Why Isn’t My Baby Walking Yet?

Why isn't My Baby Walking Yet? | Baby Chick

Why Isn’t My Baby Walking Yet?

Do you have a sore back from bending over to hold your little one’s hand as he learns to walk day after day after day? When will he take off on his own? It seems simple enough, one foot in front of the other . . . but it’s not as easy as it looks.

Let’s break it down. Like most early development skills, learning to walk actually starts at birth! The first time you hold your body upright and he interprets his world from that vertical position the balance centers housed in his inner ears begin to establish his sense of balance. The first time you put her in tummy time and she stretches out those legs and stretches those tiny hip flexors, she is preparing her legs and hips for the extension needed for early walking. The first time she pushes her upper body up in tummy time and uses those neck muscles to hold her head up, she is strengthening her upper body to pull to stand and take that first step. It is a process, a very sequential process that doesn’t happen overnight.

The Development of Baby Walking

All development is sequential. Every milestone builds on the previous milestone. All babies are different and progress through each milestone at different rates. Your friend’s baby may have taken that first step at nine months and your niece may take her first step at fifteen months, both are perfectly within the range for typical development, but can definitely cause some sleepless nights for a vigilant mommy or daddy.

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Because baby development occurs from head to toe and from the trunk of their body, outward, babies need to establish trunk strength and stability before they will have the coordination to balance on their own two feet, shift weight from one foot to the other and advance that foot forward. Babies develop trunk support and strength by being in tummy time and crawling. Think planking for babies. We know how great planking is to develop our core strength, and that is what tummy time and crawling does for babies. As your baby is crawling on all fours, she is weight bearing through her hands and knees, building strength and stability in her knees, hips and shoulder joints as well as strength through her abs and back muscles. This is critical for walking later on. For a variety of reasons, some babies do more tummy time and crawling time than other babies. Does that mean the babies who get the most tummy time and crawling time walk first, of course not, it is just one piece of the puzzle.

Personality and Temperament Can Play a Role

Think about your baby’s temperament. Is he brave, does he take chances, is he comfortable being away from you? These components all play into the child’s readiness to step away from you and begin walking on his own. Continue to reassure, make sure he knows that you are always there for him to come back to and offer lots of encouragement to boost his self-esteem. It takes guts to take that first step.

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Mastering One Baby Milestone at a Time

Why Isn't My Baby Walking Yet? | Baby Chick

Another important factor to consider is what other milestones is your baby working on? Babies tend to focus on one thing at a time until they feel they have mastered it, then they move on. Is she getting more vocal, showing more verbal and non-verbal communication? Sometimes when babies are focusing on language development, the physical milestones go by the wayside temporarily while she focuses on her other newfound skills. The basic rules of milestone development are:

  1. Do changes continue to occur? Even mini milestones such as the ability to balance for four seconds instead of two seconds.
  2. Are there no plateaus in developmental milestones? Babies should not go longer than a month or two without showing any new skills.
  3. Is there no regression in developmental milestones? Babies should not completely lose skills once they are mastered.

If you are confident that these “rules” are not an issue and your pediatrician has checked your baby’s hips, knees, and feet and overall tone of her muscles and everything is healthy, just give her the time she needs. In the blink of an eye, she will be running and you will be longing for the days you were able to keep up with her!

About the Author /

Dr. Aimee Ketchum is a pediatric occupational therapist and has been working in pediatrics for 20 years. Ketchum works in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at UPMC Pinnacle Hospital and lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters. Ketchum is also the owner/operator of Aimee’s Babies LLC, a child development company.

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Instagram post 17862171103601373 All of these things make me happy. What would you add to your self care toolbox?⁠
I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
📷: @lawrenrosephotography⁠
Informative post and words by @bundleborn⁠
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Instagram post 17852665306696124 With the holiday season upon us and moms trying to make everything magical for their families, remember to stop and take a moment to take care of you. ❤️ Have a hot cup of coffee, a long warm shower and some alone time. Communicate this with your partner not as a wish but as a necessity. We must take the time to take care of ourselves to better take care of them. 💕⁠
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Instagram post 17990835490280335 I totally felt this way when I was pregnant. And kinda feel this way after all that turkey. 🤣🦃 Happy turkey day to all you expecting mamas!!⁠
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Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
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Flying on a plane with your little one for the first time can be terrifying. Are they going to cry the whole time? How will they handle the airport, the turbulence and the landing? Well we have some tips that will help prepare you for your flight with your kids. Here's what to do to have a more enjoyable experience 😊 {Link in bio!}⁠
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