baby trying to walk

When Do Babies Start Walking? Signs, Stages & Development Milestone

Baby

Babies can already be seen walking by the time their first birthday rolls around. As per the CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a baby’s development milestone for walking is 18 months. 

So, let us take a look at when babies start walking and the stages or signs of walking to look out for. 

When Do Babies Start Walking?

Your baby’s walking is one of the most memorable and exciting milestones for you and your baby. Your baby has been trying to walk before 10 months of age. But it starts with trying to sit up, crawl, roll, and stand by themselves holding furniture. All this leads to the final goal – their first steps. 

Most babies generally get to the walking age at 10-18 months of age. Before this, babies crawl at the average age of 7-12 months and pull themselves upright to stand at 9-12 months.

Stages of Laughing, Rolling, Sitting, Crawling, Standing and Walking

Babies learn to walk through a combination of motor skill development where they know to support their weight, coordinate their movements, balance themselves without assistance and control their upper body movements.

Because of this, children need to develop skills before they start walking. They are: 

  • Laughing: One of the first stages in your child’s motor skill development is laughing. Most children start laughing at the 3–4-month mark. Full belly laughs may happen around the 5th month.
  • Rolling: You will start seeing your baby rolling back and forth by 4-5 months. By the 6-month mark, they can roll over from front to back and back to front.
  • Sitting: If your baby has strong core strength, they can sit independently. Most babies can sit upright without support in the 6-9 months stage. But this is a process – first, they will need your support to sit, then start sitting without assistance. Finally, they will begin moving in and out of sitting without needing any assistance.
  • Crawling: This stage may last for a few months or not happen. You will know when your baby wants to start crawling when they start supporting themselves on their hands and knees and raising their belly off the floor.
  • Standing Position: At the 6 to 14-month mark, your little one will first learn to walk by holding your hands. Next, they will leverage any furniture around them to pull themselves up and stand. So, ensure that all your furniture is secure so they can support themselves to move around.
  • Walking: Your baby’s first steps can be from as early as 8 months to as late as 18 months. All children follow their own pace of walking. Do not worry if your baby doesn’t start walking age at 8 months.

Also read: Why Do Babies Sleep More When Teething?

Helping an infant learn to walk

A 2021 study

Trusted Source found that the best predictor of a child’s skill as a walker is how long it has been since they started walking. Other factors also improved walking skills though.

  • “This creates a good environment where much walking practice is supported by learning for developing walkers in homes. Infants get to practise their walking in a home-like environment.”.
  • Infants also were more proficient walkers when they walked more spontaneously and with a smaller proportion of their walking in short spurts.Parents can support by:
  • encouraging but not enforcing on physical movement
  • Cheer when kid falls and gets up
  • providing a safe environment by using a fall-safe surface
  • Encouragement of physical play in children allowing children to walk or crawl to something interesting

Signs Your Baby is Ready to Start Walking

1. Decrease in Crawling

Do you see your child crawl around less and try to boost themselves more? Your baby is ready for the next stage – pulling themselves up. Most babies start practicing standing and slowly move to gain confidence in their movements. 

2. Curiosity & Confidence

Have you ever caught your little houdini suddenly standing on the coffee table, ready to jump down? Then, it is a sign that they are confident enough to start walking. Even though you get put on helicopter-parent duty, this is a sign that your baby is gaining confidence and wants to try new things. Walking without support for babies means your baby needs all the confidence they can get. 

3. Bear Weight on Legs

You can help your baby walk by assisting them to stand. This shows them that they can bear weight on their little legs. Try holding them upright and take your baby’s first steps to show them they can trust their leg muscles. 

4. Taking Initiative

Have you seen your baby try to stand up by holding onto your leg? Have you seen them move towards a table to pull themselves up? This initiative shows that your child is ready to walk. 

5. Pulling Themselves Up

babies start walking

One of the most prominent signs that your little one is ready to walk is pulling the furniture. When babies reach this stage, they are already the masters of squatting. So, it conditions them to start standing up by themselves and slowly moving ahead. 

6. Standing Independently

When you see your baby standing up by themselves for the first time, there is no greater joy! This means that your baby has the stability to stand up themselves.

7. Taking Small Steps

Once your child gains confidence in standing up, you will see them slowly try to take a few independent steps. This is mainly done with some form of support. 

8. Cruising Along Furniture

Is your baby in constant cruise mode? Do they use furniture around them to move around or try walking around? This means that your baby is one step away from walking without support. Start by making a safe path for your baby to hold onto and cruise.

Reasons for Late Walking in Babies

  • Genetics: Some doctors suggest that there is a direct link between parents who started walking late and the delay in their child’s walking. In some cases, there may be some underlying cause for this that can be passed down genetically.
  • Muscle Strength and Tone: Weakness in the muscles or muscular dystrophy can lead to a delay in your child’s walking. Muscular dystrophies in children that can cause genetic mutations. These could be Becker or Duchenne muscular dystrophy and can cause genetic mutations that affect muscle development in kids.  
  • Premature Birth: Many studies show that preemie babies aka premature babies may take longer to start walking as compared to normal babies. This includes motor development skills for rolling over, crawling, and walking. 
  • Low Birth Weight: Little ones with low birth weight tend to develop slower. Their lower birth weight can also delay other milestones, such as holding their head up or learning to crawl. 
  • Developmental Delays: If you see that your child is not reaching their developmental markers as per the norm, then your baby may have delays. All children move, crawl and walk at their own pace. But if you see no development in your child in a few months, contact your pediatrician to to know more. 
  • Late Bloomers: Some children are late bloomers by nature. They follow their own pace and are quite stubborn. If you see your child having a mind before learning to talk, your child may be a late bloomer. Just let them develop and grow at their own pace. 
  • Lack of Confidence and Motivation: Children need motivation. They expect parents to encourage them. Support your child in walking by inspiring them to take the first steps. 

