You’ve recorded many milestones so far for your baby. There was that first smile, the first time they rolled over, the first time they sat up and the first time they ate something other than baby food.
As your child nears the age where most babies begin to walk, you’re likely waiting eagerly and excitedly for this huge milestone. It’s one that every parent looks forward to — and one that every parent asks when it will happen.
Walking is a super complicated task! You’ve been walking for many years, but this is the first time your baby will be on its feet and on the move without assistance. You might be wondering whether your child is late or early to this milestone, so to ease your mind, know that every baby is different!
The Average Age When Babies Begin to Walk
You might hear of those babies who miraculously begin walking at six months old. This is a rare occurrence, so know that your child isn’t late to the game!
What age do babies walk, though? On average, babies begin to take their first wobbly independent steps around one-year-old. Know that this isn’t full-on walking — those steps are just the beginning, and it takes another few weeks to a month for your baby to be completely confident in their new skill.
Some babies are late walkers, though, and their first steps happen when they are 18 months old or even a bit later. The delay in walking is more linked to your baby’s personality than anything else.
As long as your baby continues to make progress in walking, then they are hitting their milestones at just the right time. If you grow concerned or if a regression occurs, you should make an appointment with your baby’s doctor or pediatrician.
Signs Your Baby Will Be Walking Soon
Since walking is such an important and exciting milestone, you want to be able to capture it all on camera! How do you know when your baby will take those first steps, though? Here are some telltale signs that your child may begin walking soon:
1. Pulling Up on Furniture to Stand
Babies often grab onto furniture and pull themselves up before they begin walking. This helps them develop the muscle and coordination required to walk on their own. It’s a great exercise similar to squatting that helps them build strong leg muscles.
When babies cruise, they stand and move around while leaning on different objects. If they are traveling around a table or against the wall, they are practicing to walk independently. As they take steps, they’re learning how to shift their weight. There are lots of great walker toys to aid your little one. Make sure there’s a safe path for your little one to cruise.
3. Walking While Holding Onto You
Holding your baby’s hand and walking together will help them learn to walk. When you’re playing with your baby, encourage them to stand and hold onto your hands. Start by holding both of their hands as they walk, and as they get stronger, you can hold onto just one of their hands.
4. Standing Without Assistance
Have you noticed that your baby is standing on their own, without holding onto any furniture or the wall? They are getting close to walking! Your baby will have a look of accomplishment as they start to stand on their own more often. Once they gain balance, it’s only a matter of time before they test the waters and take the first independent step.
5. Being More Adventurous
As your baby becomes more independent, their adventures will be a bit more daring. You might catch them climbing onto couches and chairs, or standing on the couch. This definitely puts you on high alert for possible accidents, but these are all developmental marks as they make their journey to their first step.
How to Help Your Baby Walk
While walking is an independent venture, you can encourage your baby along the way. Here are some ways you can help your baby walk:
- Let Them Move on Their Own: It can be hard letting your baby go but try to limit your time holding them. Allow them to crawl, cruise or take a few steps here and there without helping them.
- Decrease the Amount of Time in Playpens: Playpens or rooms certainly do a great job at keeping your baby busy while sitting. However, they restrict movement, so allow your baby to explore larger areas.
- Allow Them to Use a Push Toy: Baby walkers are a no-go because they keep your child in a sitting position, which isn’t natural for walking. Instead, introduce them to a pushing toy, which encourages normal walking motions.
- Skip the Socks and Shoes: Baby shoes and socks are so cute! When your baby is trying to walk independently, though, barefoot is best. They get a better grip on the floor and can use their toes for balance.
With these tips, your baby will be walking in no time!
On the Move
Your baby will soon be walking on its own. Remember, babies start to walk at different times, and their readiness to do so is more of an indicator of their personality than their intelligence. Watch for the signs, help them the best you can and be ready to capture those first steps on video. Just be prepared to keep up with them — once they start walking, they’ll never want to stop!
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