Posted: Apr 19, 2012 5:44 PM
You may be eagerly anticipating your baby's first steps, but when his first birthday comes and goes and he's content to only sit, crawl or roll, do you need to rush him to the doctor?

Most moms await their baby's first steps with anticipation, but some kids are just happy as a clam to cruise around on hands and knees even after their first birthday. You may be a little worried yourself, but your worry can grow when your mother, best friend or uncle starts to wonder why junior isn't walking yet.

How it usually goes

Often, a baby will start scooting around between 4 to 6 months and may lift up to hands-and-knees and begin crawling soon after. By around 9 months, many babies will start to pull up to a standing position using furniture. They will soon begin to cruise while holding on, which can be a fun sight to see. First steps usually follow and by 15 months most children are walking well.

First-time parents are usually very eager for their baby to walk, while those who have been through the crazy toddler years are happy to enjoy their baby while they are relatively immobile. Still, those first sweet, tentative steps bring excitement to any family, so it can be a tad stressful when they don't come as early as expected.

Early or late bloomers

Some babies start standing and even walking as early as 7 or 8 months. And others are in no hurry -- nearly 18 months can pass before your little one takes her first steps and she will still be inside the normal range. But there are a few points when you should bring up her lack of steps to her care provider.

Speak to her doctor if:

  • By 12 months, your baby can't stand with support (either by holding your hands or onto furniture)
  • By 18 months, your toddler hasn't taken a step or started walking
  • By 2 years, your toddler can't walk with ease

Your care provider will be able to steer you in the right direction. He may recommend exercises to do at home with your little one, refer to you physical therapy or perhaps an evaluation may be in order. Rest assured, however, that your child will be taken care of and will likely soon be walking on her own.

More about your child's development

Late talker or speech delayed?
Decoding the growth chart
When our toddler isn't talking