At some point near the beginning of their second year, most babies take their first steps and officially become toddlers. This independent mobility opens up a whole new world to a child.
But the period of time before your child takes her first steps might not be so much fun for you. Just before they walk, toddlers-to-be often start waking up at night every four hours or so. Try not to become frustrated by the break in routine — the big achievement your child is preparing for will be worth it. Similarly, don't be surprised or upset if she screams whenever you walk away from her. She wants to be the one on her feet. All this turbulence is stirred up by your child's new goal — to achieve independence.
How your child goes about walking will tell you a lot about her personality. Is she thoughtful and cautious? A bit bold and reckless? No matter how she goes about it, once she's up, she's gone! That joy of accomplishment propels her from dawn to dusk and then some — you'll be on the run just to keep up. Watch her try to manage walking up an incline or negotiating a different surface, like grass. It's all new and exciting for both of you.
FYI: Your child will need simple soft shoes when walking outside or on a rough surface. Otherwise barefoot is best.