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My Toddler Isn't Walking Yet, What Can I Do?

My Toddler Isn't Walking Yet, What Can I Do?

Time flies by so fast when it comes to kids and their development; one moment, we couldn’t put them down because they would get fussy, the next we can’t catch them since they keep running. But, what if your toddler isn’t walking yet? Should you be worried? Read on to learn more.

Toddler Development Milestones: 1-3 years old

Each child has their own timeline

It’s a proud moment whenever parents see their baby hit a developmental milestone. Daily, you see them doing new things, like holding their feeding bottle, turning, crawling, and being able to sit up without help. Once your baby reaches nine months old, you might start holding your breath in anticipation as they might take their first steps soon.

Many kids start walking between 10 and 12 months. So, if your little one still hasn’t walked past their first birthday, you might worry.

If you see no evident problem with your baby’s motor skills, they might just be a late bloomer.

Remember: each child has their own timeline.

In other words, they will walk when they are ready. Reports say that some babies learn to walk as late as 18 months.

Gross motor delay: When should you see a doctor?

There’s no harm in talking to a doctor if your toddler isn’t walking yet, especially if you suspect a problem.

For instance, if you observe that your child seems strong enough to walk but can’t, or notice that their legs are “giving out,” it’s possible that they have problems in the bones or muscles in their feet or legs. If they cry out each time they take a step, bringing them to the doctor is also the best course of action. Do the same thing if they can walk, but their gait is uneven, or they’re limping.

Additionally, set an appointment if your little one is 18 months old and still does not:

  • Walk
  • Walk-in a more “organized” manner even after practicing for months
  • Climb the stairs while holding on

Of course, if your child still hasn’t hit some developmental milestones for their age, you should also talk to their doctor. For example, if they cannot pick up foods and bring them to their mouth, it’s best to have them checked – most 1-year-olds can already do that.

Seeking medical help at the soonest possible time helps uncover why your toddler isn’t walking yet. And early diagnosis increases the chance that their condition can be managed or treated.

The Best Learning Activities for Your One Year Old

3 Tips to encourage your toddler to walk

After confirming that your baby is healthy and just needs a little more time, you can do the following to encourage them to walk:

Play with them

If your toddler isn’t walking yet, perhaps they need more time to practice. Playing is a great way to learn how to walk. Daily, ensure that they have at least 30 minutes of parent-led and supported activity.

One great way to play with them is to make them stand on the floor while you hold their hands. To make it more fun for them (and to encourage them to take steps), show a toy they can grab at a distance.

toddler isn't walking yet

Leave them an exciting trail

Toddlers also need one hour of free play daily. In one of those unstructured activities, you can leave them an exciting trail. Try to put the “treasures” on surfaces that they can only reach if they stand up.

However, don’t forget to be there and toddler-proof the trail, to make sure it’s safe, before letting your little one roam around.

Let them walk barefoot

You may feel that having them wear shoes will make them learn to walk faster, but they should go barefooted indoors, according to experts.

This is because shoes often make it difficult for them to take steps. The best thing to do is to save their shoes for outdoor playtime activities.

Key Takeaways

Hitting developmental milestones such as walking is different for each baby. If your toddler isn’t walking yet, it may be because they are just a late bloomer. However, there’s no harm in consulting a doctor, if you’re worried. It’s also the best thing to do if you suspect any other health concerns and developmental delays.

Learn more about toddler milestones, here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Movement, Coordination, and Your 1- to 2-Year-Old
https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/move12yr.html
Accessed January 21, 2021

12-15 months: toddler development
https://raisingchildren.net.au/toddlers/development/development-tracker-1-3-years/12-15-months
Accessed January 21, 2021

Your Child’s Development: 1 Year (12 Months)
https://kidshealth.org/en/Parents/development-12mos.html
Accessed January 21, 2021

Gross Motor Delay
https://intermountainhealthcare.org/services/pediatrics/services/rehabilitation/services/gross-motor-delay/
Accessed January 21, 2021

Important Milestones: Your Child By Eighteen Months
https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/milestones-18mo.html
Accessed January 21, 2021

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated Jan 26
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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