Skip to main content

Clumsy Toddling

A few months ago, the Pookie walked up to Londo with his little toddling steps, looked at him, roared like a lion and then... fell down. This is pretty typical for my little boy.

For months now, my son has really loved walking around everywhere. He loves to climb and run and do that arms-thrown-up-legs-going-from-bent-to-strait-not-really-jumping jump and try to keep up with his sister. He didn't start crawling or walking as early as his sister did, but he's definitely within the range of normal. And once he did start moving, he didn't want to stop.

The problem is, well, he is clumsy. It's also probably in the range of normal for a toddler, but Londo and I just aren't sure. In addition to being early with her gross motor skills, the Pumpkin also had natural balance and, I don't know, the opposite of being clumsy. And when she did fall, she would just laugh, get back up and keep going. She rarely actually got hurt, and we think she must have naturally braced herself with her hands and moved her body to absorb the falls better. Or something.

The Pookie, well he is a different person than his sister. He will be running or even walking and then fall down. Even when there is nothing to trip over or cause him to fall down that we can see. And he inevitably ends up with a cut or bruise, usually on his face. Right now, he has a big bruise between his eyes from sliding off the rocking glider and a cut on top of that bruise from falling somewhere else. Even though he was on his stomach on the glider and I thought he would be perfectly fine, he slid right off and banged his face on the wooden legs. And started crying his little heart out. The next day, he fell on something else and that black and blue bruise split into a cut.

It kills us when we are right. there. with him! Watching him, trying to ensure he is safe. And then... BAM! He's down, face first, crying and bleeding. I don't know if most toddlers are this clumsy. I don't know if this is a normal part of the learning curve. I don't know if it's something he'll grow out of or if he'll always be a little clumsy.

Luckily, he is getting better and better controlling his body. He's really stable now when he walks, he's getting much better at climbing, and he's tripping over less things. He still falls a bit and gets bruises and cuts (see earlier incident from glider and who-knows-what-else). But we are getting better and better and being okay with it. It's just part of who he is.

Sometimes, it's even funny. Like when we watch both kids run across the room. The Pumpkin takes off fast... the Pookie takes off right behind her... the Pumpkin makes it halfway across the room... the Pookie goes down with a THUMP! Londo and I just shake our heads and chuckle. I mean, what can you do? We keep looking at each other saying, at least he's adorable. Even with the bumps and bruises.

Comments

hush said…
I have a friend who is the mother of 4 girls, and her youngest DD is the same age as my DS. When we first started playing over at her house when DS was 11 months old, I was really surprised that even though we had 2 kids who were the exact same age, she didn't have a baby gate blocking the bottom of the stairs like we needed to have at our house to keep DS from climbing them and attempting to jump from them all.the.time.

Now I have a 14-month-old DD who has been walking since 8 months, and no baby gate is needed because she is just so much more careful and competent at walking and climbing than her older brother was at that age. I'm not one to attribute such differences to gender, however.. sample size like 5 kids, it sure seems like baby girls are not nearly as accident-prone as their male counterparts.
Melba said…
Rosie wasn't really that clumsy. And neither is Annie. So maybe hush is onto something with her gender theory. Sample size 7 kids now.

But it makes sense that just like some adults are more clumsy than others (I'm a total clutz compared to my husband), so are kids. Especially when you're only a wee toddler and still walking like Frankenstein's monster after a few too many wobbly pops.

I love that phase though by the way... when toddlers walk with both arms up in the air, waddling along. Super cute.
Jac. said…
When DS was learning to walk I felt embarrassed to take him out in public because he looked like we beat him. He had bumps, bruises, cuts, black eyes for months on end. He was much more aggressive with his movement (and still is) - trying to run before he could walk, wanting to climb EVERYTHING, etc. So, sample size of 8 - I vote for the gender theory.

I think I've mentioned it before, but we really found that toddler gymnastics helped. At the very least, they helped teach him to fall "properly" while he was engaging in his crazy risk taking behaviour.
Cloud said…
I'll let you know if Petunia is clumsy or not when she finally decides to walk with regularity. We've seen her take some steps unaided... but she currently prefers to crawl or walk with her walker.

