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Parents eagerly await the day when their baby is ready to stretch her legs and start walking on her own, they always ask when do babies start walking. Walking is a more complicated and advanced milestone, with several requirements for muscle development and coordination. Because of this, many children work up to walking slowly, and they have a wide range of time for when they are expected to start walking. Babies typically begin to walk around nine months, but it can be as late as fifteen months before they start. Most of the timing of when they will begin to walk is determined by the child’s will as much as their surroundings and available resources. This will further affect their ability to walk at a more practiced level. When a baby begins walking around nine months, it is easier for them to be walking more confidently on their own around fifteen months. So while some early and eager babies are walking well enough on their own, other solid and steady babies might just be beginning to try their legs out. Typically, your baby will be walking on his or her own by the age of two.
When Babies Start Walking?
What parent doesn’t like to see his or her child begin to walk? Walking is one of the bigger milestones, and it is because of this that a lot of time is needed in order to bring the action into fruition, and indeed, a lot of time is given.
One of the easiest ways to estimate when your child will begin to walk is to find out when you and the baby’s other parent began to walk. Genetics will have some critical influence over the development of the baby in the beginning of his life; this will be seen again and again, and walking is one of the ways in which it can give you an estimate to start with. It is important to remember that estimations are just that, and they can be tweaked as new information comes. For example, if you and your spouse both walked at around nine months, it would be reasonable to estimate that your child will begin to walk around the same time. With this, my husband and I were both early walkers, and our children ended up beginning to walk around the nine-month mark.
While it is good to keep your baby’s genetic heritage in mind, it will still be possible that your child will have no interest in moving around on his own; this is part of the reason understanding your baby’s temperament will also allow you to give your baby reasonable expectations for his milestones, including walking. This is important to remember especially so you do not try to push your son or daughter into walking too soon, which can be both harmful and counteractive.
Walking is not a simple movement. Everything that the child has done since birth will affect his or her ability and desire to walk. For example, their eyesight should be developed so they can see different things and cultivate an interest in checking those things out. A sense of curiosity and wonder about the world around them should also be encouraged; this sense of adventure and excitement will often prompt babies to begin moving, as seen in crawling, and pulling themselves up on their feet to see higher up. Along with this, their muscles need to be developed enough where their legs can support them, they are able to establish and keep their balance, and they have the upper body strength to get up onto their feet in the first place. Walking is a complicated motion, one that is built up over months of learning how to sit, crawl, and pull up on objects.
So When Do Babies Start Walking?
Strategies to Get Your Baby Moving
There are several techniques and approaches you can use in order to help get your baby up and walking. Starting out with help in moving, using a lure, and working with different devices and toys have all shown positive results among parents.
Most parents are comfortable starting out small. They help a child sit up by sitting behind them, and they want to help their child by holding his arms or his belly while he tries walking. This is where you can easily walk your child through the different movements that will help him transition from sitting up to walking. If you have your spouse or a second part of hands, one of you will be able to use your hands to steady your baby as he attempts to take steps. You can gradually loosen your support while he begins to walk more confidently.
Using a lure can be an effective method of getting your baby interested in moving. Many babies will begin crawling in hopes of getting milk from their mom or their bottle. Food can be seen as a good incentive. My husband and I would sometimes put little cheddar goldfish on the coffee table, to see if our kids wanted it enough to reach up and pull themselves up—more than once they were able to knock the goldfish crackers off the table, so you’ll need to be more clever about it than we were. This encouraged them to try to get up off the floor and balance on their feet. I’ve heard of other parents doing similar things, such as leaving toys up on tables or on the couch in order to get their kids to try to practice both pulling themselves up as well as walking.
