boosts from Miss R, anything to be UP! UP! UP!… hmm, by the way, UP! was her first word, and it came out as a command… right at 9 months. We called her Rocket for a while, too – she’s also the one when asked if she wanted to be a rocket scientist, she said No, because she was gonna be the rocket.)
    Baby proofing is the only bet, IMHO, when their judgement is that off and their skills are that ON. We gated off one end of the living room just for their space (Miss M still tried to scale the fence/gate, though). OT/PT did help. She’s a lot better than she was. But she still is a risk-taker with a thirst for knowledge and experience. And heights and speed. These will be fine traits later, especially if she grows up to be a rocket (heh). Meanwhile, there’s only one kid I’m really scared of when it comes to learning to drive, and it ain’t the boys! Miss Racecar (as they call her at school) has the most dangerous head-smacks, too (staples in her scalp, that sort of thing).
    In other words, I feel your pain. Anything we can do to improve her motor skills, coordination, and so forth usually helps – she won’t stop climbing and running, but she’s less likely to crash when she does.

  68. @meggiemoo- the physical therapist we had for pnut said the same thing- barefoot is best, then soft shoes when they are crawling, just pulling up/cruising.she did say that when you do get actual shoes for your kid, make sure they have good arch support as many kids have low arches, and they are formed early on (who knew?)- the pnut has lousy arches so i always feel inside the shoes i buy her to make sure there are some in there.
    the pnut didn’t walk til she was almost two! she also never had the ‘instinct’ to break her fall and she is still a cautious mover. i have had to train myself to not say “be careful!” every time she does something that she could get hurt doing.
    the bean, meanwhile, is pulling up on anything that is near him, stable or not. i have also tried to train myself to go “oopsie! with a smile” instead of gasping audibly when he falls down. b/c y’all are right- 9 times out of ten when he falls he’s ok and i need to know when he’s *not* ok!
    this baby moving himself and doing all the things the book says he should be doing at a certain age is crazy! it’s like a whole new world for us!

  69. Both my kids walked at 9 months. They learn the physics of the world quickly enough. My second has no fear, even at two years old. She just has amazing balance which is not to say she has not had here share of bruises and scraps. We have had more than one nervous nellies at public play areas ask me or my husband if we were concerned about the risks our daughter was taking. She is also very small for her age, so her feats do challenge conventional wisdom. I have tried not to limit her curiosity though I do try to stay close enough to make a save if I need to. It is a delicate balance.Also, I found myself just asking “Are you okay?” after most falls. Now when my kids fall (they are 5 and 2) the first thing out of their mouths is “I’m okay” If I don’t hear that immediately then I know some attention is needed. Kisses or otherwise.

  70. @meggiemoo – My girl started doing the “army crawl” I think right at 4 months. Up until then, she HATED belly time with a passion. We barely ever did any belly time because she would flip out.She’s never been a good sleeper, and early on she had to be in the swing or be held to sleep. We did get her to sleep on her back I think at 3.5 months, but by 4.5 months she figured out how to flip over on her stomach. Doctor said it would be an exercise in futility to try to flip her back over all night, so we just let her flip or put her on her side at night or for naps. Like yours, she had amazing neck and head strength, so the doctor wasn’t really worried about her.
    So when she was 4 months old, any time we put her down on her back when awake, she would flip over and start doing her army crawl, which then became regular crawling, which then quickly progressed to pulling up and cruising. Right at 10 months, it was full on walking and then climbing.

  71. I heard once that they get their clinginess and fear of strangers just at the same age they get their ability to get far away from mom. Grand plan, that.Mine were late walkers- 15-16 months. In hindsight it was great but it bothered me at the time.

  72. I had a longer post but I don’t know where it went.For the survey – T was a tummy sleeper (when sleeping), normal crawler, walked at 12 months and at 20 months is still working out the running thing. He gets more busted lips than head bumps. He trips and falls forward a lot.
    Add another to the no coffee table group also for the more room, less sharp corners reasons (both for the older boy who is more active and accident prone than the baby).

  73. No experience with early walking–Mouse was 16 months–but I will say the shortness is good design. As we discovered, a tall 3-year-old can trip on the edge of a carpet and hit the hardwood with enough force to split their chin pretty effectively. Yow.

