As a parent, you’ve probably been asked “Are they walking yet?” dozens of times. Learning to walk is a major milestone in your baby’s life and many parents feel frustration and worry over when their baby will take her very first step.
First off, it’s important to remember that there’s little a parent can do to speed up the timetable of walking. Secondly, there’s a large variation between babies on what age they learn to walk. Another baby the same age may learn to walk 3-4 months earlier than your child, and both babies could still be in the normal age range for learning to walk. The timing of the first steps depends on a variety of factors and delayed walking isn’t necessarily an indicator of a problem.
Milestones for your baby’s walking aren’t set in stone. However, there is a general sequence of events that leads up to your baby’s first steps:
- 6-10 months: Baby will learn to pull her body up and stand up alone.
- 7-13 months: Baby will “cruise,” meaning walk while using something for support, such as outstretched hands on furniture.
- 11-14 months: Babies will start to walk alone. By 14 months, most babies use some degree of walking.
When to Talk to Your Pediatrician About Delayed Walking
Your pediatrician will regularly be examining your child and performing developmental screening at your well-baby check up visits. Legs, feet, and motor skills should be checked during these appointments. However, if you have a specific concern about your child’s delayed walking, you can schedule an appointment with your doctor to address these concerns.
If your baby hasn’t started walking or isn’t showings sign of starting to walk by 18 months, talk to your pediatrician to see why there may be a delay. As a parent, the age your baby starts walking isn’t the only thing to keep an eye on. If your baby is over 2 and only walks on his or hers toes, make sure to tell your pediatrician as it could be a sign of a central nervous system problem and should be evaluated. Any differences between how your child moves one side of the body as compared to the other, for example favoring one leg, should also be evaluated by your pediatrician.