Also, maybe I'll find the time to look up what Pink Brain, Blue Brain says about gross motor development!
songbird said…
My little one is only clumsy after he's grown suddenly - it's like he's not quite sure where his feet are in relation to the rest of him anymore. After a day or so he figures it out and is fine. Boy, for a data point.
geeks in rome said…
what are his body proportions?? is he lean and mean or chunky and meaty? Cute pudgy babies I've seen have had a really hard time with coordination. Between growth spurts and body mechanics (plus unnatural impediments like full diapers and stiff jeans), walking can be a challenge for some kids.

My son was extremely agile and walked at 10 months. He had/has an athletic physique and just exudes ACTION! yet his personality has always been one of prudence and caution (Libra) so he rarely fell or got hurt because he was always assessing his surroundings and responding appropriately. (one of his first words was "danger")

My daughter was REALLY not careful. I was so spoiled with DS that I had all these hazards I took for granted she wouldn't be vulnerable to and instead... (think blender whose electric cord is dangling off of counter...) It only took two incidents to realize she has a sunnier more optimistic outlook and is not anticipating danger around every corner.

She walked at 10.5 months and has an athletic body type. She's not particularly clumsy, but she gets hurt more because she is just less cautious than her brother. Ironically he is extroverted and she is introverted!!

Let him grow into that new body but if you think with time you still feel in your gut something is not right, have it looked into. Ear problems can cause balance issues.

Popular posts from this blog

Baby Fidgets in Sleep (and While Awake)

Since I've started this blog, I've had quite a few visitors find me through a search for something like "baby fidgets in sleep" or "baby fidgets in bed" or simply "baby fidgets." This leads me to believe that there are others out there with fidgety babies who drive them crazy enough to search on the internet for some information about fidgeting babies. So I thought I'd do a whole post to discuss the fidgety nature of my child and how I deal with it.

Do you want to know when my child first started fidgeting? IN UTERO!! I'm not kidding. When I was pregnant, this baby moved a lot. She was very often kicking and pushing and hiccuping. OMG, the hiccups! I thought they would drive me nuts. Every. Single. Day. For. Months. Straight. Often more than once a day. I am not exaggerating--you can ask Londo or the many people I worked with, all of whom had to hear about it. I just thought it was part of being pregnant, and it probably is, but I've al…

Some Babies Just Fidget

I have mentioned before that we had a very fidgety baby. It's been a while sinced I talked about it. Although she is still pretty fidgety, at her currently toddler stage it seems more normal and has in many ways translated into bigger, general movements, like climbing.

But I still get a ton of search hits that have to do with baby fidgeting or flailing while sleeping or nursing. Some people stay around and read a bit, and I hope they get what they need from the posts I wrote specifically aboutthis topic hoping that others realize they are not alone. Most people don't stay at all, and I figure they are probably looking for medical reasons why babies fidget (like I would).

Then I got this comment, which does indeed show that people are looking for medical reason. Anonymous said that she wasn't sure if the Pumpkin's fidgets were as severe are her 3.5 month old. Well anonymous, I can't be positive since I haven't seen your child, but at some points they were as bad …

Fidgety Baby Growing Up

My daughter was a very fidgety baby. More fidgety than any other baby I knew through all my years of babysitting, being an aunt and having friends and family with babies. So fidgety that I wondered if something was wrong, if there was an underlying reason for her fidgetiness.

There really wasn’t anything wrong. As far as I can tell, she simply has a LOT of energy in her body. Her father is the same way. Londo is full of energy and has always been a fidgeter. And me? I can’t sit in one position for a long period of time. I don’t really fidget so much as I shift positions periodically, and I don’t think I ever simply sit normal, facing forward with both feet on the ground when I’m in a chair. In fact, sitting normal sounds like torture to me.

But three years ago, when the Pumpkin was a few months old and through her babyhood, I didn’t know why she was fidgeting so much. When I would nurse her, when we’d be rocking her to sleep, when we would try to hold her calmly, when we’d be lying in…