  74. I’m having problems posting. Apologies if this ends up posted twice. I’m coming back with more thoughts on babyproofing.I agree with @wookie- anchor the tall things. And make sure your TVs are secure- there were a couple of really tragic cases of TVs toppling over on kids here recently. Our approach was to try to protect against the things that seemed most dangerous in terms of outcome, even if the chances of the dangerous event occurring were relatively small (although I suspect my very statistics oriented Hubby was just humoring me on somethings).
    For some of the other things, we consciously decided not to babyproof, and to use them as a way to teach boundaries, etc. so that Pumpkin would be used to the idea that some things aren’t safe for kids when we visited other, less babyproofed houses.
    For instance- Hubby didn’t want to put a child lock on the cupboard that stores our kitchen garbage. I thought he was insane. But now, it seems like genius. We spent a couple of weeks saying “no” and moving her away from the cupboard, which sucked at the time. But now I can hand her the kleenex I just used to wipe her nose and she goes and throws it away. And she thinks that is a treat!
    We’ve taken the same approach to our office, which is an unbabyproofed nightmare. We mostly closed the door, but we also taught her that the room was off limits without a parent. So now, if she sees the door open, she closes it and says “I not go in there. Only Mommy and Daddy.”
    We’ve also left some moderately breakable things (that we wouldn’t be heartbroken to see broken) within reach and unanchored. Other things that we didn’t want to move, we’ve just used museum putty to hold down and then tried to teach her “no” on those. We’ve had good luck with that, too.
    This approach was Hubby’s idea, and I have to admit I was skeptical at first, but have been won over by results. I still think that for some kids this approach would be more crazy making than it is worth. I think some kids are just not going to learn boundaries fast enough to keep them safe.
    Oh, and @meggiemoo- I don’t think 11 months qualifies as early. But in case I’m wrong- Pumpkin crawled (at about 8 months, I think). She slept on her back until she got strong enough to turn herself over. But she did get lots of tummy time.

  75. @meggiemoo. My son was an early walker, but he hit all of his milestones. He sat up at 6 months, then quickly moved onto crawling. Once he could zip across the room at breakneck speed, he started pulling himself up and then was walking at 9 1/2 months. He always slept on his back, but we were rigorous about giving him “tummy time”. He hated it until he could roll over back and forth, when he started sleeping on his belly (around 7 months).

  76. Thanks everyone…I think this is so interesting!For babyproofing, we didn’t do too much and just put in the time initially to teach our son what was off-limits. But he really wasn’t one of those kids who would explore everything, so we got off easy (and he wasn’t a climber). We had cupboards that were at his level filled with things he knew he could touch.
    We kept our coffee table, and he did trip once and hit a front tooth on the corner, necessitating an emergency trip to the dentist (the tooth was fine).

  77. My guy – now 17months – started at 10months, and slightly shocked himself after going from 1 step one day to walking across the room the next, so he took a break for a few weeks, thank heavens, before resuming and never looking back. He is very, very strong — from the womb in fact, according to my dr., who was stunned to feel him kick one day during a check up. (he’s my only — so I just thought that’s what it felt like!!!). He started flipping over onto his tummy and sleeping in child’s pose at 4 months. He falls all the time – usually flat on his face, in a way that I would think really hurts, but he’s unperturbed. I was comforted when my friend with twin boys reported that the emergency room has told her that bumps on the head that you can feel — that go outward — are the good kind; it’s the swelling that goes ‘in’ that you’d have to worry about.We also went for the ottoman as a coffee table alternative. The glass top number from my single, chic, white apartment days went away — it seemed that leather topped ottoman/coffee table thingy is wipeable and crawlable and doesn’t have to be proofed & unproofed! We’ve had success with ‘no’ on a few things — but finally buckled and got rid of death trap standing lamp; the test of wills was just setting everyone up for a ‘fall’.

