What to Expect the Second Year Q&A: Delayed Walking

Q: Our 18-month-old son is the only child in his playgroup not walking on his own. Should we be concerned?

A: Most children are stepping out on their own by 18 months, but occasionally a toddler refuses to toddle until later. Sometimes fear (because of a previous nasty fall) keeps a toddler from letting go and taking off. Sometimes it’s proficiency as a crawler (he knows he can get around more quickly on hands and knees than feet).  Sometimes a gross-motor developmental timetable that’s on the slow side of normal is responsible. And sometimes walking is delayed by a problem that needs medical attention.

Your first step in finding out why your son hasn’t taken his first solo steps is to consult his doctor. You’ll probably get the reassurance you’re looking for. If a problem is discovered, the news is still good: Early physical therapy can help your toddler catch up. (From Chapter 3, “Your Toddler on the Go.”)

Previous posts:

The Transition from Crib to Bed

Aggressive Behavior

Resistance to Napping

Self-Feeding & Fullness

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