No Finger Walking Your Toddlers

no finger walking yuor toddlerWhen my daughter was a baby I found myself with an interesting dilemma. When she about six months old she would be laying on her belly crying for an object just out of her reach. There was a choice to be made. Get her the object or let her fend for herself.

Since I am inherently lazy I found it easy to leave her to her own devices. Interestingly, on some occasions she worked hard to get what she wanted and at other times would cry a bit and let it go.

Then, long before the word “uppy” became the bane of my existence, my daughter put her hands up for me to help her walk around. Plain and simple, there was no way I was about to let that happen. And here are some reasons why:

    • The first two are purely selfish. It is fairly back breaking to be bent over and walking around in a hunched position.
    • Once you start finger walking your toddler it will be very hard to turn the finger walking spigot off. Do it with them once and they will want you to do it again and again so be careful of what you enter into.
    • Let them find their own way. Development for a baby is a natural process if they are free to progress at their own pace. Left to their own devices a baby will sit, crawl, stand and walk when its hips are ready to bear the weight of the upper body over the legs.
    • How often do you walk as an adult with your arms outstretched and over your head? Finger walking your baby around will be introducing him/her a movement pattern that they would never repeat on their own.
    • Some things are counter-intuitive but it is more inhibiting than it is freeing to finger walk your child. In the same way that being sat up restricts the hips and their movement, finger walking restricts the shoulder, inhibiting movement within the socket.
    • If you don’t say yes you won’t be forced to ultimately have to say no. And trust me you will need to say no because your baby will want to play the game you introduced all the time.


Exercise for Inner Thighs, Calves and Feet
Remembering Sandy Jamrog
  1. I find this plain silly. I finger-walked my son when he asked and he took his first solo steps (in a Central American jungle) at 10 months and he started climbing ladders and trees at 2 and became a competitive rock climber. I decided that responding positively to his attempts to communicate with me (like asking to finger walk) would lead to good communication and trust right through to adulthood…and that is what happened.
    Kids want to know that you heard them.

  2. I’m so glad that you wrote about this dilemma. I wish I had been able to read this post many years ago when I was finger walking my child. I think I knew intuitively that it was not a good thing at the time but it was easier to do it than not! Since then I’m fully aware that this practise is not desireable and that it can lead to missed stages in the babies development that may be an issue later in their life. Thank you for making this post available to new parents out there faced with this choice.

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