There are early walkers and late walkers. Around fifty percent of babies usually walk by one year, but there is a wide normal range of walking, from nine to sixteen months. Walking is a matter of coordinating three factors: muscle strength, balance, and temperament, and the latter seems to influence the age of walking the most. Babies with easier temperaments often approach major developmental milestones more cautiously. Since crawling is speedier than walking anyway, confirmed crawlers are content to zip around on the floor like miniature racecars and show no interest in joining the tall and busy world.
Late walkers are more likely to be content to entertain themselves with seeing and fingering fun than with motor accomplishments. A late walker goes through the crawl-cruise-stand-walk sequence slowly and cautiously, calculating each step and progressing at his own comfortable rate. When he does finally walk, he walks well.
The early walker, on the contrary, may be the impulsive, motor-driven baby who has raced through each motor milestone before parents could get their camera ready. While there is no definite profile of early walkers, they tend to be high-need babies who early on left the lap stage and squirmed out of infant seats. Body type may also affect the age of walking. Lean babies tend to walk earlier. Early and impulsive walkers are often more accident-prone than their more cautious walking mates.
Parents who carry their babies a lot often ask, “Will I delay her walking by carrying her around so much?” The answer is no. In fact in our experience, and in the studies of others, babies who are the product of the attachment style of parenting (for example, worn in a baby sling for many hours a day) often show more advanced motor skills. No matter which baby in the neighborhood walks first or wins the speed race, the age of walking has nothing to do with eventual intelligence or motor skills. When and how your baby walks is as unique as his personality.