When should my baby start walking?

Babies often start walking around one year, but some may take their first steps as early as 9 months or up to 17 or 18 months. Every baby’s development stages are different! Some signs that your little one may be ready to start walking include:

  • Pulling to stand

  • Standing without support

  • “Cruising” (stepping sideways along furniture)

There are a few ways that you can encourage your baby to walk once they start to show some of these signs of physical readiness:

  • Lend a hand: Once your baby is able to pull up to a stand on their own, hold their hands as they begin to take their first steps. Be sure to avoid holding their hands extended overhead, as this places extra stress on their elbows. Gently guide them with their hands at shoulder level or below.

  • Use props: Employ a push toy or even common household items like an upside down laundry basket that your little one can push along as they learn to walk.

Doctors recommend avoiding baby walkers (the kind with a seat in the middle), as these can promote an unstable independent walking pattern and often allow babies to get themselves into unsafe situations (such as going down the stairs or knocking over a hot cup of coffee). It’s totally normal if it takes some time for your little one to master the skill of walking, so try to stay patient while they get their balance! If you don’t see signs of walking by 17-18 months, discuss with your pediatrician to see if they suggest a physical therapy evaluation.

 

This article has been reviewed by our team of experts.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article does not constitute medical advice. If you have concerns about any health or medical condition, diagnosis, or treatment you should consult with your pediatrician or a licensed healthcare provider.

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