  78. Oh, the standing lamp! Yeah, she toppled that, scared herself but didn’t hurt herself, and completely broke the lovely lamp. Sigh.I’m so jealous of those of who have children who you could actually teach to stay out of things or off of things. We started out thinking we could do that, but my little girl does not stop, gets into everything, climbs EVERYTHING, and grabs faster than you can blink. Each time we thought we had baby proofed our house, we discovered that we needed to baby proof even more. No amount of “don’t touches” or “that’s not safe” or trying to teach worked with her. We will continue to work on that, but for those of you who have kids like mine, baby proof everything even more than you think you will need! And try to concentrate on the amazing curiosity and exploratory nature which will server her/him well in the future.
    Maybe this next one will be a little easier. Sigh…

  79. FWIW, now’s not a bad time to see an osteopath who works with kids, if you’re into that kind of thing/have insurance. The one who followed me while I was pregnant with twins sees my boys now and again, just to make sure their physical development is going along tickety-boo, in case they’re favouring one side or another, or have any uneven stances, whatever. That could help with balance.

  80. Just to join the coffee table part of the discussion, we have one. It sits under the front window, allowing DS (2) to climb up on it and look out. None of our low tables have wildly pointed corners or edges (or are made of glass), but there’s an assortment throughout our house that have not, to date, caused problems (unless you consider having a 2 y.o. climbing on the one by the window to be a problem, that is…).

  81. my daughter started walking at 9 months and fell backwards, whiplash style, cracking her head at every opportunity. We had a tile floor so this was bad.Started by covering the living room floor with carpet underlay (cheap but soft) and then got worried about that PVC smell so ended up buying big foam rubber type floor tiles at home depot. This worked well for the head-whacking although not for the decor.
    it lasted a few months and then she stopped falling. If I’d seen those soft padded helmuts back then I probably would have bought one. If you have really hard parts on your floor the tiles are not too expensive and cushion the blow.

  82. @caramama- on the flip side, your Pumpkin will get up and come climb into bed with you, while my Pumpkin seems to think there is an invisible force field keeping her in her room. She gets up, walks to to door, and yells “Moooo-meeee!”

  83. My second daughter is an early walker. She crawled around 6 months or so (was doing a roll to get where she needed to go and pulling herself before that) and also slept on her tummy after she learned how to roll at 3 months.She has done really well about learning how to fall on her butt most times so I don’t really care if she falls. Most of our house is carpeted so even her falling and hitting her head isn’t so bad (usually). We have a single step in the house and she is rapidly learning different ways to deal with it.
    I have a coffee table and I figure that the kids will learn that you have to be careful around it and so far that seems to work. I think that *some* pain is good for them to learn their limits (obviously anything that could really hurt them is to be avoided). This has worked with my older child (almost 5) and it seems to be working with the baby as well.
    I completely agree that bookshelves, TVs etc should be anchored!
    I prefer my little one to be on the grass but it is much harder for her to walk there so she prefers the sidewalk but I am concerned that she will fall there and hurt herself badly.

  84. Speaking of coffee tables, I have a neat scar by my right eye from running into the sharp-cornered coffee table at my parents’ house when I was about 2. My kid didn’t walk until 15 months, which concerned me at the time, but in hindsight I’m grateful for those extra boo-boo free months.

  85. I agree with providing them with some outlets for discovery (the cupboard full of safe stuff, the trash can – which we also have accessible, etc.). We also put the stair gate up on the third step up, so they’d have two steps to learn up and down on.We also anchored stuff to walls, all over the house.
    Having had both the child who always asked before touching and never EVER got into anything he wasn’t supposed to, and the child who will still eat inedible stuff at 4+ years old and will not even glance your way when you say ‘Not Safe’… oh, AND the child who would happily walk barefoot on lego because his sensory process was hyposensitive (not much in the way of pain receptor processing), much of it is them, not us. If your child doesn’t learn caution by moderately ouchy mishaps, you’ll have to take another route to safety than allowing the mishaps (they’ll happen anyway, but the learning from same, not so much). If they’re super-sensitive to the mishaps, again, different track. If they seek out the mishaps, further different methods… and should you have more than one child, you may get lucky like us, and get more than one kind! Mr B still has three adhesions on his forehead from the times he slammed his face into the corner by the stairs trying to take the turn as fast as possible. His skin has adhesions so when he crinkles his forehead, those parts don’t move, but pucker instead. We thought he’d learn after a couple three head-bonks, but no (we ended up gating the area so he could not take it at speed).
    So, yeah, ya get what ya get, and then try to work from there.

