The age a baby walks is influenced by both physical development and brain development. Her muscles need to be strong enough to hold her up, and her legs need to be long enough to balance the weight of her relatively heavy head. Walking is a complex activity and a lot has to happen in your baby’s brain to prepare her for taking her first steps.
Culture is another factor that plays a role in the age that your little one will start walking. In some countries, babies are given traditional massages and exercises that stimulate their motor skills. As a result, these babies tend to start walking at around nine months.
Genes may also play a role in when your baby walks.
Babies who bum-shuffle have a tendency to start walking later.
When will my baby walk?
These five signs all indicate your baby is about to take her first steps:
- She can pull herself up to a standing position, perhaps using the sofa or your legs.
- If she lets go of her support, she can hold herself up for a moment or two.
- When she’s standing and holding on to something, she can transfer her weight from one leg to the other.
- She may start being more fussy than normal. Walking is a big developmental milestone and if her brain is busily gearing up for it, she may get more tired than usual.
- She’s rolling around, “crab walking” (crawling with her bottom in the air) or crawling up stairs.
Now that your baby is up on two feet, there are safety issues you need to consider. Watch out for uneven floors. Babies can’t pick their feet up very well when they start walking, so they’re more likely to tumble on uneven surfaces than they are on flat floors.
Visit www.mom365.com for a list of games to help your little one walk.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.