To a parent, every milestone your baby meets is epic. But walking is a biggie! Your child is, literally and metaphorically, taking his first steps toward independence.
But how can you tell if your baby’s getting ready to walk?
Some kids ease into walking after standing and cruising (holding onto furniture while they walk) a while. Others stop to squat for a second while crawling around. Some try to master crawling up and down the stairs first. These moves show your baby's leg muscles are building the strength they need to hold up their little bodies.
One of our kids was the cautious type and seemed a little reluctant to take his first steps alone. My husband and I helped the process along by sitting across from one another, our legs spread out in a "v," and made a game out of baby trying to walk back and forth between us. It worked! After using our arms for support to go back and forth a few times, we moved just a little bit further from each other after a few laps until our kid felt comfy enough to let go. The next thing I knew, he was on the run! Our other child was more of a risk taker and got the hang of walking without much help.
Remember: Every kid learns to walk at his own pace. Don't sweat it if your child isn't moving as quickly as others. As long as they're making progress and trying to get around, you've likely got nothing to worry about. Still concerned? Don't be shy about contacting your pediatrician… they'll be more than happy to hear you out.
Viv Schaffel is a freelance journalist and essayist who writes for a vast array of publications, including CBS Watch!, The New York Times, Working Mother and The New York Post. She writes/performs sketch comedy and is an upstanding member of US Weekly’s Fashion Police, poking fun at red carpet risks.
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.