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Is your little cruiser all set to take those wobbly first steps? Well, buckle up because we’re about to spill the beans on this thrilling baby milestone! We’ll chat about when these tiny tots usually kickstart their walking journey, the secret sauce behind their learning process, and some handy tips to give ’em a nudge in the right direction. So, grab a seat (preferably one with a sippy cup holder), and let’s dive into the world of baby steps!
So, When Do Babies Walk?
Many parents believe that babies should start walking on their own by their first birthday, but in reality, it’s perfectly normal for babies to begin walking anywhere between 9 to 18 months. Babies start building up their muscles and getting ready to take those first steps from a very early age.
Typically, between 6 and 13 months, your baby will start crawling. Then, around 9 to 12 months old, they’ll begin pulling themselves up. Finally, sometime between 8 and 18 months, they’ll take their very first steps. So, if you are worrying out loud about When Do Babies Start Walking, don’t. They’re on their own unique journey to becoming a little walker!
Stages of a Baby Walking
“When do babies start walking” is a common question for parents eager to see their little ones take those first independent strides. Before your baby takes their first steps, they’ll hit some important milestones, such as rolling over, crawling, and pulling themselves up.
Pulling to Stand
When your baby is around 9 to 11 months old, they might start trying to pull themselves up to a standing position. They’ll do this by grabbing onto things like the sofa or crib. It’s one of the early signs that they’re getting ready to walk.
At around 10 to 12 months, your baby may begin to “cruise.” This means they’ll stand up and hold onto a piece of furniture as they take a few steps. It’s a bit like them using the furniture as support. If you have a coffee table, now’s a good time to make sure it doesn’t have any sharp corners!
Standing and Walking
Between 12 and 14 months, your baby may start to squat down and stand back up on their own. When you hold them upright, they might take a step or two. And before you know it, they’ll be walking on their own, either gradually or maybe even really quickly, depending on your child!
How To Encourage Baby To Walk?
Your little one will learn lots of cool stuff as they grow, like how to balance, coordinate their movements, and eventually stand on their own two feet. These skills all build on each other and get your baby ready for their first steps.
Watching your baby take those first independent steps is a magical moment you’ll treasure. The journey to walking happens in stages, with some important milestones:
- Around 6 months, your baby will start sitting up by themselves.
- Between 6 to 9 months, they’ll likely begin crawling.
- At about 9 months, they might pull themselves up using furniture like sofas and coffee tables to stand.
- Between 9 to 12 months, they’ll explore standing while holding onto things in the room.
- Somewhere between 11 to 13 months, you can expect to see your baby taking their first steps on their own.
Remember, every baby is unique, and they might hit these milestones earlier or later than the “experts” suggest. So there is no fixed answer to “ When do babies start walking”. It’s okay for kids to develop at their own pace – there’s a lot of variation in how children grow and learn.
4 Ways to Help Your Baby Walk
Now when babies do walk they need some encouragement to continue being on the move. Here are some tips to help your baby start walking and some advice on baby products related to walking:
- Play Together: Spend quality playtime with your baby. When they’re with you, they feel secure and are more likely to explore and gain confidence.
- Encourage Movement: Help your baby build those leg muscles by getting them to move around. You can kneel in front of them, extend your hands, and encourage them to come towards you. You can also help by arranging your furniture in a way that lets them hold onto one piece and easily move to another. Make sure there aren’t any things blocking their path. Also, try placing toys on the couch instead of the floor so they can use them to pull themselves up and practice standing. This will make learning to walk a fun adventure for your little one!
Activity centers that make your little ones stand while they play are awesome too, like water tables, play kitchens, and workbenches. And for kids who are almost ready to walk on their own, try a push toy like a play cart or a toy lawnmower. These toys give them something to hold onto while they practice walking. Just be sure to keep a close eye on them and keep those toys away from stairs for safety!
- Accept Falls: It’s completely normal for toddlers learning to walk to take a tumble now and then. You can’t prevent every fall, but you can make their environment safer.
- Baby-Proof Your Home: Make your home safe for your little explorer. Put locks on doors and cabinets to keep them away from dangerous stuff like cleaning products. Cover sharp furniture corners, install gates to block stairs, and keep things like pots and pans out of their reach on the stove.
Baby Products for Walking
❌ Are Baby Walkers Safe?
Doctors don’t recommend using baby walkers. They can actually hinder proper leg muscle development and make it easier for your baby to reach things that could be harmful, like hot objects or poisons.
