Why isn't my kid walking?

Q: My 1-year-old isn’t walking. How can I encourage her to at least try?

A: It takes incredible strength, balance, coordination and bravery to take those first steps. Babies typically start walking between age 9 months and 15 months.

Babies, who learn to walk best with bare feet, often begin near-walking by “creeping” alongside furniture or walking next to a table or sofa while holding on for balance. Additionally, near-walking while holding on to grown-ups’ fingers can show babies how much fun walking can be! 

In a safe area, not near stairs, you can try offering any type of toy that allows a baby to push while holding on and walking, such as a toy shopping cart, to provide some extra independence in near-walking.  

Practice makes perfect. Being supportive, present and delighted with your baby’s progress is the best encouragement for your near-walker!

Dr. Gigi Chawla is a board-certified pediatrician and the senior medical director of primary care at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. Send your questions to gchawla@mnparent.com.