As milestones go, when your baby begins to walk is considered the hurdle between infant and toddler. After all, a toddler is someone who toddles around and until your baby takes those first few precarious and precious steps – they are still an infant. Too many parents are so eager for each stage that they live and breathe by the recommendations in books like What to Expect in The First Year. There’s nothing wrong with these recommendations, but while some babies are beginning to toddle at 9 months, other babies may take until they are 18 months.
My daughter was a late bloomer and while I know there were some people who voiced concerns about how long it was taking her to get around to walking – remember – no one wrote the book based on your baby. They wrote it based on what the average baby does. The average baby is determined by a statistical average of a sampling of babies. But let me not digress.
Don’t Rush When They Walk
Babies develop at their own pace and nothing you say or do is going to change what that pace is. In fact, you can do more harm than good if you try to rush the development. Walking is a baby’s first major move towards independence from you and once they start walking – they don’t stop. In fact, running quickly follows.
Your baby needs to develop muscle strength and coordination during his or her first few months of life. They will learn to crawl, roll over and sit up and hold themselves upright in the sitting position. The average baby is starting to pull themselves up on things around 8 months or so. Now before you start glancing at the calendar and thinking your 9 month old isn’t doing that – let me say again: there is nothing wrong with your baby.
My daughter did not walk until she was 18 months old. She didn’t bother pulling herself up on things until after she was a year. In fact, she walked before she could crawl. How, you may ask, did she do this? Because she bounced everywhere she went. She did what we called butt scooting across the floor. Once she was able to hold herself up right in a sitting position – rather than crawl or try to pull herself up, she just bounced along the floor and got some lift at times.
Be Delighted In Their Personal Accomplishments
When our friends asked us if we’d had her checked out because she wasn’t walking yet, I just laughed at them. There was nothing wrong with her, but our daughter was a pretty big kid. By 12 months, she was wearing 2T’s and larger. Her body grew faster than her muscles could develop and since she was tall and long, we knew it was going to take her longer.
Besides, I personally enjoyed the butt scooting she did everywhere. We even have it on video.
In the meanwhile, take comfort in the fact that the average baby begins pulling up at about 8 months and they take their first steps sometimes between 9 and 12 months. Many babies are walking well by 14 to 15 months of age – but if it takes longer – don’t worry about it. Most babies no matter when they start, are walking by the time they are 18 months old.
I’ve seen babies walking fine at 9 months. I’ve seen my own take until she was 18 months. If you worked the average between two babies – one walking at 9 months and the other walking at 18 months – the average age for walking would be about 13 and half months. So don’t worry about what the book says. If you are really concerned about your baby’s development – talk to your pediatrician.
When did your baby start to walk?