When Do Babies Start Walking? A Guide to Baby Walking Milestones

As a parent or caregiver, witnessing your baby’s developmental milestones is a source of joy and pride. One of the most anticipated moments is when your little one takes those first steps. Walking is a significant milestone that signifies a leap in your baby’s physical and cognitive growth. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the various stages of baby walking, from the initial attempts to confident strides, and provide insights into nurturing this remarkable journey.

When Do Babies Start Walking in a Walker?

Babies often start using walkers around 6 to 8 months, although it can vary. While walkers can provide entertainment and mobility, it’s crucial to note that their use should be supervised. They can delay independent walking as babies may rely on the walker’s support instead of developing their natural balance and stability.

When Do Babies Start Walking with Support?

Around 9 to 12 months, many babies begin pulling themselves up to stand, often using furniture or their caregivers’ hands for support. Cruising along furniture is a significant milestone during this phase. Encouraging safe exploration and offering steady support during this time can boost your baby’s confidence.

When Do Babies Start Walking on Their Own?

Most babies take their first independent steps between 12 and 15 months, though this can vary widely. These early steps might be wobbly and brief, gradually gaining stability and duration. By 18 months, many babies can walk with more confidence and even start attempting to run.

Helping Your Baby Develop Walking Skills

Tummy Time

Encourage tummy time from infancy to help develop strong neck, back, and core muscles, which are essential for walking.

Sitting and Crawling

Mastering sitting and crawling builds the foundation for walking by strengthening muscles and developing coordination.

Balancing Activities

Engage your baby in games that promote balance, such as reaching for toys while sitting or standing.

Assisted Walking

Hold your baby’s hands and let them take steps while you provide gentle support.

Push Toys

Push toys your baby can hold onto while walking encourage them to take steps and maintain balance.

Signs Your Baby Will Walk Soon

1. Pulling Up

When your baby starts pulling themselves up to stand using furniture or your hands, independent walking is likely on the horizon.

2. Cruising

Shuffling along furniture while holding on demonstrates growing confidence in bearing weight and moving.

3. Standing Alone

Brief moments of standing without support indicate strengthening leg muscles and improved balance.

Reasons for Late Walking in Babies

It’s important to remember that every baby is unique, and developmental timelines can vary. Some factors contributing to late walking might include:

Genetics: A family history of later walkers might influence your baby’s timeline.

Personality: More cautious babies might take longer to build the confidence needed for walking.

Preemies: Babies born prematurely might achieve milestones later than full-term babies.

Health Conditions: Certain medical conditions or developmental delays can impact walking.

Safety Tips for When Baby Starts Walking

As your baby takes their first steps into the world of walking, it’s crucial to prioritize safety to create a secure environment for their explorations. Here are essential safety tips to keep in mind:

Baby-Proof Your Space

Conduct a thorough baby-proofing of your home. Install safety gates at stairs and block off hazardous areas. Cover electrical outlets, secure furniture to the wall, and remove small objects that could pose a choking hazard.

Clear Walking Paths

Create clear pathways for your baby to explore without obstacles. Remove loose rugs, cords, and clutter from their path to prevent trips and falls.


Always keep a watchful eye on your baby while they are walking. Accidents can happen suddenly, even if they’ve taken a few steps independently. Stay within arm’s reach to provide immediate support if needed.

Safe Zones

Designate safe areas where your baby can practice walking without encountering potential hazards. Use playpens or baby gates to create controlled environments.

Appropriate Footwear

Once your baby starts walking outdoors, ensure they wear comfortable and supportive shoes that provide traction. Soft-soled shoes with a snug fit help protect their tiny feet.

Bathroom Safety

Keep bathroom doors closed, and consider using toilet locks. Store cleaning supplies and toiletries out of reach. Always supervise bath time closely.

Furniture Safety

Cover sharp corners with padding to minimize injuries from bumps and falls. Avoid placing tempting objects, like toys, on high surfaces that might encourage climbing.

Secure Cabinets and Drawers

Use safety locks on cabinets and drawers within your baby’s reach. This prevents them from accessing potentially harmful substances or objects.

Carpet or Non-Slip Flooring

Encourage walking on carpeted or non-slip surfaces, especially during the early stages of walking when falls are more common.

Stair Safety

Install safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs to prevent falls. Teach your baby to navigate stairs safely once they are more confident in their walking abilities.

Teach Safe Practices

As your baby becomes more mobile, start teaching them basic safety practices, such as holding onto handrails, using step stools, and looking both ways before crossing a doorway.

Emergency Preparedness

Familiarize yourself with basic first aid for minor injuries like bumps and bruises. Have a fully stocked first aid kit readily accessible.

By implementing these safety tips, you can create a nurturing environment that encourages your baby’s curiosity and independence while minimizing potential risks. As they continue their walking journey, your watchful guidance will ensure their exploration is exciting and secure.

Baby Walking Milestones Conclusion

The journey from a crawling infant to a confident walker is filled with excitement and awe. Remember that each baby progresses at their own pace, and providing a supportive and nurturing environment is key. Encourage exploration, offer a helping hand, and celebrate each milestone along the way. As your baby takes those first independent steps, you’ll witness the magic of their growth and achievement, setting the stage for a lifetime of exploration and adventure.

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