Caregivers and parents are often eager for the walking milestone, but what's more important is, to offer a safe and engaging environment to help a child achieve each of these developmental milestones.
When does a baby start walking?
On average, children begin to walk between 12 and 18 months. Some are early walkers, who may start walking as early as 7 months. Research involving 48,151 children suggested that 25% of children started walking at 12 months, 50% at 13 months and 75% began walking at 14 months.
Here are the different stages of walking in an infant.
- 6 months old - Your baby will learn to sit independently. At this stage, you will notice that your baby will also start to develop excellent head and upper body control.
- 6 - 9 months old - Your baby beings to crawl.
- 9 months old - Your baby begins to pull himself/herself up to stand. You will also notice that he/she will stand and coordinate their movements.
- 9 - 12 months - Your baby begins holding onto furniture and takes a few steps.
- 11 - 13 months - Your baby starts to walk independently.
1. Encourage but don’t force them to walk.
2. Cheer them when they fall and get back up.
3. Introduce a baby-proof home for your infant to fall into: This includes keeping the doors and cabinets closed, padding sharp corners of your household furniture, installing a child-proof gate where required and keep pots and stoves out of your child’s reach.
4. Encourage your baby to engage in physical activities.
5. Give your baby developmental support toys to help them;
- For ages six months and up, the Bright Starts 3-in-1 Around We Go Activity Center.
- The Jolly Jumper – The Original Baby Exerciser with Super Stand is widely considered one of the best baby jumpers for active babies.
- The KidCo P7004 GoPod – Baby Activity Seat, for babies four months old to walking
- The Summer Pop’ N Jump SE Portable Baby Activity Center is intended for babies between six months to one year (or up to 25 pounds)
- Regalo My Portable Play Yard outside or indoors for babies and young toddlers
If your child has turned 12 months and shows no interest in crawling or pulling themselves up, the doctor may want to investigate. Whereas, if a child is 15 months and has not started walking alone, but has met other milestones such as crawling and cruising, it’s usually not a cause for concern. Talk to your child’s pediatrician only if they’re not walking at all by 18 months or not walking steadily by age 2. If your little one hasn’t started showing signs by age 1 don’t worry you have plenty of time.
It is advised to immediately consult a doctor if you notice these symptoms;
- Your baby has feet that look atypical and cause him pain.
- Your baby is unable to meet their developmental milestones.
- Your baby limps, trips frequently, or seems to have more balance and walking difficulties than other children their age.
- Your baby develops skills but then loses them.
- Awkward walking pattern.
- Toes point inward.
- Clumsiness or frequent tripping.
Your toddler will eventually learn to walk but on his timetable, not yours. Sure, there are ways you can lend her a helping hand but rather than focus on the finish line, embrace the baby steps along the way.