As you read developmental milestones in parenting books, it is important to remember
that these are average expectations. Children have so many differences! One child may be
quite advanced physically but not speaking at all. Another child may be chatting away but
Milestones are designed to give parents the “big” picture. Your pediatrician evaluates all
areas of your child’s development at each well-baby checkup. As long as your child is
doing more each month, there is usually no cause for alarm. That is the important thing.
You should see a steady growth in his developmental milestones each month.
Concerning your specific question, only 50% of children walk by their first birthday.
Some begin walking as early as eight months while others do not walk until they are
eighteen months. Many “late-walkers” are content just to crawl around and show little
desire to walk. However, by 16 months most children are at least pulling up to stand if
not already walking around things holding on (“furniture surfing”).
The age of walking
has nothing to do with the child’s intelligence or eventual motor skills.
Pediatricians usually begin to worry about late-walkers when the delay affects all forms
of development – motor, social, and language. In addition, an underlying abnormality
may exist when a child begins to lose previously attained developmental skills.
Remember that each child develops at his or her own pace. Try not to let your child know
you are worried or anxious about his not walking. Many children pick up on this and
their development becomes even slower.
If you still have concerns about your child’s development, you have a 18-month checkup
around the corner. There is an excellent chance that your child will be doing more by