Developmental Milestones For Walking In Children

Walking is a major milestone for both baby and parents! Baby’s first steps are expected to happen between 12 and 15 months of age. However, it's crucial to understand that every child is unique, and there's a wide range of what's considered normal.

Your baby’s first steps might happen soon if you observe the following:
-Baby is pulling themselves up to stand,
-Standing while playing,
-Standing without leaning or arm support.

So, when and how can you encourage your child's walking development? It starts from early on after birth. Providing your baby with a safe environment for exploration is key to motor control and learning. Allow plenty of supervised playtime on the floor, including supervised tummy time while awake. Engage them with age-appropriate toys or objects that motivate them to move. Most importantly, be patient and supportive.

It's important to know that developmental skills build on each other. Make sure to ask your pediatrician at every well visit about your child’s motor development.

Here are key milestone skills to look out for:
-At 4 months, baby lifts head with control when placed on his/her belly.
-At 6 months, baby actively rolls from back to belly and can sit erect without support.
-At 8 months, baby crawls on hands and knees.
-And by 9 months your baby should take full weight on their legs in standing, walk while supported on furniture, and walk forward when hands are held.

If these are not present, they may indicate a possible delay.

The inability to take weight on their legs, or having stiff legs with weight on toes are red flags that should be assessed.

If your child is having trouble achieving these milestones, has lost prior skills, or you have other concerns, it’s important to act early. Talk to your baby’s healthcare provider, share your concerns, and ask about developmental screening. If you or your doctor are still concerned, ask for a referral to a pediatric physical therapist who can evaluate your baby further.

Remember, every child develops at their own pace, and it's important to celebrate each milestone along the way. Supporting your child's development is a journey, and we are here to support you every step of the way!

Published on: 5/23/2024

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