In yesterday's post I mentioned that my 21 month old son is not walking. After meeting with the physical therapist today I now have a better idea as to why that is. Simply put, he has "low muscle tone".
Apparently we are all born with a certain amount of muscle tone and children with more tone tend to walk sooner than those with less. Just in looking at my son's legs it is easy to see that he has no visible calf muscles. But the real issue is with his core muscles. Fortunately it there are many things that can be done to strengthen these muscles and get him ready to walk. Things like patting him firmly on the back and chest, tickling him, playing rough (without hurting him) and allowing him to cry are all good ways to stimulate his muscles to tighten.
There are ways to get him to cruise around the furniture - which he is not doing at this point - like physically moving his hips to show him how to take a step from side to side. I have already tried it with him and I can tell that he wants to move, he just doesn't have the strength or know-how to do so.
This is a relatively minor setback as long as we keep up with these exercises. And I am so relieved that these are issues that were not caused by me in any way, but that he was just born that way. In all other things he is a very healthy and happy little boy, he is thriving and learning. And I am so proud of him.