Advice on when to expect your baby to start walking, including information on the steps involved in learning to walk, toddler development and buying baby shoes.
Learning to walk is a key milestone in your baby's life.
Over your baby's first year he or she will learn to sit, roll, crawl, pull up onto the furniture and stand.
Most babies take their first steps between nine and thirteen months. However do not worry if your child does not walk until the sixteenth or seventeenth month, this is still perfectly normal.
At about eight months your baby will probably start pulling him or herself up whilst holding onto furniture. If you hold him or her near a piece of furniture, to begin with, he or she will hang on, but after a few weeks your baby will begin to move around whilst holding onto the furniture, known as 'cruising'.
At about nine or ten months your baby will begin to learn how to bend at the knees and how to sit after standing.
At eleven months your baby will have mastered standing solo, stopping and squatting, but will not take his or her first steps for a few weeks.
At thirteen months most toddlers are walking on their own, however it is genetics and environment that determine when your baby will take his or her first steps.
By eighteen months your baby should be a proficient walker. Many can get up stairs with help and may try to kick a ball.
At twenty five months or so your child's steps will be more even and he or she will get better at jumping.
You can encourage your baby by kneeling infront of him or her and hold out your hands. You could also try buying a toddle truck.
Baby walkers are known to make it too easy to get around and therefore prevent a child's upper leg muscles from developing.
Hold off buying shoes until your baby is walking outside. Going barefoot helps improve balance and coordination.
Do not be concerned if your baby has been a little late in developing motor skills e.g. rolling over, crawling etc he or she will probably need extra time to learn to walk. However if your child does not demonstrate a strong interest in walking or forward mobility by fifteen months and seems to be significantly behind consult your doctor. Your child should show a strong interest in getting somewhere, how he or she gets there is really up to them.
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