We make such a big deal out of when a baby takes his first steps. In fact, the age at which your child took his first steps will be ingrained in your Mommy memory forever, just like your child’s birth weight and time. Personally, I think walking is a bit overrated, since you can’t manage to keep them out of trouble ever again once they start, but here are some things you might want to know, anyway.
For some reason, everyone seems to think that a baby should be walking by his first birthday, but the fact is that most babies don’t walk until after this time. There are a few who walk as early as nine months of age, but a great many who don’t take their first steps until fifteen months. And, if your child is a late walker, it has absolutely no bearing on his intelligence.
The age at which a baby walks is often genetic. Walking very early or very late often runs in the family. My husband walked at nine months, and I walked at ten months, so we were unlucky enough to have a daughter who also walked at ten months. She was very petite, so she looked like the world’s tiniest walking human. She also scaled the kitchen counters before she was a year old, so you can see what I mean by “unlucky”.
When your baby walks is also often related to his size. Babies with short legs usually walk sooner than those with long legs (a balance issue) and thinner babies usually walk sooner than their more plump counterparts.
Pushing your baby to walk is not a good idea, but providing him the opportunity to learn is critical. If you force your child to endure daily practice sessions, he may just rebel and refuse to walk for quite a while. On the other hand, if you keep him in swing or playpen all day, he’ll never have the opportunity to try out his skills. Give him some supervised time on the floor, and he’ll figure the rest out with or without your help.
If, by chance, your child is not walking by the age of eighteen months, it is best to have him checked out by a doctor. There is not necessarily anything wrong, but most babies are walking by this age, so have him examined as a precaution. But, don’t be too eager, because once he starts walking, all the rules change. Someone, though I don’t remember who, once said, – “We spend the first two years of our children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk, and then the next sixteen telling them to sit down and shut up.” It’s so true.