My little girl takes first steps. family happy little baby learning to walk with mother help at home
Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby, Stages, Toddler & Preschool

Wiggle Room – Is Your Baby Ready To Walk?

May 1, 2021

How to recognize and encourage mastery of developmental milestones – from sitting and crawling to walking 

One of the biggest milestones in a baby’s development is walking. Many parents put much weight on achieving this milestone around the age of one. 

However, many babies will take a few steps between ages of 9 and 12 months, while others won’t start using it as their primary mode of movement until 14 or 15 months. By the age of 16 months, babies should have at least taken their first step, and if not, this is an acceptable age to seek out early intervention from physical or occupational therapy.  

Advocacy for your baby is important. Often parents do not realize they can seek out intervention on their own. Also, most outpatient practices will assist in obtaining a needed prescription for therapy from the pediatrician.  

One Step At A Time

It is important for parents to be aware of their baby’s developmental progression for walking. Before your baby can walk, you must ensure that they have mastered their sitting and crawling skills first.  

Is My Baby Ready To Work On Sitting?  

They are, if they can: 

Sitting Milestones 

If your baby is not yet meeting sitting milestones: 

Crawling Skills 

An important skill that your baby must achieve before crawling is pushing up on their hands while on their tummy, typically achieved around 4–5 months. By 6 months, they should start to move around during tummy time.   

Is My Baby Ready To Crawl? 

They are, if they start to:  

Strategies To Improve Crawling 

If your baby demonstrates they are ready to crawl, but has not yet mastered this milestone: 

Walking independently is definitely a major developmental milestone. But keep in mind it is more important that your baby learns to sit and crawl, and demonstrate a good progression of mastery of these skills, before they are ready to walk.  

Kimberly Bradley, MS, LOTR, is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and owner of Kim4Kids. 

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