Want to know when do babies start walking?
Then let us help with this guide on how old do babies start walking.
Having a baby is one of the most exciting times in life. Nothing can be compared to the feelings that accompany welcoming your little one to the world.
From the minute that you find out that you are pregnant your heart is bursting with hopes and dreams for them.
One of the first things that new parents excitedly wait for is their baby reaching critical milestones such as crawling, babbling and saying their first words. One of the most important of course is taking their first steps.
Learning to walk is a lot like learning to ride a bike, it is a process, your baby will not simply stand up one day and have a toddle around.
First they will learn to stand, then they will learn to stand unaided, then they will learn to take a step holding mum and dads hand, then a step alone, the process will continue until they are running and jumping all day long.
So, When Can I Expect My Child To Take Their First Steps?
You are probably hoping for a specific answer but unfortunately that just isn’t possible. Asking when a child will take their first steps is like asking how long a piece of string is. It is impossible to answer.
Many researchers have concluded that the average age to take their first steps unaided is 12 months however, in rare cases babies have been reported as having taken their first steps as young as 6 months or as old as a few years old.
It is important to remember that every child is different and then many factors can affect when a child learns to walk such as:
How Often They Are Bare Foot
This might sound like an odd factor but actually many child experts suggest that keeping a child barefoot as much as possible can help them to learn to walk as there is less to control and less foot restriction.
Toys They Play With
From a young age the toys that children play with can have a massive impact on their development, for example books can help them to read just as walkers can help them to walk. Baby walkers can be a great way of encouraging your baby to start walking in a fun way.
Having Older Siblings
A large chunk of what young children learn is via imitation. It is often found that children with older siblings, or children who spend a lot of time with older children progress quicker than your average child. This is because they are trying to keep up with and interact with the older children so therefore they imitate their actions such as walking.
Having Lots Of Parent Interaction
Once again, interaction is key to child development. It is really important that parents and caregivers spend lots of time interacting with their children as this aids development in all areas including walking. Playing with children and teaching them to stand while holding your hands can be a great first step in learning to walk and can make them feel safer during this journey.
Of course some things in childhood development can be down to nature rather than nurture. Low core strength can lead to delays in several areas of development including, crawling, standing and walking. Similarly, very good core strength can lead to more advanced developments than we would expect for a child of their age. If you are concerned about your child’s core-strength it is a good idea to see your doctor to rule out any possible causes and to get support.
Similarly to core strength children also need a certain level of muscle tone to be able to walk and often delays can be caused by a lack of this. This may be especially common in babies who were born very prematurely as their muscles have had less time to develop. Once again, if you are worried about your baby’s muscle tone a good starting point is seeing your doctor who should be able to point you in the right direction to get help and support for you and your child.
Disabilities And Conditions
Of course, in rarer circumstances, there are countless different disabilities and conditions that can cause delays in milestones such as walking. These could include Dysplasia or Cerebral Palsy but try not to worry as this is very uncommon it’s just always best to get things checked by a medical professional.
When Can I Start Teaching My Child To Walk?
It is only natural to wonder when you can start teaching your child to walk however, once again this is a very difficult question to answer.
Ultimately it is your decision when you start to teach your child to walk however starting too early or late can be detrimental to development.
Starting too early can cause issues with the physical development of the baby’s feet and legs and can also lead to lower self-esteem and trust as they will repeatedly fall.
However, leaving it too late can delay when they meet major milestones and also lead to a lack of confidence.
It is a really tricky balance to get right however there are telltale signs that it is time to start teaching your child to stand and then walk, these include, they are already confident in crawling, they are showing signs that they want to walk, there legs are strong enough to support them and usually that they are over nine months or so.
Final Thoughts on Normal Age For Walking
Learning to walk is a pivotal part in any child’s development and it is completely normal for parents to be excited about their baby reaching this milestone.
It is important to remember that all children learn to walk at a different pace and also that what was normal for your first child might not necessarily be what is normal for your second.
You should also try and make learning to walk a fun experience for your little one and not let it feel like a task.