Also read: An Ultimate Guide of Crib Bumpers

Tips to Encourage Your Baby to Walk

1. Provide Supportive Toys and Tools

When you see your baby starting to hold themselves up and try taking their first steps, you can help boost your baby’s development by using supportive tools. Items such as an infant walker, a walking bouncer or a push toy to help them gain strength in their legs and confidence in their hearts. 

2. Baby Walking Shoes

If you want your baby to start their walking development, you must help protect their little piggies (toes). When you see your baby trying to walk, put some soft-soled baby shoes on their feet or try walking barefoot to help them understand the feeling. 

3. Create a Safe Environment

A safe environment means your baby can move around freely without any fear. This can be achieved by baby-proofing your home. This will make sure your baby is not hurt from sharp edges while trying to walk. This will also generate confidence in your baby and they will try to crawl, roll, walk, jump, and climb quickly. 

4. Hold Their Hands

The most traditional and tested way to enhance baby’s walking skills is to hold their hands. Start by letting them hold your hands and lift themselves. Once they are upright, you can start helping them walk one tiny step at a time. 

5. Praise and Motivation

Everyone loves motivation and support, even babies. Most babies already know their parents’ voices and can even detect undertones of love and praise. So, if you see your child trying to sit, roll, stand, or walk; Praise them! Give a smile, clap for them, or just the joy on your face. Even the simplest form of appreciation and Build positive relationship with your children would boost their confidence.

6. Be Patient and Supportive

Not all children have the same growth curve. Some babies start walking by 6 months, whereas some learn to walk at 18 months. If you feel that your child is not developing as per regular standards, then consult your doctor.

Baby’s First Step Quotes

Here are some baby first-step quotes to help make your day a little better: 

1. The world becomes a playground when a child takes their first steps.

2. A baby’s first steps mark the beginning of a whole new chapter in their life. 

3 There’s nobody as brave as a baby taking his/her first non-stop 5 steps alone from Mummy’s hand to daddy’s hand… trust me on that.’ – Sameh Elsayed. 

4.’I can only imagine where your tiny feet my little one will go in their lifetime. My only hope is that they never forget the way to home’ – Candice G. 

5. Every step a baby takes is a step closer to discovering their unique path in life.

Also Read: Lululemon Diaper Bag Options for Active Parents

FAQs on Baby Walking

1) When do babies start walking without support?

Based on their muscle strength, most babies start walking from a very young age. Some early walkers can start as little as 8 months, while some late walkers do not walk before 18 months. 

2) When do babies start walking backward? 

Babies develop the motor milestone of walking backward from 1.5 years to 2 years. 

3) When do babies start assisted walking? 

By 7-8 months, most infants are strong enough to support some of their weight on their legs. You can help improve their stepping reflex by holding their hands and teaching them to take steps. 

4) When do babies initiate walking using a walker?

Most babies start initiating walking at 6 to 8 months depending on their development. At this stage, their muscles are strong enough to hold their heads and help them sit. 

5) When do babies start walking alone?

Most babies can start independent walking by themselves at 11-13 months. But this depends entirely on your baby’s development. Some can start earlier while some later. 

6) When do babies start walking after crawling? 

Between 6-13 months, babies will keep crawling. They will start pulling themselves up in the 9–12-month mark. Most doctors suggest that babies start walking from 8-18 months. 

7) When do babies start talking? 

At 12 months, babies start trying to say words like ‘mama’ and ‘dada’. But some babies can start talking at the 9-month mark itself. 

8) What are the reasons for late walking in babies? 

Delayed walking in babies can happen due to multiple reasons, such as muscular problems, medical conditions, vitamin deficiencies, premature birth, and neurological disorders. 

9) When do girl babies start walking?

Most babies tend to start walking from 8-18 months of age. Between 9-12 months, they learn to pull themselves up and use a surface to support themselves to start walking. 

10) When do boy babies start walking? 

Boy babies start walking without support around 12 to 14 months.

Key Takeaways 

Walking is one of the most significant baby milestones that your little one will achieve. The joy of watching your little one stands up and walk alone towards you cannot be compared. 

While most parents will tell you to let your baby develop themselves to reach their milestones, there are ways you can help them. Love and Support! Yes, these are the main ingredients through which a parent can motivate their child and help them grow fast. Just one hug can boost your child’s confidence. So, be your child’s best friend!

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I am Charlotte Garcia, Passionate and experienced content writer specializing in parenting and family-related topics. With a deep love for children and a keen interest in helping parents navigate the beautiful journey of parenthood, I dedicated my career to creating valuable and insightful content.