  86. Mine was a tummy sleeper. Crawled at 6-months. Stood on his own at 7.5 months. Took steps at 9 months and got decent at walking by 10. No fear at all. We did nothing to encourage all this movement (and did consider tripping). He was highly motivated to get the fluffy kitty. Lots of hard falls. But as has been said, they are usually only traumatic to him when he is tired. My DH wanted him to wear a helmet and concocted a few padded hat combinations. We never had a coffee table, but were looking into the leather ottoman thing. You keep them as safe as possible, but it feels right to let mine to be busy and engaged, rather than restrained and bored.

  87. Another mama of an early walker here. The bumps from early walking didn’t bother me too much (or her), it was the standing that did me in! It took her SEVERAL weeks to learn how to get down from a stand, and until then she did a timberrrr-goes-the-tree-type backwards fall. No fun.Aside from the falling, though, a couple other thoughts on early walkers. 1) The padding on the edges of sharp furniture was useless for us. Daughter had them pulled off and was using them as a pull toy within less time than it took me to remove the film from the adhesive. 2) Soft-soled shoes are great, but early walkers can go through them in a hurry if there’s any concrete/similar in your life. I noticed the other day that Stride Rite had soft leather shoes of the Bobux/Robees sort with little rubber pads on the bottom and in keeping them in mind for number two. Still don’t have a solution for rainy days, though! 3) A leash. Really. They sell cute little stuffed monkey/dog backpack things with detachable leashes. I didn’t use it that often, but when I did it was indispensible (see: solo Amtrak trip to visit brother in Chicago re how fast can a toddler jump onto the track?).

  88. @meggiemoo – Our daughter walked at ten months, and did crawl, as well. She learned to crawl at about 6.5 months and went back and forth between walking and crawling until maybe eleven months or so. I think there’s a genetic component to early walking, too – I walked at 9 months, and my mom walked at ten.

  89. @caramama – I think our children should play. Everything you’ve mentioned today describes my daughter as well – 97%ile height? check. Running/coordination equal to/better than kids a year or two older? Check. Into absolutely everything no matter what is said or done about it? check. I’m thinking a zoo would be a good place. Like, inside one of the enclosures where there is nowhere to run! 🙂

  90. Good point Meika…my husband was an early walker and the second child is also an early walker (she also follows him on weight/height charts when he was a kid). Love the backwards TIMBERRR visualization.Hedra’s point is spot-on as well. Both my kids are (crossed fingers)learning from moderate mishaps so we can relax there a bit. But as far as intensity/sleep/eating -Oy! My first child was a handful and I didn’t realize just how far she was from the “norm” until I had the second child. You definitely just get what you get. But I think that the parents response to the kids can make things better/worse (and I won’t try to define that!)

  91. We’re considering getting rid of the coffee table because our one year-old insists on climbing on top of it. Then she stands up and turns around, sits, gets back up and performs other fate-tempting tricks a good foot of the ground. Don’t even get my started on the couch. I’m discovering that the second child learns all the dangerous tricks from their older sibling- something I wasn’t prepared for!

  92. @Meika – I dream of a big, padded room with a ton of soft things to climb and tumble around with, but nothing sharp or hard to worry about. We could set our children in there and let them have at it! You’re not in the DC area, are you?

  93. Still have baby in sling, so that works. Our supermarket also has the baby seat on the wall, and yes, brilliant and eerie.If I can hijack this post and add a related question, can someone comment on TP and boys? My husband seems to be teaching my son that there is nothing to wipe after peeing – you just shake. Is this standard?

