It’s one of the most anticipated milestones—baby’s first steps. It’s also one of the most difficult to capture with your own two eyes…let alone on film to show off to friends and family. Most bambinos make that march between nine and 15 months, which is a wide and hard-to-predict window of opportunity. Up your chances of catching the heart warming wobbly stroll at the precise moment it happens with these tips.

#1 Enlist a helper.
Whether it’s a grandparent, a sitter, or your BFF, having one person to help start Junior’s journey, and another to lure him (with plenty of smiles and “hoorays”) to the finish line.

#2 Skip the zoom lens. 
Instead of zooming in and out when trying to photograph or videotape your new walker, physically move in closer to your babe. Keep still with your elbows tight against your sides (even if your little one is all over the place).

baby-walk-3Photo: Princess Consuela via Flickr

#3 Give your wee-one a push toy…that doesn’t offer much support.
A push toy (like the Fisher Price Corn Popper) is perfect for getting older pre walkers on their feet. It’s fun and colorful, but—beknownst to bebe—it doesn’t offer much support, so when they think they’re playing, they’re really thisclose to walking. #sneaky

#4 Study their cadence.
If you managed to witness their first steps, but now you’re trying to preserve it on film for friends and fam, try this: Recognize their (shaky) walking pattern. Newbies don’t really bend their knees, so steps are forceful and there is no break in momentum. When they are ready to stop they fall. Your job is to film as many steps before the fall as possible.

baby-walk-1Photo: Johnath via Flickr

#5 Let baby go barefoot.
When a baby’s feet have direct contact with the floor, they are able to grip and practice balance more efficiently. With that being said, reserve barefoot walking practice for indoors—when outdoors slip their tootsies into a pair of flexible-soled shoes.

#6 Snap the perfect pic at the perfect angle.
To capture kiddo’s first steps in print, photograph or video tape them from the front as they walk towards you with their hands outstretched. Too cute! If you try to snap them from the side, you risk them squirming, falling, or crawling over to you short of their target.

What did you do to make sure you caught your little one’s first steps? Dish in the Comments section below. 

—Ayren Jackson-Cannady