Devices and walking toys can be helpful in some cases in getting your child to start walking. However, there has been some controversy among the parenting community regarding devices like walkers. Some people have found that they are dangerous in homes with stairs, for example, and others have had their children develop bowlegs as a result of using a walker or bouncer too early. For this one, it is best to research all of the positive and negative reviews and reports on them. I have found this method of research to be very helpful in establishing good judgments on these matters. Sometimes understanding the wide range of differences can help you see where you will stand on the issue. For my family, my kids had a walker that doubled up as a bouncy seat. We didn’t have any staircases in our house, and it was carpeted, so most of the complaints about the walker did not apply to us. We did change our mind about the bumbo chair, however, where there were several studies that showed it could be detrimental to the baby’s spinal development. Since we did not want to worry about that, we got rid of the bumbo chair.
One thing we did keep using was a musical stroller. We had a small, baby doll stroller that our son would use to grip onto the handles and be able to push it. While it was in motion, the stroller would play music and he would laugh as well as enjoy the incentive of moving so it would keep playing. This is something that I would still highly recommend to parents, as my daughter also really loved it.
Many parents have used toys and even obedient pets as helpful items to get their kids moving. Putting toys up on counters, or items that have been lying around on the floor while your child was learning to crawl, for example, can be helpful and similar to the use of the lure technique. Using a toy instead of an edible lure, like my family with the goldfish crackers, can be helpful in that your child will be able to do this many times without getting upset that her food is gone, and you can easily take the opportunity to specifically work through the different motions. Showing your baby each step of getting up, from crawling on their bellies, to pushing up with their arms, to getting on their knees, to pulling up with their arms, and finally balancing with their feet on the ground—all of these steps add practice time while they have a toy to distract them and you to help them.
When Do Babies Start Walking?
Confidence comes with practice and encouragement. This is where knowing your child and her preferences can really help. In addition to praising your kids for taking their steps, and your comfort when they fall, you can also use your words to cheer them on. While hugs and kisses and snuggles can usually solve tears, you might want to consider using treats or small snacks to encourage your child to get up and move more. I would call my children’s names and tell them I had some applesauce or pudding for them, and that would make them come quickly (Mom’s food is always the best.) In addition, you can take pictures. Taking pictures might be able to help you as much as it can help them; you will be able to see their progress as they continue to try, and when they finally start to walk in strides, you will be able to really see the changes. Even though the babies will go through many changes physically during this time, it can be amazing to see it replayed on videos or in pictures. There are a lot of smaller details that your memory can lose over time.
When to Consult a Doctor
If you are nearing the fifteen-month mark of your baby’s life, and he or she is still not walking, this might be a good time to set up an appointment with your baby’s doctor. It is still considered normal for a child at this age to be working up to walking; some parents have said that their children did not walk until seventeen or eighteen months of age. However, if you are unsure of your child’s muscle development, or your baby seems to have little interest in the world around him or her, then it would be best to seek professional advice.
There are some conditions which can affect your child’s ability to walk. I know several mothers who have had preemie babies that they were guided to a therapist in order to get their babies moving between the ages of one and two. Of course, if your baby was born earlier than expected, this is something that you would have kept in mind and expected. Still, there are baby therapists who can show you some exercises and work with your baby as he or she grows.
In addition to preemie babies, there are some health conditions which might affect your baby, whether they have been passed through the baby’s genes or if there was some trauma related to the birth. Many children who experience these things can still easily live a normal life, and it is important to use their milestones as a way to keep planning for their next step with good expectations and hopeful attitudes.
When Do Babies Start Walking? Our Conclusion
Many babies will begin working up to walking long before they actually walk. This is seen in their increasing movement and interest in everyday life; their ambition and adventurous endeavors will shine through their actions and their reactions. When your baby takes his or her first steps, you will see this clearly. Most babies will begin to walk around nine months, but they can learn to walk as late as fifteen months, or even possibly a few months later. In order to get to that point, and to encourage them to move beyond, it will require patience, understanding, and humility. Learning different tricks of the trade to get your baby moving can really help, and if you are struggling, your baby’s doctor will be more than able to answer your questions regarding your baby’s health and development. It is good to keep it in mind that all the work and love you put into your baby will be worth it in the end, when you see your child walking for the first time, and the pride you will feel as they walk confidently toward their future.
Now you know when do babies start walking. But when did your baby start walking? Did the pass the significant milestones along the way? we would love to hear from you in the comments below.