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If Your Child Isn't Walking

Walking is like any other milestone in your baby's life: unpredictable. You can find out when your baby is most likely to start, but it could actually happen anytime during a range of about six months. Most babies start walking between 12 and 14 months, but many get moving earlier (10 or even nine months) and some start later (around 16 months).

Practicing The Moves

Encourage your baby's walking efforts by giving him lots of practice at pulling himself up. Reach for him and let him use your hands or legs as a support. Pull-up games let him exercise his leg muscles. Help him stay upright as he cruises around by holding onto furniture.

Staying In Motion

Make sure your baby has room to practice, and give him the freedom to stretch out. Even if he seems content to spend long sessions in a chair or stroller, don't let him. Be wary of using a walker--aside from the accident risks, there's also the possibility that a walker may delay your child's independent walking.

Going Barefoot

The best equipment for babies learning to walk is bare feet. If the floor is cold, put nonskid socks on him. Avoid shoes, especially stiff-soled shoes. They prevent your baby from feeling the floor, and he's more likely to trip.

If your baby shows no signs of trying to walk, mention it to your pediatrician at your baby's next checkup.

FisherPrice Parenting Guide CDROM