My 15-month-old son is not walking. My older two children walked at 13 and 14 months. This baby is active, healthy and developing normally in every other way. He loves to crawl and has been making progress toward walking in the past month by cruising around furniture, pulling up to standing and walking a few steps when holding your hand. Should we worry about his not walking yet?
Tracy, as you know, each baby develops at his own rate. Even though the child development books may say to expect your baby to start walking around his first birthday, there is a normal range during which babies may start walking, typically from 9 to 18 months. In fact, in the past decade, with more babies being put to sleep on their backs to prevent SIDS, babies are beginning to crawl and walk several months later than was seen previously.
Walking earlier is not “better” or associated with being more athletic, while walking later is not “worse” or associated with being less athletic. By age 2 you’d probably never notice the difference between earlier and later walkers.
At this point, it does not sound like you need to worry about your baby’s physical development. At 15 months of age, he still has a few more months until he’s outside the age range in which you’d expect him to start walking. It’s also a good sign that his physical development and overall health and development have been normal. His progress over the past month indicates that he will probably take his first steps on his own soon.
If you’re worried about your baby’s development, be sure to talk about it at your next visit with your baby’s doctor. The doctor can do a developmental screening and check your baby’s muscle tone and strength, reflexes and joint mobility, and let you know if there are any concerns.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.