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Baby on the Move: Learning to Walk

By Charles Sprague, M.D.

Baby on the move.

Your baby may experience a whole new view of the world soon. From bouncing on your leg, crawling and sitting, he or she may be ready to take the first steps around 9 to 12 months of age. Boys Town Pediatrics shares stepping signs and ways to assist your baby on the move! Below are average months for baby walking steps to tackle.

Baby Proofing Tips

Because your baby is getting more and more mobile, now is a great time to start baby proofing the house. Here are some childproofing tips to remember:

  • Keep hazardous objects away from reach
  • Cover electrical outlets
  • Use stairway gates
  • Install child locks on doors and cabinets
  • Add pads to sharp corners where your baby plays
  • Never leave your baby unattended

More Tips for Childproofing

Cruising (approx. 9 months)

Your baby will start trying to pull herself up in a standing position while holding on to you or furniture. Clear her pathway and help her by propping her next to the couch. She will begin to figure out how to bend her knees and how to sit after standing.

Standing Position (approx. 12 months)

Be ready to witness various positions like squatting, scooping up toys from a standing position and walking. As your baby learns to pull himself up, he might need help figuring out how to get back down. Show him how to bend his knees so he can sit down without toppling over and encourage him to walk by standing or kneeling in front of him. Hold out your hands and let him walk toward you or use a push toy that he can hold on to. Early strides usually consist of standing on tiptoes with feet turned outward.

Standing & Walking (approx. 14 months)

Your baby should be able to stand alone, squat down and stand back up. Most likely, her legs will be far apart with feet pointed outward to help maintain stability while walking.

Motor Skills (approx. 18 months)

Now that your baby is more comfortable with walking, she may start climbing, kicking, walking upstairs, kicking a ball, dancing, jumping and establishing other motor skills associated with walking. By the time your baby reaches age 3, walking will have become a normal skill. It is important to remember every baby develops at different rates. If you have any questions or concerns and your baby is experiencing trouble with walking, contact your pediatrician.