When will my child start walking?

A child will begin to walk as soon as he’s developmentally ready. For some children that means at nine months; for others, eighteen months. The age at which a healthy child walks has no effect on or connection with his intelligence, yet parents often feel pressure if their child is a late walker. Friends and relatives may ask, “Are you sure he’s all right? Why isn’t he walking yet?” or say, “My daughter was walking when she was ten months old and your child’s already seventeen months”, or, “Maybe your son needs to be around other children so he can learn by watching them”. Such comments cause parents needless anxiety because there’s nothing wrong with a developmentally healthy child who doesn’t walk until he’s fifteen to eighteen months old.

There’s no need to try and teach a child to walk. Although it might be fun for you to hold your child’s hands and let him walk along, such an exercise will not help him walk alone any faster. Try to be patient and wait until he’s ready for this stage of development.

He’ll prepare for independent walking by first learning to pull himself up to a standing position while holding onto furniture. Once he’s mastered this skill (which might take days, weeks, or even months), he’ll begin to take steps while holding onto furniture or onto his parent’s hand. Eventually, he’ll let go and take some steps alone. A child who starts walking is usually so delighted with himself that he hardly notices his frequent falls.

As he begins to stand and walk, his perspective will change. Before, he looked at everything from ground level, but once he’s upright, he’ll see more. People, objects, and even his own body will look different. He’ll be able to reach more things and to roam farther and faster, and that means his parents will have to continue childproofing his environment.

You’ll find that one of the most delightful aspects of this developmental stage is your child’s ability to go for walks with you. As soon as he’s steady on his feet, take him for a leisurely stroll outside. Walk at his pace, sometimes letting him choose the direction, and see how many wonderful discoveries he makes. He’ll want to stop and examine pebbles, grass, worms, and flowers, and if you bring a collecting bag along, he can take some treasures home.

The more your child walks, the less he’ll want to use his stroller, which can cause problems when you’re in a hurry or when you’re going far. If you’re in a crowded shopping center and want to encourage him to stay in his stroller, try distracting him with food or a toy. If this doesn’t work, try to find an uncrowded spot where he can walk for a little while without bumping into people. Often, he’ll want to push the stroller himself, and in a crowd this can cause quite a fuss. If you let him push for a little while, he may be more agreeable when you place him back in his stroller. Although his slowness and desire to practice his new skill may temporarily frustrate you, you’ll enjoy his excitement and independence. And you may be surprised to see that once he masters walking, he’ll be just as likely to run as to walk.

Picture Credit : Google