When Do Babies Start Walking?

image001Newborn babies are like little wonders who may amuse you every day with a new activity, skill or milestone as they grow; yet the most memorable milestone that most parents anticipate after 6 months is walking. The first few wobbly steps taken by the baby mark the starting of a whole new phase for babies. However, it is imperative to understand that there is no certain age for toddling. Every baby is different and develops at different pace. Parents can learn what some alarming signs are to watch for and how to facilitate the toddling in your babies.

When Do Babies Start Walking?

The first year of post-natal life is merely about developing and fine-tuning motor and sensory skills. Your babies develop primary senses in the first few months followed by regaining motor strength and muscle power with simple activities such as sitting, crawling and rolling-over.

Most babies develop some signs of walking with support by 9 – 12 months, after which they merely improve their motor control and power. However, this age range is not absolute and some normal babies may initiate toddling at a later age (such as until 16 to 17 months).

How Do Babies Learn to Walk?



Newborn to two months

The newborn babies usually try to brace the land or any solid surface they comes across with their feet. In order to facilitate this reflex, parents should hold babies upright to allow the feet touching the solid surface. At this age, babies’ legs are fairly weak and not capable of supporting the weight; yet it is their instinct to kick or wobble legs. You will notice that the reflex is extinct after a couple of months.

Five months to 10 months

At this age, babies can only bounce their feet when you allow them to stand on your thighs. Some babies are deep bouncers and really enjoy jumping up and down; if your babies are deep bouncers too, make sure to limit the jumping time to no more than 15 minutes, three times daily. Over the next couple of months your babies achieve more control and power over their muscles with activities such as crawling, rolling-over and sitting. As your babies turn 8-9 months, they may try to pull themselves in standing position with furniture as support.

Around one year

As your babies learn to walk properly, other changes may follow over this period. By age 11 months: Standing without any physical support. Your babies will also learn to squat and stoop. By age 12 months: Walk along while using your hands as support. It is usually hard for babies to take their first step by themselves. By age 13 months: Most babies learn to walk independently though their steps may be a little shaky in the beginning. If your child hasn’t started walking as yet, don’t feel worried as some babies do not start walking until they are 16 to 17 month old.

What Can Parents Do to Encourage Babies to Walk?

Knowing when do babies start walking is not enough, you have to know how to help you baby to walk. Research and statistics suggest that an average baby requires over a 1000 hours of practice to learn to walk independently. Here is how you can contribute as a parent.



From birth

The single most important factor that plays a major role in early walking is the strength of back muscles. Tummy time (when babies are lying on their tummies) greatly helps in acquiring the necessary strength of back muscles. You can help by stimulating babies to take head movements often (by luring them with toys and other moving objects)

Once babies can sit

At this age, you can work with your baby in developing the neck, shoulder, arm and back muscles. Once the baby learns to sit with support, you can help the baby in practicing the balance and stability. Sway the toy left and right in front of your baby so that the baby moves side by side and lean forward and backward.

Once babies can stand

Once the baby learns to stand, it is mere motivation and encouragement from parents that helps in making further steps easier for the baby. Make sure to help your baby practice the balance and stability by standing at a safe distance or by helping the baby walk while holding your hands.

Once babies can cruise

When babies learn to cruise around, you should prepare yourself for their tiny hand-prints all over the place. You can facilitate babies cruising by arranging the furniture so that they can walk around with ease. You can also offer your hands as support in the cruising process (but make sure to leave the hands in between so that they will learn to balance themselves as well).

You can watch this video to learn more about when and how babies start walking and how to facilitate your babies to walk:

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Precautions Should I Take During My Baby Learning to Walk?

Since your baby is in learning process, the risk of injury increases with even the slightest carelessness on part of parents. Remove all low tables that have sharp corners and get rid of all loose carpets and throw rugs that may cause injury. If you have stairs in your home, make sure to install safety gates and guard rails. Always keep an eye when your babies are on the move.

2. Should I Buy a Walker?

Walkers are not a safe choice for toddlers as it has been observed that a large number of emergency admissions in pediatric hospitals are attributed to walkers. Likewise, elliptical seats or bouncers are also not advised as these applications are known to delay walking and motor development in babies.

3. When Should My Baby Wear Shoes?

Inside the home, it is advised to let the baby walk barefoot; however, you definitely need comfortable and best-fitting shoes when baby is outdoors. Here are a few tips:

  • Avoid buying shoes in the morning as the size of the feet grows by 5% by the end of the evening.
  • Make sure that your child is there too so that you can get the best fit.
  • Make sure to check the shoe by putting it on babies’ feet and seeing if you can squeeze a pinkie from the heel end
  • Let babies walk in the new shoes at the store for a few minutes and see if their feet got rashes, redness or irritation. This is a sign that these shoes are ill-fitting and not a good choice for your babies’ feet.

4. Should I Be Concerned If My Baby Cannot Walk?

Different babies reach milestones at different ages. However, if your baby doesn’t:

  • Learn to stand with support by the age of 12 months.
  • Learn to walk by the age of 18 months.
  • Be Able to walk steadily by the age of 2 years.

It is highly desirable to speak to the pediatrician about possible causes. Often times, the babies that are born pre-mature experience delay in the developmental milestones. In that case, it is better to use adjusted age (or due date of the baby) for timing the milestones.