When a baby learns to walk, it’s a big step towards being independent. Walking is a major developmental milestone for a baby and almost all mothers remember when their babies took their first steps. It’s interesting to note that most kids make those early steps on tiptoe.
Parents are often anxious about when their baby will actually start walking, the time is different for different kids, mostly between 12-16 months.
From six months onwards, a baby gains muscle strength, synchronization and coordination of limbs to start sitting, rolling and crawling, leading to walking upright eventually. A baby can stand with support at about eight months and most babies take their independent first steps between nine and 12 months.
A baby’s leg muscles continue to develop while he masters sitting, crawling, rolling over and climbing stairs using hands. Each step adds to their building confidence and balance and by the time they are 14 or 15 months old, they can walk well.
They would need lot of encouragement and praise for being able to take their first big steps. You may also let your baby walk in front of you while you hold her hands, and give her practice to experiment with balance.
In India, some parents get walkers for babies as early as they are six-eight months old. Most of these parents tend to think babies are safe in walkers and that it provides good exercise for limbs and actually help them learn to walk. Walkers may not be advisable for overweight kids. When in doubt, consult your doctor.
- While trying to walk by themselves they may lose balance and fall repeatedly, don’t panic.
- Don’t force your baby to start walking by holding her hands if she is not ready. Some kids don’t walk till the age of 16 months or more.
- From 12 months onwards, you can give your child push and pull toys to help him gain balance and confidence while they indulge in this play activity.
- If your baby has started taking his first wobbly steps, it’s time to child proof your home. Keep important things, cosmetics, sharp objects, and risky furniture out of their reach when they start walking and make sure they don’t harm themselves when they take steps inside bathrooms, store room, etc.
- Babies like to have fun at the stair case walking up and down, install railings for safety.
- Open shoes/sandals are best bet for growing kids for their feet to take form and body weight.
- You can also buy shoes which have light and sound for kids who have just begin to walk to make walking an interesting activity for them.