Learning To Walk
By the time your baby is around six months old, he will bounce up and down if held and supported, bouncing through the next month or so as leg muscles continue to develop and strengthen and he learns how to sit, roll over and crawl.
At around 9 months, he will start to pull himself up to a stand while holding onto the sofa and other furniture and a little later may figure out how to bend his knees and sit down. Mastering the standing position often follows at around 12 months, then he'll soon be cruising from one piece of furniture to the next, holding on tight to keep him upright. After that, he will be gaining confidence and balance and at about 12 months of age, baby will be walking on his own, albeit a little unsteadily.
Of course, this is based on the "average baby" and there are lots of variations to the rule. Whilst my daughter took her first steps at a very average 12 months and 3 days, I have seen babies walking confidently at 10 months and others, quite happy to just sit at 13 months.
Although physical features can play a part in when the child will take their first steps, (very slight children can often be early walkers), late walkers are more likely to be content to entertain themselves with seeing, watching and hand-based fun, learning to walk more slowly and cautiously at their own rate. By contrast, the early walker may be the impulsive, accident-prone baby who has raced through most of their milestones at warp speed.
So at around the time of their first birthday, it is believable that all babies are at different stages of their development, some at the "ready for a cake smash" stage and some already way past that. Certainly from my point of view, having seen over 200 children in the studio for a cake smash, results are very varied and do depend on the child. However what it comes down to is the fact that once a baby is walking, he is rarely happy to sit and play with cake.
It is usual for parents to book their child's session as near as possible to their first birthday. Maybe they are using the funds given as birthday gifts, or want to use their photos at their birthday party, or even have the smash on the birthday itself as part of the celebrations.
What I would urge parents to do is to look at their child and think about when may be best for their child to get the results that you, the parents, want. This might not tie in exactly with their first birthday, but when babies are standing or walking, it is very rare that we get the smiley-playing-with-cake shots. Babies of this age cannot be posed or kept in one place and while we can try other things with a small chair or toys, generally the sessions are much shorter, less successful as the child just wants to walk off everywhere, and parents are less happy with the results.
Recently, I have booked children in as young as ten months old for their smash & splash session as parents have wanted the smiley sitting shots that you see in a lot of the photos. Obviously the baby needs to have a certain amount of hand co-ordination such as grabbing, holding a spoon or placing food, (maybe inaccurately!) into their mouths so this would not suit all children.
Bright Eyes Photography takes Cake Smash & Splash bookings for children from 10 to 13 months, walking dependant! If you book quite far ahead and it looks like they are going to be walking before that date, contact us and we can look at bringing it forward.