Canada has banned baby walkers since 2004 because of the injuries they caused. On top of that, they don’t teach strength and balance skills which are essential for learning how to walk.
✔️ So What is The Alternative?
You might want to consider getting a push-style walker instead. These walkers come with cool features that your baby will enjoy while sitting in them. And here’s a bonus: They offer tons of fun indoor games and activities for those early walking days when you’re cooped up inside. Plus, they’re a fun way to help your baby develop their motor skills!
❌ Can Baby Shoes Help in Walking?
Don’t rush to buy baby shoes. Instead, it’s perfectly fine for your little one to go barefoot or wear those grippy socks or soft slippers indoors. When you’re heading outside and want to keep those adorable baby feet safe, make sure to pick shoes that fit well and have flexible rubber soles to give them the support they need.
✔️ Is There an Alternative?
If you think your baby’s feet need a little extra protection, you can put on some soft booties or socks with grips on the bottom to stop them from sliding when they’re walking indoors. Booties are like super comfy socks that are flexible enough for your munchkin to move their feet around easily.
Also read: 5 Best Baby Walking Harnesses Of 2023
What About Late Walkers?
Learning to walk is quite a journey for babies, and it involves some pretty cool skills. It’s not just about taking steps; it’s about having the strength, coordination, and balance to do it.
One important part of this journey is what we call “tummy time.” This is when you let your baby spend some time on their tummy. It might seem simple, but it’s a big deal because it helps your baby build up their core, arm, and leg muscles. And these muscles are like the building blocks for learning to sit up, crawl, stand, and eventually, walk.
Now, as your baby grows, their balance changes too. When they’re tiny, they’re a bit like a wobbly top because their center of gravity is up near their armpits. But as they get bigger, their center of gravity moves down to their hips and pelvis. This shift is a big deal because it’s what allows them to start balancing on their own.
There’s also something called “neuromotor skills,” which is a fancy way of saying how the brain and body learn to work together. These skills need time to develop so that your baby can coordinate those first steps. When Do Babies Start Walking, all these things come together to help them take their first steps.
Oh, and here’s an interesting twist: a baby’s personality can play a part too! Some babies are naturally more cautious. They might take a bit longer to start walking because they feel really safe crawling around. Standing up and trying to walk can make them a little nervous.
So, it’s not just about the physical stuff; it’s also about their personality and how all these pieces fit together. Watching your baby take those first steps is an exciting part of their growing up!
Signs of a Late Walker
A study from 2012 found that if a kid has trouble with motor skills when they’re young, it might mean they’ll have problems with talking later on, especially if they’re already at risk for autism. But if your child doesn’t have a high chance of autism, don’t automatically think this applies to them.
Keep an eye out for these signs that your little one might be a late walker:
- If your baby doesn’t roll over in any direction or can’t sit up with a little assistance.
- If your baby doesn’t seem to be able to bear some weight on their legs.
- If your baby isn’t trying to get your attention through gestures or actions.
- If your baby isn’t attempting to talk or babble yet.
- If your baby doesn’t show any interest in playing peekaboo or similar games.
What Causes The Delay in Walking?
Sometimes, delayed walking can happen because of issues with their feet or legs, like developmental hip problems, softening of the bones (called rickets), or conditions that affect their muscle strength, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. So, if you notice your baby limping or their legs seem weak or not even, definitely reach out to your doctor for some guidance. It’s always better to be safe and get some expert advice.
IMPORTANT: At what age do babies walk exactly? The CDC suggests having a chat with your child’s pediatrician if, by the time they’re 18 months old, they haven’t started walking at all, or if they’re not walking steadily by the time they hit the age of 2. So don’t worry too much if your little one hasn’t started taking those first steps by their first birthday; you’ve got some time to watch their progress.
A Note for Our Readers on When Do Babies Start Walking
Walking might seem like a simple task to us, but for a baby, it’s a big deal. It takes physical strength, confidence, and a safe space to learn. Your baby is pretty clever and can learn to walk on their own, but having a supportive coach (that’s you!) can make a big difference.
You might notice some signs that your baby is getting ready to take those first steps, but remember, every child has their own timeline for this. And if you ever worry about your child’s physical development, it’s always a good idea to talk to their pediatrician. They can give you professional advice and support.
1. What is the normal age for a baby to start walking ?
2. What causes a baby to walk late ?
3. Why do some babies walk early ?
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