Hesperian Health Guides

Keeping up with the baby

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HealthWiki > A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities > Chapter 12: Caring for your baby > Keeping up with the baby

When babies first learn to crawl and walk by themselves, it can be difficult for any mother or father to keep up! Running and walking is a healthy thing for growing babies to do. And when they are first learning, they fall down a lot. Do not be concerned about this. It is a normal part of a young child’s development.

If you cannot move quickly

a woman walking with a stick while holding a rope tied to a small child.

Small babies can move with remarkable speed, and it is easy for them to get hurt. So, if you cannot run after your baby to keep him away from dangerous situations—like running in front of a car or into the cooking fire—tie a string around the baby’s wrist so that you can quickly pull the baby back to safety. The string can also be tied around your waist if you are unable to hold it with your hand.

If you have trouble seeing or you are blind

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When the baby is very small, sleep together with him in the same bed. This way you will always know what he needs and where he is.

As the baby grows and starts to move about by himself, by crawling and then walking, tie something that makes a noise onto the baby’s ankle or wrist (such as a small bell or a seed pod). Then you can always hear him and know where he is.

Also, make a space where the baby can move around and play without hurting himself. Make sure there are no sharp edges or corners on anything in the space. Put a barrier in the entryway between rooms and at any steps or doors leading out of the house so the baby cannot leave his safe space by himself.