  94. I think I’m a bit late to post, but my son was a back sleeper (swaddled etc. for the first 3 months), started crawling at 7 months, started walking at 8 months, and running and falling soon thereafter. We got rid of our glass coffee table pretty fast and replaced it with a fluffy ottoman that we put trays on when we want to use it as a coffee table.HOWEVER… with regard to the helmet issue… I would agree with 60% of what folks are saying re the kids needing to fall to learn lessons. BUT freak accidents do happen, on a pretty regular basis too so if yours is particularily prone to falling, you might consider a helmet. I know I am after our latest experience — my son fell and somehow propelled himself forward onto the corner of a wheel cover on a shopping cart, nearly missing his eye, and creating a laceration that required SEVEN stitches and will leave a significant scar because of its weird shape. We were very much on top of him, and he wasn’t near any corners that were dangerous, and who the heck would think of a wheel cover as being a hazard?? How could you even fall onto it? Well he did. If the fall had been one inch lower, he wouldn’t have an eye. And it’s not all that out of the ordinary — we know of at least two other kids on our STREET with weirdo accident stories like that. So I’m not so opposed to the helmet thing.

  95. Thankyou for the story about the woman and her fightback, i am sure she knows of Soldiers Ride but would aearpcipte being advised when you have the name or contact details.With the Para Games about to start there will be many more stories of courage in the media! Just finished the latest installment of @Dallagliocycle, which is in the timesonline.Add me to your contact list please!

  96. Hey Tom,Looking forward to the NYC WYS pemriere. Sorry to go off topic for a second but I recently saw the NYC pemriere of Coppola’s Tetro.’ Wondering if you’ve seen it and whether you might like to comment on it. My little review over at a social networking site was as follows: Francis Coppola remains the Maestro. Astonishingly rendered and realized work. Like all great films, repeat viewings are sure to be rewarded. Gallo is mesmerizing. I had some issues with the digital projection in NYC. Just some brief stutter. But overall the black and white was silvery and gorgeous. Sound as in all Zoetrope films was lush, detailed, immersive, beautiful, frightening. A dream of a Film. I tend to not go to the movies at all. Or I go and they sweep me away. I am thoroughly optimistic about what you and your crew have achieved with When You’re Strange’ and I had to talk myself out of credit carding my way to the Bloody Red Sun of Phantastic L.A.’ to catch the pemriere there.One more note for you. I want very much to see a new biopic of Artaud, and you’re the man. It’s been 14 years since My Life and Times with Antonin Artaud’ so, just like with The Doors film and WYS, enough time has passed for another major rendering.Are you interested in this story? In his work? It certainly threads forward to Morrison, for what it’s worth. In any event, I know appearance isn’t everything for biopics, but you could easily play Artaud from age 27 all the way through. Huge character arc. From brilliant angel to mad raver (he even referred to himself as Artaud le Momo’). It’s such a rich tapestry. Connections to Henry Miller and Anais Nin in Paris. In and out of the Surrealist movement. The magic travels and visions in Mexico. On and on. I know you’ve got films in the pipeline already. We’re all tired of seeing the same recycled faces in film. Isn’t it time you get back to it? You have the presence for a role of this scope. Best,Erik J

  97. Hey Wayne,Well, you motivated me. I dug up some more stllis for you.I’m pretty impressed with your one-man effort to illuminate the film lovers of Ireland. You’ve really put together an impressive list. Fellini is a lifetime of pleasure. The most amazing thing about him is that he never gives up on his characters, no matter how complex or disturbed. He always allows their humanity to stay alive.La Strada blew my mind at 19. It actually influenced Johnny Suede. I have not seen The Holy Mountain. I will now check it out.Don’t forget Bunuel and Kurosawa. Also, some of the modern masters. Herzog’s Aguirre, the Wrath of God is stellar.If your dvd of Johnny Suede doesn’t have a stupid voice over on it then it is the European version, the same version that won Best Picture at Locarno. Unfortunately the US distributor forced me to cut some key scenes and add the voice over for their theatrical release. I was able to release the original version on DVD last year.best,Tom

  98. Hi Tom,I just discovered this witesbe,it’s really great. Just reading this post makes me relieved that Box of Moonlight got made,seeing as there seemed to be a lot of hassle getting it done. I just watched it again last night,with The Real Blonde and Living In Oblivion the previous nights. I’m in the midst of getting my friends into your work and on the basis of Johnny Suede and Living In Oblivion it’s going extrememly well,they love them:-) It’s quite hard to find your films in the stores over here in Ireland so im glad to get my friends into your movies because i doubt they might have seen them otherwise.I plan on showing them Box of Moonlight. It’s one of my all time favourite films up there with Sunset Boulevard. Thanks for making such a great film Tom.Cheers,Wayne

