This is a question that is always on any new parent’s mind; when will my baby start walking? Some parents are simply curious, others are a little impatient, and a few are concerned.
And it’s totally understandable why. When I had my first child I was a combination of all three!
I wanted to know when it would happen, I was dying to see it, and just like any new parent, I was absolutely terrified of practically everything.
Younger children would beat her to milestones and I would stress out. Was that normal? Was there something wrong? Panic would set in.
And I would really like to relieve that stress and panic in any of my fellow parents. Try to remember that no two children are exactly alike and each will learn these skills in their own time.
Babies are a lot tougher than you think, at least they are on the inside. They are determined and they’ll get to that milestone of taking their first steps as soon as they can. Be patient.
Moving At Their Own Pace
There’s no concrete answer to when your baby will start walking. On average, you can expect it to take around 12 months for them to learn how to walk but every baby is different.
Some take to it naturally at quite a young age – from as early as 9 months or so. However, you’ll also often see it taking as long as 17-18 months for some to get the hang of it.
There’s no real time limit on how long it’ll take your little one to get the hang of it and often there’s no rhyme or reason behind why some babies pick it up much easier than others.
If your little one is taking a little bit longer than others to get moving, don’t be concerned, just keep encouraging them to try and they’ll get the hang of it eventually.
And keep in mind that once they take their first successful steps, they still might struggle with walking. It’s a pretty hard skill that takes some time.
Balance is pretty tricky after all. So, it may still take your little one a couple of months to get walking after they take their first few steps.
Signs That Those First Steps Are Coming
A baby’s first steps are one of those milestones that everyone regards as significant. And of course, it is! I found it slightly bittersweet too.
It really hits home that your little one is growing up when you see them up on their feet moving towards you. Oh but it’s so rewarding and exciting too.
It’ll definitely be one of those moments that you’ll want to capture and so you’ll want to keep an eye out for the signs that they’re coming.
Well, once you’re little one starts to approach the 9-month mark onwards you might want to keep your eyes peeled for any of the following signs:
- Pulling Up – Your baby is trying to pull themselves up to stand.
- Cruising – Your baby is holding onto something and walking assisted.
- Standing – Your baby can stand up without any support or assistance.
You may be wondering what about crawling? Well, most babies do definitely start crawling before they attempt walking, however, this doesn’t always mean that they will be walking anytime soon.
A lot of crawling babies will pull themselves along on their tummy or use their knees and hands, but these aren’t necessarily skills needed for walking.
It’s much more important to look out for babies who are learning to pull themselves up into a standing position or who can stand without assistance.
If your baby is slightly older than the 12-month mark and is still struggling to get to grips with the whole walking thing, you can definitely help them along the way.
You want to make sure that you are encouraging them to walk in a safe manner.
Below you will find some of the best methods for helping to teach your little one how to walk:
- Helping Hand – When your little one has the ability to pull into a stand, you can always hold their hands while they take steps. This can help them to learn a little more about balance and the skills needed to do it unassisted.
- Push Toys – Push toys are a fun and interactive way to help your child learn to walk. They are sturdy and steady and they give them the support they need too. If you haven’t got any push toys you can always improvise with household items such as laundry baskets too.
- Baby-Walker Myth Busting – Now, a lot of people are under the misconception that a baby walker will help teach children how to work. This simply isn’t true. They really don’t tend to teach any of the valuable walking skills since they just push and propel themselves using the wheels of the walker. They can also be quite dangerous around open doors and stairs and children can easily get stuck in places too.
- Always There – It’s super important that you are always present when your child is developing a new skill such as walking. If you need to step away for even a moment, you should always place your child back in their crib or playard. Babies love to get into all sorts of trouble and I would hate for them to find it unattended.
Waiting for your baby to walk is one of those moments you’re desperate for but as soon as it happens, you’ll be all sad that they’re growing up.
But what an absolute honour it is to watch them continue to grow!
Typically, it’ll take around one year for your baby to develop the skills to start walking but every single child is different.
For some, it’s much easier, for others a little harder. But don’t worry, keep encouraging it, keep practicing, and soon enough they’ll get there!