When Will My Baby Start Walking?

Walking is an exciting milestone in every baby’s life, a sign of growing independence. But, when do babies typically start walking? As with many aspects of a child’s development, there’s a broad range of normal, and parents shouldn’t be overly concerned if their child is a bit late or early on this milestone.

Discover when babies typically start walking and the factors that influence this significant milestone. Learn signs your baby is getting ready to walk and tips to encourage their progress.

The Average Age When Babies Start Walking

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, most babies take their first steps between 9 and 12 months and are walking well by the time they’re 14 or 15 months old.  However, there is a wide range for what’s considered “normal.” Some perfectly healthy babies don’t walk until they’re 16 or 17 months old.

Factors that Affect When Babies Start Walking

Various factors can influence when a baby starts walking. Here are some common ones:

  • Genetics: If you or your partner started walking later than average, your baby might, too.
  • Size: Bigger babies may start walking a bit later because they need more strength to get upright.
  • Temperament: Some babies are just more cautious and content to sit or crawl for longer periods.
  • Opportunities for practice: Babies who have more opportunities to practice may start walking a bit earlier.

Signs Your Baby is Getting Ready to Walk

It’s important to remember that walking doesn’t just happen out of the blue. It’s a process that begins with several important motor milestones. Here are some signs your baby is getting ready to walk:

  • Pulling up: At around 9 months, many babies can pull themselves up to a standing position using furniture.
  • Cruising: After they can stand, babies may start moving while holding onto furniture – a behavior known as “cruising”.
  • Crawling: This is another crucial precursor to walking, though some babies skip this stage.
  • Walking with help: Before they start walking independently, most babies will walk while holding onto an adult’s hand.

Quote: “Every baby develops at their own pace. Don’t rush them. They’ll walk when they’re ready. Instead, focus on providing plenty of opportunities for physical activity and practice.” – Dr. Smith, Pediatrician

Tips to Encourage Your Baby to Walk

While it’s crucial to let your baby walk at their own pace, here are a few ways you can encourage their progress:

  • Provide opportunities for movement: Make sure your baby has plenty of space and time to move around.
  • Use walking toys: Push toys can help your baby practice walking and build confidence.
  • Hold their hands: Walking with your baby while holding their hands can be a good way to practice.
  • Encourage exploration: Create a safe environment for your baby to explore. This can motivate them to move more.
  • Celebrate their efforts: Even if they’re not successful at first, praise your baby’s attempts to walk to encourage them to keep trying.

When to Consult a Pediatrician

While it’s true that babies walk at their own pace, it’s also important to consult a pediatrician if you notice any of the following:

  • Your baby isn’t walking and is 18 months or older.
  • They’re not bearing weight on their legs by 12 months.
  • You notice an uneven walking gait after they’ve been walking for a few months.
  • Your baby is only walking on their toes.

Remember, each baby develops at their own pace, and walking is no different. It’s more about the journey than the destination. So, cherish every moment of your baby’s growth and development.

Walking is a major milestone for your baby and a significant step towards independence. While the average baby starts walking between 9 to 12 months, many factors can influence this timeline. Encouraging safe exploration and providing opportunities for practice can help. But remember, always consult your pediatrician if you have any concerns. Enjoy these special moments, as your baby takes their first brave steps into the world.


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