Baby's First Step

Its an incredible milestone for your baby when she puts forward her first step. Walking is a slowly and steadily learned process for all babies. Read more on how babies learn to walk while you are awaiting with your camera to capture your babys first step.

Last Updated: 23 October 2020

Baby's First Step
Baby's First Step

Yes, your baby’s first step is indeed a giant leap in her developmental milestones! If you were to closely follow your baby’s developmental stages, you will be amazed to witness how babies learn to walk.

When can you expect your baby’s first step?

Learning to walk is not only about the development of strength and balance but also the right temper. Some babies might be unwilling or afraid to explore how it would feel to step forward without support. Some babies, on the other hand, can be daring to pull themselves up without support in no time. Most babies begin to walk by their first birthdays. It can take as early as 9 months for your baby’s first step or it can take up to 18 months for some babies, past which it is a red flag that needs to be reported to the doctor.

How do babies learn to walk?

A series of learning happens before your baby’s first step is staged. Though the learning timeline can vary between babies, most babies follow all the following developmental stages while they learn to walk.

Sitting-up

By 4 months, your baby will begin to learn to sit without support at first and then sit unsupported. It demands strength in the neck muscles and back and a sense of balance to be able to sit upright. This is one of the early preparatory developments for her to learn walking later.

Crawling

As they figure out that there ought to be a better way to move from the sitting position, they lurch forward, supporting their bodies with the hands and come up on their knees. Once on all fours, they rock back and forth in the cat posture and intuit how to leap forward. Soon, they learn cross-crawling by coordinating one arm and one leg of the opposite sides in a forward movement, reaching the crawling milestone.

Also, it is not unlikely for some babies skip crawling altogether. Note that, infants getting to stand or walk without learning to crawl, is still alright.

Pulling up

Soon after they master crawling, by around 8 months, babies try holding onto a support and pull themselves up off the floor. Most often as they hold the leg of furniture, they will begin to stand on their foot which helps in stretching and balancing required for walking.

Cruising

Beginning 9th month, babies keep tiny steps while still holding to the support. At this stage, babies tend to make small steps around a chair or along the corners of the wall, kitchen cabinets and cots.

Balancing while standing

As they get confident in balancing with support, the next step is to leave the support and stand at one place. This is indeed a huge moment for your baby because it demands the let go of the fear of falling down without support. In the beginning, she can stand on her own for a few seconds after which she will drop down in the sitting position. On repeated practice, she must be able to stand for increased times.

The First Step

When your baby is still learning to balance while standing or making steps by holding your hands, you may one day suddenly notice that she made her first move forward without support. Most often, your baby’s first step will be an unexpected event because it is a matter of moments when she decides to keep that first step or she may do it totally unaware of what she just did. In either case, it is going to surprise her as much as it will do to you.

Walking

Following your baby’s first step, her new-gained confidence will now spur her interest in making slow steady steps and eventually into walking. Once at this stage, there is no turning back and all her learning stages you have witnessed thus far shall remain a memory.

What can you do to help your baby learn to walk?

Babies have the inborn ability to check mark the developmental milestones irrespective of support from parents. Allowing your baby to adapt to her pace with freedom is perhaps the best help you can do in addition to the following care:

·         Childproof your house so that accidental falling downs while learning to walk do not lead to injuries.

·         When she shows interest to make steps, give her a helping hand. Hold her hands making sure you do not drag, pull or push her to make steps.

·         Do not have your baby remain for long hours within a stationary activity center. It may restrict her natural development of movements.

·         According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the usage of walkers must be discouraged. Walkers have not proved to be of help to make babies learn to walk. It also carries safety risks for the baby.

·         Placing of suitable furniture around the place where baby spends most of her time will aid in walking with support.

When should you worry about your baby’s walking milestone?

 

If your baby has crossed 18 months of age and has shown no inclination towards standing or walking, it is a sign of developmental delay. You must consult your doctor immediately in order to find the cause and begin treatment if necessary. 

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