walking and crawling

Walking the Walk and Crawling the Crawl

Dear Mr. Dad: My best friend and I have 10-month-old boys who were born only a week apart. His started walking about a month ago but mine is still crawling and has absolutely no interest in walking. I know I shouldn’t compare my baby to anyone else’s, but it’s hard not to. Is there anything I can do encourage my baby to walk?

A: Theoretically, it’s possible to encourage your baby to walk, but I strongly encourage you not to. On average, babies take their first steps at about 12 months, so there’s nothing to worry about. But, the range is pretty big, from nine to 18 months. How early—or late—a child starts to walk depends on a number of factors:

  • If you and/or your partner were early or late walkers, chance are good that your child will be too.
  • Birth circumstances. If your baby was born prematurely, he’ll probably be a late walker. Researchers have found that very low-birthweight, preterm infants learn to walk at an adjusted age of 14 months (meaning their actual age plus the number of months they were born early). Premature babies usually catch up to their agemates by the time they’re three, but the more premature the baby, the longer it takes to pull even.
  • Older siblings. Having a brother or sister who’s a few years older sometimes gives babies a little extra incentive to walk early.
  • Medical issues. Your baby may learn to walk late if he had to go through a lot of medical intervention early in life, or if he simply got sick or had a bad fall right when he was about to take his first steps.


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Photo by Jordan Christian on Unsplash

Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, mrdad.com. You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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