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At What Age Do Children Start Walking? – Is it Time to Worry?

baby-shoes

Most babies start walking by 14 months, but if it’s taking a little longer for your baby to start walking there is no reason to panic. I have seen babies that don’t start walking until they reach 16 or 17 months.

Even if your baby is not walking yet, you may notice that he/she is able to perform other motor skills with no problem, like standing alone, pulling up on furniture, and bouncing up and down.

Some babies are just late walkers. There can be several reasons why it’s taking longer for your baby to learn how to walk, many of which aren’t serious but more related to your baby’s personality.

Keep in mind that babies develop at different rates, but if your baby is not walking by his/her 18 month, you should consult with your pediatrician.

There are other conditions that might be interfering with your baby’s ability of  learning how to walk such as low muscle tone and certain genetic or birth conditions that have a direct impact on the development of the nervous or muscular systems.

One of the most common reasons why it takes babies longer to start walking is a condition called low muscle tone. If your baby has been diagnosed with low muscle tone there are certain steps that you can take to improve posture and co-ordination, as well as strengthen the muscles around the joints of the legs so they provide more support and stability. I will expand on this shortly.

I have been fitting children’s shoes and orthotics for the last 10 years, working for a specialized children’s shoe store that focuses on children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. I have helped hundreds of babies who were learning how to walk find the perfect pair of first walking shoes.

Several parents have asked me if there is something they can do to help their babies walk. There is nothing you can really do to speed up the learning process, but do make sure that you provide your baby with the correct pair of first walking shoes, as they play a key role providing confidence and balance for your baby.

Let’s first take a look at the different walking learning stages a baby goes through. I have put together a set of dates that will help you get an idea of how the whole process of learning how to walk comes together. Please keep in mind that this is just an estimate and I have come up with these time frames from observing hundreds of different babies learn how to walk at a specialized children’s shoe store that I work for.

12 Months – The Cruising Stage

shoes-for-baby-learning-how-to-walk

At about 12 months your baby will start to “cruise”, which involves moving from a piece of furniture to another.  Cruising is one of the biggest signs that your baby will start walking soon. You might even notice your baby letting go and standing (in the same place) without holding into anything.

Some babies might be already walking by 12 months, but keep in mind that most of them are probably doing it unsteadily. If your babies are still in the cruising stage, it simply means that walking on their own is going to take them a little longer.

Please note that as soon as babies learn how to pull themselves up into a standing position, they will need some help figuring out how to safely get backdown again. Show them how to bend their knees so they can sit down without toppling over.

Please stay away from baby walkers. The America Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discourages their use based on the safety risk and lack of benefits.

14 to 15 months – Standing Alone

shoes-for-babies-learning-how-to-walk

At this stage your toddler should be able to stand alone. You will probably notice your baby being able to squat down and then stand back up again. By this time most babies might be already walking steadily. They will feel confidently enough to hold onto their toys as they walk.

A baby being unable to walk at 14 months isn’t usually indicative of a problem.

Along as you notice that your baby is able to perform other motor skills with no problem, such as standing alone, pulling up on furniture, and bouncing up and down, then these are all signs that your baby’s motor skills are developing.

18 months – Proficient Walkers

It’s highly likely that your baby will be a proficient walker by 18 months. You will notice them walking all over the place and you will have a hard time keeping up with them!

There is no correlation between how soon your babies walk and how smart they are. The age of babies’ walking is as variable as their personalities.

If your baby is not walking by 18 months, then it’s time to talk to your pediatrician. While there could be several reasons why your baby is unable to walk, the one I am most familiar with is having a condition called hypotonia or low muscle tone.

A baby might be diagnosed with low muscle tone for the following reasons:

  • Your baby’s muscles appear to be less firm than usual.
  • Your baby appears to be floppy and to have loose joints.
  • Your baby appears to be less alert and have poor posture.

In the case, you will need to provide a pair of shoes to support your baby’s feet (in particular their ankles), to help them stabilize themselves.  There is one particular shoe style made by Stride Rite that is the one that most physical/occupational therapists recommend for most for babies who are having a hard time learning how to walk.

If your baby has been diagnosed with low muscle tone, take a look at the selection of shoes below. These she’s are going to help improve posture and co-ordination, as well as strengthen the muscles around the joints of the legs so they provide more support and stability.

The Best Shoes for Babies with Low Muscle Tone ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

These shoes are available in different widths such as medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW). Please keep in mind that most babies have wide or extra wide feet, so choose your baby’s shoe width accordingly. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

High TopHigh TopHigh TopHigh TopHigh TopHigh Top

In order to allow for growing room, I highly recommend that parents order these shoes a half a size larger than the size their children’s feet measure. This translates to 0.3 inches or 0.7 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.

These are the 4 most important features that this shoe style provide for babies with low muscle tone:

✅ Firm Heel Counter: This feature helps strengthen and straighten your baby’s ankle.

✅ Substantial Sole: This feature helps straighten your babies’ feet by preventing them from collapsing and turning inwards. This feature also helps improve your baby’s overall posture and stability.

✅ Flexible rubber sole improves traction and prevents slips and falls.

✅ 100% leather made.

This is the best shoe for a baby with low muscle tone.

Please keep in mind that there are 2 other factors that might be causing a delay on your baby walking:

  • Personality: Babies who are easy going and content tend to just lie on their back and entertain themselves, which leads them to start walking late.
  • Environment: A baby who has been sick for a long period of time — which involved lying down or hospital stays — may also star walking late.

If your baby doesn’t have low muscle tone and you are looking for a pair of regular shoes to take your child outside to play, there are other shoe styles that I have fitted before and are most recommended.

The Best Shoes for Babies Learning How to Walk ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

One common question parents ask me is: When is the right time to get my baby his/her first pair of waking shoes?

This has always been a controversial matter. When babies begin to lift themselves and stand on their own power — this is somewhere between the seventh and tenth month — then it might be time to get them their first pair of walking shoes.

Below you can find a selection of the best shoes for babies learning how to walk. These shoes are available in medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW).

M,W,XWM,W,XWM,W,XWM,W,XWM,W,XWM,W,XWM,W,XWM,W,XWM,W,XWM,WM,WM,WM,W,XWM,W,XWM,W,XWNarrow, M,W,XWNarrow, M,W,XWNarrow, M,W,XW

In order to allow for growing room, I highly recommend that parents order these shoes a half a size larger than the size their children’s feet measure. This translates to 0.3 inches or 0.7 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.

Please keep in mind that shoes come into play when you take your baby to play outside, as it’s important to allow them to go barefoot around the house for healthy foot development. Going barefoot improves balance and coordination.

Once your babies are steady and walking on their own, it’s best to provide them with sturdy and supportive shoes. Early walkers are active, so you’ll want baby walking shoes with good shock absorption and durable soles.

STOP BUYING THE WRONG PAIR OF SHOES FOR YOUR CHILDREN.LETS START TAKING CARE OF THEIR FEET!

I created this webpage to help parents understand the importance that shoes have in healthy foot development and how they can prevent foot problems in the future.Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.






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