Ideally, babies start walking between the nine and twelve months and perfect the art of walking by the time they are about 15 or 16 months old.
However, it is perfectly normal for some babies to take a few more months to walk, and it can cross the past two years as well at times. In the first year, the baby’s muscle development takes place in all parts of the body, and it would lead to him crossing some important milestones like sitting up, crawling and rolling over.
When Should a Baby Walk?
Don’t keep wondering at what age do babies learn to walk all the time as it would only add more stress to you as a new parent. Most of all don’t compare your baby with other babies and their growth and milestones timeline.
Around the time the baby is around eight or nine months, he or she would be standing up as well. Babies would gain confidence by using a baby walker and push toys that would help the babies get the control and balance they need to start walking independently.
The babies can stand around the time when they are nine to ten months old, and by the time they are around 12-15 months old, they can walk as well. Once your baby can stand up on their own with or without assistance, it is the sign that she would be walking soon. With some support, practice, and a helping hand, it won’t be long that your baby would start walking.
It takes time for babies to gain confidence when it comes to walking as they tend to fall often. You would be able to keep a check on the baby’s muscle growth and development by checking the lineage of other milestones the baby has completed like crawling, sitting, rolling over, and so on. If the baby has completed these milestones already, the next stage is walking, and it generally falls around the nine to twelve months mark with some babies taking a few months more. However, the baby can walk clearly without any assistance by the time they are about 17-18 months.
How To Help Your Baby Learn to Walk?
As baby approaches the nine to ten months mark, the legs muscles would have developed enough to support the baby standing up with some assistance for balancing.
Standing for a while holding on to the furniture is one of the favorite activities during this time, and you would have noticed how babies love to stand in the crib holding on to its handles.
It only helps in accelerating the pace of leg muscle development. Help your baby walk by holding out your arms from a distance towards the baby as he tries to walk.
It would encourage the baby to get to you that would trigger the action of walking. Also, you can hold both arms of the baby as he tries to walk. It would provide the baby with the support and stability required to walk.
It is just like using the cycle with balancing wheels the first few weeks before the rider gets the hang of cycling without it.
Also Read: When Do Babies Roll Over?
Exercise to Help a Baby Walk
Some babies learn to walk naturally following the environment around and through little assistance from the parents while others take a bit more time. There are several exercises that you can try to help your baby learn walking and get comfortable with it.
One of the best methods that are practiced by most parents is to hold both the hands of the baby and walk along. Doing it a few times each day is going to help the baby get some momentum and practice that would initiate his attempt to try it on his own.
You can practice cruising and walk on a sofa where a baby can take support from one side while walking from one end to another. Another hand of the baby must be held by the parent for safety to assist with balancing. Doing this a few times daily would help the baby with walking independently soon.
While walking to and from one end of the sofa to another, keeping softballs on the way of a baby is a good idea too. The baby will invariably kick the balls, and it would help with faster muscle development. It also helps the babies to develop the ability to balance while walking.
Teaching Your Baby to Walk
Most babies would learn to walk on their own when its due in the correct environment but the onus is on the parents to help the baby reach their milestones. When your baby is around nine to ten months old, you will notice how he can stand with the support of furniture on his own.
It is the tell-tale sign that the baby would be walking soon. You can do the above-mentioned exercises with your baby from time to time to help him achieve the balance and the momentum. It would give the baby the much-needed confidence to start walking on his own without the fear of falling repeatedly.
There must always be someone around the baby as babies are always trying to reach out to something and it would need movement.
During the nine or ten months mark, this movement can be your baby’s first step. Walk along with your baby while holding both his hands or give him the baby walker that would keep the baby from falling while assisting him in learning the art of walking.
Don’t get worried if your child takes a few more months to walk than other babies of the same age as it is perfectly normal for some babies to take more time to learn walking independently.
Signs Baby Will Walk Soon
One of the first signs that the baby would be walking soon is when the baby can stand up on its own or is standing up using the support of any furniture. The babies are watching others walking around the house all the time, and it does leave an impression on their minds.
It is also the natural instinct that would trigger the baby’s first step when he develops the appropriate legs muscle strength.
If your baby is standing and playing for a considerable amount of time in his crib or loves to keep standing up on the sofa with assistance, then it is a clear indication that the baby would be walking soon.
When do Most Babies Start Walking on Average
The average time for most babies to start walking is around 9 to 12 months, and in a few more months, the babies can walk confidently and steadily as well. Some babies learn more quickly than the others, and there is nothing to worry about if your child is taking a bit longer than the standard timeline for these baby milestones.
Also Read: When your baby starts crawling
During the first year, the baby crosses some significant milestones that lay the foundation of all the milestones to follow in the coming years. Some of the important milestones that the baby reaches in the first year itself include –
Some essential physical developments happen during the first four months as he develops sensory skills like touch, hearing, and watching. Even though these are the areas that would still be in the development stage, the babies would be able to feel your touch during these months and can hold your fingers too.
The babies would be smiling a lot during this time and parents should encourage the same by smiling back always. During the third and fourth months, the babies would be able to recognize familiar faces and voices and may start rolling on their tummy. Some babies would be able to gain partial head control too during this time.
5 – 8 Months
The babies would start to sleep more during this time at night, and that would be good news for the parents. The babies would be more interactive and active during their waking hours. Some babies would also be able to say mama or dada during this time, but there’s nothing wrong if your baby doesn’t start uttering words by this time.
Sitting without support and crawling are the milestones that many babies cross during this period. Help your baby with as much play and tummy time and they would be able to sit for more extended periods without assistance. Standing for a while with some support and developing the strength to pick toys from the floor is also a possibility during these months.
Your baby would be able to wave you bye as well as call you from a distance by waving hands. Babies love to start clapping as they develop considerable strength in their arms during this time.
The babies would be able to understand simple instructions, drink from a cup and stand independently for a few seconds during the last few months of their first year. Most babies start to cruise during this period that is the sign of them being able to walk soon.
However, some babies are known to walk in their first year, but it is only for some time and does so unsteadily.
When Do Babies Walk on Their Own
Most babies would start to walk on their own between the 17 to 18 months period. As parents, it is crucial not to get too worked up about your kids’ milestones and go with the natural flow.
Helping your kid with exercises that would assist them in developing their muscles as well as practice walking is excellent but don’t overdo it because the baby’s muscles are still weak and fragile and cannot take unnecessary stress.
Walking is one of the most memorable milestones for all the parents and rightly so. With proper nutrition, much playtime and a little bit of exercise, your baby would reach the walking milestone when it’s due or a few months more. Checking periodically with the pediatrician is necessary to ensure your child’s proper body development and if his milestone’s timeline is on track or not.