As your baby grows bigger and heavier each day, and you keep having to carry him with you everywhere, you may be wondering “Hey, when do babies start walking?”.
Well, sorry mum, but if your little one is just a few months old, you’ve still got a while to go! In this article you’ll find everything you need to know about baby walking.
When do babies start walking: The steps before his first steps
The first thing you should know is that walking is something your baby will work up to, slowly, like all the other baby milestones. He’ll have to develop a lot of muscle strength and coordination before he can control his body well enough to walk on his own. Here are some of the milestones that he’ll have to pass, in typical chronological order:
- Neck lifts and mini push-ups
- Rolling over from tummy to back and/or back to tummy
- Maintaining a sitting position on his own
- Pulling himself into a standing position
- Maintaining a standing position on his own
- Cruising, or using furniture to support himself with his upper body as he takes steps
- Learning to bend his knees, squat, stoop, and sit down from a standing position
By the time he reaches this final milestone, he’ll probably be just a few weeks away from taking his first independent steps!
When do babies start walking: Baby walking calendar
Now that you know the long list of things he has to accomplish first, you may still be asking yourself, “Okay, but when do babies walk?” Well here you’ll find the development laid out in a convenient baby walking calendar. It will tell you all the normal dates for the various steps in his development towards walking. Take a look:
- 5 – 6 months – Once your baby has enough muscle control to hold up his own head, you can have fun by supporting his weight and letting him push his feet against a hard surface like the floor. Also, if you give him enough floor time you will probably see mini push-ups.
- 6 – 8 months – He can do some guided bouncing. Many babies love to bounce on mummies thighs while she supports the upper body. You will probably also see development toward rolling over, sitting up and crawling.
- 9 months – He may be able to pull himself into a standing position, using support from you or from furniture.
- 9 – 10 months – He’ll be getting good at standing, even unsupported for small increments. He’ll also be working on bending the knees and trying to sit from a standing position.
- 10 - 12 months – You may see him start cruising. This is when he uses furniture to support himself but takes steps toward other pieces of furniture. He’ll also be great at standing on his own, and will be better at squatting.
- 12 months – This is when you could see the first independent steps! He may be able to take a few on his own, but be prepared for some tumbles!
- 15 months – He’ll be noticeably steadier while walking.
- 16 months – He will probably get curious about stairs and other things to climb on. Let him do this, but with your help and guidance.
- 18 months – He’s great at walking now! He’s also probably climbing, kicking, and dancing. The two of you will have lots of fun!
- 19 – 24 months – Get ready, because he’ll be on the run!
- 25 months – He’ll probably start with some more advanced jumping, and his walking will begin to look more fluid and adult-like.
When do babies start walking: What you can do to help
The truth is that babies generally will develop at their own pace, and there’s no rushing it. However, there are some important things that you can do to encourage his walking development. Primarily, give him a safe space and enough time to practice. Practice makes perfect! Also, the more encouraging, affectionate and motivating you can be, the more fun he’ll have. Here you have some more information on how to help your baby walk.
When do babies start walking: Remember this…
Some mums can get a bit competitive about their babies’ development. It’s never good to compare this way. Every baby develops in unique ways. If your little guy doesn’t seem to be following the typical calendar, there is probably no need to worry. There are numerous factors that can affect his development!
Babies develop at different times, so don’t worry too much if yours is running a little behind. However, if he isn’t supporting his own weight by 12 months, taking steps by 18 months, or walking steadily by 24 months, you may want to see a doctor and start looking into it.
You may be tempted to put adorable baby shoes on your little angel’s feet, thinking they will give him better traction or stability. However, the opposite is true! Going barefoot is actually the best way for him to work on his coordination and balance. Don’t make him wear shoes until he is walking on surfaces that require his feet to be protected, like a rough surface.