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Here are the steps your child will take on the path to becoming an adept walker. Learning to walk involves much more than footwork!
We've also given typical ages, but keep in mind that this is just a rough guideline. Some kids walk as early as 9 months, others as late as 17 months. There's a wide range of normal ages for kids to start walking. If you're concerned about your child's progress, check with his doctor.
|Birth to 2 months|
Has step reflex. If held in a standing position on a hard surface, your newborn will move his legs as if he's walking. The reflex disappears around 2 months of age.
|3 to 4 months|
Does mini-pushups. That means lying tummy-down and raising her head and chest off the ground, using her arms for support. Mini-pushups build upper body muscles crucial for walking.
Bounces up and down when held in a standing position. This movement helps build leg strength. Starts to "tripod" by leaning forward on his arms for support while seated.
Quick tip: Childproof your home before your baby becomes mobile – which is right around the corner.
|6 to 8 months|
Learns to sit. Sitting without support requires neck strength, head control, balance, and coordination – all important skills for walking. Most babies also learn to crawl between the ages of 7 and 12 months, although some skip it altogether and move straight to walking.
Can stand while holding on to something.
Red flag: If your child doesn't bear some weight on her legs when you hold her up by 7 months, or can't sit unsupported by 9 months, check in with her doctor.
|9 to 12 months|
Pulls up to a standing position with the aid of a sturdy object, such as a sofa or table leg. Figures out how to do deep knee bends in order to sit after standing. Soon your baby will be cruising – taking sliding steps while holding on to whatever's nearby for support.
Can stand unsupported – for a few seconds – and may be able to walk while holding hands. Your baby may take his first steps!
|12 to 15 months|
Your child probably is walking, though awkwardly. (Those outstretched arms of her "Frankenstein" walk actually help keep her balanced.) Soon your toddler will learn to stoop and stand up again.
As she gets moving, she may enjoy push-and-pull toys.
Red flag: If your child isn't toddling by 14 or 15 months, bring it up with her doctor. This is still within the normal range of development, but now's a good time to check for anything that may be delaying the milestone.
|15 to 18 months|
With help, your toddler can walk up and down stairs. She may even be able to walk backward. Dances to music.
|18 to 24 months|
May increase his speed to a run. By his second birthday, he can kick a ball, stand on tiptoes, carry something in his hands while walking, and jump from a low step to the floor.
|25 to 30 months|
Can motor up and down stairs while holding onto the railing or your hand for support. Comfortable with running. Is up for a game of tag or Ring-Around-the-Rosy.
|31 to 36 months|
Can now jump on the ground, feet together, and zip left and right. (Dribbling a ball will come later.) By age 3, he can go up and down stairs by alternating feet on each step.
Is learning to balance – and hop – on one foot. She may prefer one foot over the other. Can go up and down stairs without support.
Has mastered earlier skills and can now do it all – walk, run, hop, skip, and jump.