Watching your little one grow from a baby into a toddler is an amazing experience, but you may be wondering, when do babies start walking? The short answer is - When they are ready! Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer, all babies are different and pick up new skills at different times.
As some consolation, there is still a general time frame of when you’ll hear that pitter-patter of little feet, so we’ll give you a rough estimate of when to look out for tell-tale signs of the different stages of walking.
Babies begin walking anytime between 8 and 16 months. Some babies begin walking even later than that.
Of course, it also depends on how you define “walking.” Some parents will boast that their baby began walking at 9 months, but they’re usually talking about the kind of walking a baby does while holding onto something, known as ‘cruising’.
Signs of Walking by Months
Your baby may start showing you signs they are ready to walk as early as six months of age.
Here’s what to look out for:
- 6-9 months: Your baby will learn to sit unaided then will begin experimenting with crawling. Some babies skip crawling and go straight to walking, but they usually go back and crawl at some point, too. This is the milestone that comes just before walking, so that’s important to take note. If your child is on the earlier side of sitting up and crawling, she may be on the earlier side with other milestones such as walking.
- 9-12 months: Your baby will begin to pull themselves up to a standing position while holding onto furniture. They will be able to stand unassisted for a few seconds at a time and will begin to figure out how to sit back down from standing. They will also begin cruising (walking while holding something for stability).
- 12-18 months: Your baby-now a toddler, so-called because she is toddling around-can walk, though she is probably very wobbly and unsteady on her feet. If your child isn’t walking by 15 months, talk with your Public Health Nurse or your GP. This is still within the normal range, but 15 months is a good time to check in so you can address any problems early, just in case there is an issue.
Keep in mind that some little ones are naturally more cautious than others and may wait to walk until they are really ready. You may not even know you have a cautious child. For example, a cautious child may take a few steps here and there but won’t try for longer distances because she feels unsteady, while another child will just walk and doesn’t mind if she falls.