  99. 1) No idea. I’m gonna guess Dirty Dancing.2) Aragorn and Arwen from Lord of the Rings.3) Lois Lane, Clark Kent, and Superman.4) I can’t even hazard a guess on this one.5) The first thing that ocrrecud to me here was Arthur Dent and Trillian from The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, but I’m not completely convinced that it isn’t Dr. Who related…6) This is one of those sappy romantic movies starring Tom Hanks and that vacuous blond chick. I think it was called You’ve Got Mail.7) Easiest one of the bunch. Guinnivere, Arthur and Lancelot, from the saddest of the long tales ever told. You really need to read The Fionavar Tapestry, by Kay. It takes the Arthurian legend to it’s untimate conclusion.

  100. Hey Wayne,It’s really great to hear from you. From the efrtfos you have been undertaking recently I feel I owe you at least 10% of the profits I’ve never seen for the dvd rentals of my films.I sincerely appreciate your enthusiasm and willingness to take the time to share it with your friends.However, when you compare Box of Moonlight to Sunset Boulevard I have to stop you. Nothing I’ve done compares to the scenes in that film where they bury the chimp and the chauffeur reveals he’s been washing Norma’s underwear.I really enjoyed reading your comment.Keep me posted on the reactions from your friends.best,Tom

  101. Hey Jessicah,I’m glad you’re going to the Doors screening in LA. Let me know how it goes.Favorite non-linear nirtarave films? Good question. These are in no order, just as I drag them out of my memory:Rashomon, KurosawaMulholland Drive, Lynch8 1/2, FelliniEvery Man For Himself (Save Quil Peut), GodardDuck Soup, Marx BrothersEven Dwarves Started Small, HerzogDiscreet Charm of the Bourgoisie, Bunuel.And of course the entire Fast and Furious series with its nirtarave structure that makes you feel like the directors cut open your skull and took a dump on your brain.best,Tom

  102. Hey Tom,I stand corrected This one was so biarzre, so whacked and you have such a talent for making stuff up I wasn’t sure. You’re right; I went back and re-read the first one and you mentioned the posts would be true. Reading that the only thing that changed was the names makes me realize just how absolutely strange and whacked this biz can be!!!! Truth is stranger than fiction, eh? And of course now you’ve spiked my curiosity with whatever other posts are to come!! Thx,Elaine

  103. Charu….thanks for both those links..I had read both those posts on your blog, when they had come out (but had refrained from comntmeing, mostly seeing what others had written).I’ve seen some very uncreative kids come out of some Indian schools…..but frankly, here in the West, sometimes its the extreme other end. I met this undergrad here, who had transferred to the UW after 2 years in community college, and she had been through high school AND two years of college without ANY math classes. That is something incomprehensible to me. Chemistry majors are unable to do simple molarity-normality calculations. Again, unacceptable. The amount of trouble I’ve had teaching Pharmacy students (who go on to dispense drugs, and more seriously, administer drugs to patients in hospitals) simple drug dose and IC50 calculations amazed me. The simplest of calculations were difficult, because they had never been taught to do so.I don’t want to rant much….but there is something necessary in some basic minimum rote learning, and drilled calculation exercises. In the long run…it absolutely helps. I know a lot of people are going to disagree here…but..Vikram…..you’re right….it’s just simple typing in to a computer….but sometimes if you do encounter a problem, and ask them for help, they have NP clue what to do. And they are completely reliant on that computer in front of them…..the overreliance is unnerving.

  104. This was a wonderful thhguot. I was touched reading this. I can quite understand the victim’s feelings. But I personally feel that the parents also responsible for this kind of behavior from the children. These days with both the parents working at least 18 hrs/day and 6 days a week, they barely have time for their children. And in order, to “make-up” for the lost time & attention, the parents pamper their kids with luxuries and other things (like iphone and what not!!!). This in turn is misused by the kids (haughtiness, coolness, arrogance and feeling of superiority). I think the children should be taught on how to behave and interact with their peers. Parents should invest time in the personal development of the kids.

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