Walking Milestones in Children

They grow up so fast, don’t they? Your little one may only be a few weeks or days old, but before you know it they’ll be crawling, then walking, then running.

While most babies follow a similar pattern, every child is different. Some may take a little longer to get going, while others might have some “kinks” in their stride that need to get worked out. Here are some of the major milestones:

  • Already by about four months, your child’s leg muscles are getting stronger and more coordinated. At this age, many babies reflexively push down on hard surfaces when their feet are placed there. They may even be able to roll over from front to back.
  • Crawling typically starts as early as 6 months, or as late as 10 months. On occasion, kids will skip this step entirely and go straight to pulling themselves up and cruising (walking while holding on to furniture for support).
  • Walking. This is the big one. Most kids will start by about 9-12 months, and really start to get the hang of it by about 14 or 15 months. But there’s a lot of variation here. It’s normal (and not necessarily concerning!) for some kids to take closer to a year and a half. It takes time to develop that coordination, strength, balance, and confidence.
  • Running. Most kids begin at around their second birthday, and can do it easily and well by their third.

smiling kids on green grassOne thing to keep in mind is that, even once your child is walking and running smoothly, that doesn’t mean their gait will look much like yours. The earliest steps, of course, can be stuttering waddles, but developing an adult-like gait and cadence will take many years.

On top of that, minor abnormalities like knock knees, pigeon toes, toe walking, and flexible flat feet are also relatively common. Sometimes they correct themselves. Other times, they don’t.

Although it’s never wise to panic, if you have any concerns about the proper and healthy development of your little one’s feet and legs, please take them to see the team at Advanced Foot & Ankle in Twin Falls, ID. We can help you determine whether your child needs further treatment, or whether it’s all just part of growing up! To schedule an appointment for you and your child, give us a call at (208) 731-6321.
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