When should babies walk?
Many new parents want to know when they can expect their baby to start walking. It can be both exciting and worrisome anticipating your baby’s first steps, but don’t get too caught up in the numbers. Developmentally normal babies can start walking as early as 9 months or as late as 16 months, and there are many factors, both physical and temperamental, that impact timing.
Here we’ll share some insights into what factors will impact when your baby will start walking – and tips on how to help your baby walk independently.
What Age Do Most Babies Start Walking?
Around fifty percent of babies walk by the time they’re one year old, but there is a wide normal age range of walking, from nine to sixteen months. When a baby will walk is a matter of coordinating three important factors: muscle strength, balance, and temperament, and the latter seems to influence the age that a baby will walk independently 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 race cars and show no interest in joining the tall and busy world.
Is My Baby a Late Walker
There’s no reason to be concerned if your baby is taking some extra time to graduate from crawling to walking. 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 finally does begin baby walking, he walks well.
What To Know if Your Baby Starts Walking Early
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 those that start early baby walking, 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.
How Can I Help My Baby Learn to Walk?
Parents often ask, “Will I delay the age that my baby starts walking by carrying her around too much?” The answer to this common question is no. In our experience, and in the studies others have done, 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.