The first steps of a child are a big milestone in the child’s development and often a very fulfilling moment for the parents. The transition from crawling on hands and legs to walking on two legs not only allows the child to move faster, but also to explore and perceive the environment independently. It is the first important step in the development from baby to toddler. When children start to make their first walking experiences can vary greatly from child to child.
At the earliest
Very brave and explorative children tend to learn to walk earlier than other children. They try to explore their world and at about seven to eight months they slowly start to pull up furniture, such as the sofa, to be able to stand. As soon as they are able to do this, they start to take their first insecure steps. This happens at the earliest around the eighth month of life.
On average, babies start to take their first steps between the tenth and twelfth months of life. However, these are still very uncertain and they usually still need support. Typical is walking around the sofa, which they can hold on to all the time. The brain and the organ of equilibrium must now first get used to the new body position so that balance is maintained without holding on to objects. This process is completed in most children around the eleventh month and they start to cover shorter distances without the help of walking aids.
At the latest
Basically, parents should not worry if their baby is slower in learning to walk than other children. This stage of development varies from child to child in the way and when the child learns to walk. Some children do not start walking until they are 18 months old, which is still completely within the normal range of development.
Often children who have taken a long time to learn to roll around and crawl also start walking later. As long as the child is still making progress, this is all within the normal range of development. However, if there is a significant delay in other areas compared to other babies, you can discuss this with your paediatrician. In this context it is important to know that premature babies are generally slower in their development than their peers.
When does a child normally start standing?
Already from the fifth month of life many babies want to make their first attempts at standing. Often, held by the parents, they start balancing and jumping on the parents’ thighs. This step is very important so that the necessary muscle mass can develop slowly, which is necessary for walking upright.
Around the seventh month of life, babies start to want to pull themselves up on their own on furniture that is at their height. In the beginning they often fall down relatively quickly, but through this training the brain starts to adjust to the situation and the balance improves. At the end of this development, the children can already stand safely at the hands of their parents at around eight months of age. In this phase, care should be taken to cover sharp corners and edges in the baby’s surroundings, as the baby falls relatively often and could otherwise injure itself.