If you are waiting for your baby to walk, this is what you need to know. Your baby can start walking any time between 9 months to 18 months of age.
What are the signs that your baby may start walking soon?
You can get excited when your baby starts pulling themselves up to standing position by using a chair or any other available support. You can start jumping with joy when your baby holds onto a bed or a sofa and takes a few steps. And you can reach for your camera when your baby learns to stand without support.
What can you do to help your baby walk?
Walking is not just about the legs. The brain and the whole body must be ready before your baby can walk. And this is what you can do to help them develop.
- Hold your baby skin to skin right from birth.
- Spend time giving your baby a massage.
- Allow lots of tummy time.
- Carry your baby around instead of using prams and strollers.
- Bounce your baby on your lap while holding them under their arms when they are around 6 months old.
- When your baby starts crawling – give them enough floor time so that they can crawl.
- When your baby starts pulling themselves to standing position – place enough sturdy and stable furniture around the house which they can use to pull themselves up without injuring themselves.
- When your baby starts cruising or moving by holding on to furniture – place sturdy furniture at short distances so that they can move some distance.
- Boost your baby’s confidence with smiles and encouraging words whenever they try to stand, sit, or move.
- Baby-proof the house so that they don’t injure themselves when they move around.
What you should not do when your baby is learning to walk:
- Do not be overprotective.
- Do not use a walker.
- Avoid putting your baby in shoes within the house.
- Do not hold your baby’s hand to support them while walking. Place your hands under their armpits or on the pelvis.
Precautions to take when your baby is learning to walk:
- Install baby gates to keep your child in a safe space.
- Remove all wobbly furniture.
- Clear all the surfaces your baby can reach.
- Pad the corners of furniture to avoid bumps.
- Put child locks on the cupboards and drawers.
- Close all plug points that your baby can reach.
Should you worry about your baby’s walking?
Remember that every baby walks at a different age – so don’t worry or panic if you see another baby the same age as your baby walking.
Reach out to your doctor if your baby is not walking at all by 18 months and not walking steadily by 2 years of age.
Walking is an exciting milestone, get ready to enjoy it with your baby by doing all the right things.
Dr. Debmita Dutta MBBS, MD
Dr. Debmita Dutta MBBS, MD is a doctor, a parenting consultant, and the founder of WPA whatparentsask.com She conducts online and offline workshops on parenting for schools and corporate organisations. She also conducts online and offline prenatal and infant care classes. She is a well-known thought-leader in parenting and an expert on play, learning and eating habits. She is the author of 7 books on parenting published by Juggernaut Books and her books are among their most read books. She is frequently quoted in national and international publications of repute for her empathetic and compassionate approach and her application of physiology and neuroscience to parenting.