28 answers

16 Month Old STILL Not Walking

I know I shouldn't be worried, and I'm really not, I am just hoping some moms can commiserate with me on this one. My 16 month old has been "taking steps" now for about 3 weeks, but will simply not use walking as a form of transportation. He has walked to us over distances of 4 or 5 steps before, but he gets sick of the whole thing eventually and just plops down, saying "OH" when he hits the floor. That, we've determined, is from us saying "OH' in disappointment every time he goes down! Anyway, I know he's going to get there eventually; I mean, I'm pretty sure I won't have a 30-year-old son someday crawling about my house, but it's frustrating. Any other moms experience late walking with their kids? Is there any way I can effectively encourage walking?

p.s. He will walk holding onto my hand, but as soon as I let go, he plops down with the "OH" :)

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I just wanted to thank everyone for their wonderful responses to my request! While Isaac is not yet walking independently, he's getting closer day by day, and showing more interest in the activity. All of your responses helped me calm my anticipation and I've realized that he'll get there eventually. Thanks again to you all. This website is such a comfort zone for mothers and I am glad to be a part of it!

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My son is 13 months, and takes a few steps here and there. This past Sunday, he actually stood up on his own, without needing to grab onto anything. However, crawling seems to be his only method of transportation for right now. I've read in quite a few places that really good/fast crawlers are slow to walk. My son would rather get to a toy faster by crawling then using his time to slowly walk.

My daughter didn't MOVE AT ALL until 13 months, and it was just butt scooting. She didn't attempt walking until 18 months. Now at not even 2 1/2 she is running, jumping, skipping and climbing. I had some early intervention help (for free) through the public school district because i was worried about her, but really there was nothing wrong...she just didn't feel like it. We can't push her I guess! Good luck, be patient, and stay positive!

Neither one of my boys walked til they were 17 months old. They were both very different babies, it just worked out that way. And they both went from crawling to walking with very little cruising in between. Don't worry-- one day he'll just decide that the crawling thing isn't working out for him anymore and he'll be walking all over the place =)

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My son was a late walker as well. (I think around 15 months) Try not to worry about it. The hardest part for me was that everyone made me feel like he should be walking and they almost made me feel bad that he wasn't (not intentionally). Friends/family seem to compare everything with children, which sometimes makes you feel "pressure" to make sure your child is doing everything early or on time. Don't worry about it, there is nothing you can do other then what you are already doing and he will walk when he wants to. In a few more months when he is running around you will have forgotten all about your worrying over when he will start walking :)

1 mom found this helpful

You are half way there. Keep holding his hand and keep encouraging. You know he can do it, but it's just the fear that is keeping him from venturing out on his own. I bet within the next couple weeks with a little coaching, he will be walking like a champ.

My son didn't walk till he was 17 months along. He was just stubborn I guess. As soon as he started walking he also began running, climbing and getting into everything. Keep practicing.

An intuitive pediatric homeopath will give you LOTS of suggestions and advise and you will probably see immediate improvements.

First of all if he is walking on his tip toes, he needs to be evaluated at the doctor. There is different reasons for this.

My son wasn't wanting to walk either. He would push the kitchen chairs all around but try to get him to stand or walk on his own, he wasn't having it. I bought a push toy that he could walk holding on too. It wasn't long before he realized that he could stand up and walk on his own. We bought a ride on car that my granddaughter could push or ride on and that seemed to help her also.

My daughter didn't start walking on her own until 18 months. Prior to that she would get around walking but hanging onto the wall or anything. I wasn't worried but had her evaluated by the schools anyway. They "diagnosed" her as being a perfectionist. Wasn 't going to walk without supports until she knew she could do it right!
If you are concerned, you could have the schools evaluate your child. It didn't cost anything.

Neither one of my boys walked til they were 17 months old. They were both very different babies, it just worked out that way. And they both went from crawling to walking with very little cruising in between. Don't worry-- one day he'll just decide that the crawling thing isn't working out for him anymore and he'll be walking all over the place =)

I would suggest doing more praise when he does walk so he feels good about it. He'll come around once he feel's safe and has more balance.

My daughter didn't MOVE AT ALL until 13 months, and it was just butt scooting. She didn't attempt walking until 18 months. Now at not even 2 1/2 she is running, jumping, skipping and climbing. I had some early intervention help (for free) through the public school district because i was worried about her, but really there was nothing wrong...she just didn't feel like it. We can't push her I guess! Good luck, be patient, and stay positive!

A., while what everyone else says is true, it will come, a friend of mine, actually two of them, ended up putting tubes in their kids' ears as they were inhibiting balance for walking and also hearing - her talking didnt develop as well as her motor skills. Turns out she was probably in pain for a long time. She had to learn how to talk all over again at 3 1/2!

If you think that the ears may be playing a part, ask your doctor again or go to a ENT (ear, nose, throat) dr. to get a better check. Just to be sure.

Wow, I could have written your request! My 16 MO daughter walks pretty well as long as she's got a piece of furniture, a walk-behind toy, or just one of our fingers, but as soon as we let go, it's maybe 2-4 steps. I think with her, it's a confidence issue. As soon as she realizes what she's doing (even though she seems to enjoy walking), she freezes and plops/falls down. The older girls at her daycare have started encouraging her a lot (it's a fun game for them), and I think that's helping. Otherwise, by the time she gets home in the evening to practice with me and daddy, she's too tired. We were more worried because she was walking in a severely pronated angle on her feet (on the inside edges of her feet, which is impossible to balance on!), but that seems to be getting better as her feet become stronger, and her ped. wasn't worried.

I'm really not too worried about mine ~ she obviously wants to walk, so it'll come one of these days. I think one day she'll have just the right motivation and she'll take off. She's also starting to climb on everything, so I'm already wondering why I'm in such a hurry to have to chase her more! :-)

My son, who is perfectly normal in just about every way, didn't walk until 18 months. Both myself and my husband were also very late walkers (me, 18 months; my husband 16 months), so there may be a genetic component. Also, as soon as we got him really good shoes (Stride Rite), he was walking within a week. He's a big guy so I think maybe he just didn't feel stable enough with other shoes.

Certainly give him something other than mom to walk with. There are so many walking toys that you could pick one up at a garage sale. Make walking FUN!

My son is 13 months, and takes a few steps here and there. This past Sunday, he actually stood up on his own, without needing to grab onto anything. However, crawling seems to be his only method of transportation for right now. I've read in quite a few places that really good/fast crawlers are slow to walk. My son would rather get to a toy faster by crawling then using his time to slowly walk.

i have the same problem i have a 15 onth old not walking yet and if she tries it's all tip toes i have been very worried about it and all but i don't know what really to do. she works with rcoc( Racine Community Opperituny Center) but nothing has changed. my son was walking by a year he is not 3 so i couldn't tell you but your not the only one out there i thought i was the only one out there.

My oldest walked at 15 months. He wanted to crawl to play with cars!! I'd get him around some older kids. Luke started to really walk when he was around his bigger cousins one weekend. I'm sure that he'll pick it up from other kids. They learn great things from others and a few things we don't want them to learn :)

Is he exposed to children his age or slightly older who are walking? My daughter started walking at 10 months because she was so anxious and eager to play with the slightly older children who were walking around. We would practice with her and work with her, but she was really motivated by wanting to play with other children who were mobile and moving around. Every time she'd be around them, you'd see how badly she wanted to play with them, but wasn't able to get to them. Enough desire, but the fire in her to get up and start walking and that's what she did. Good luck to you :)

My now 15 month old just starting walking last week. Before that, he was doing the same thing your son is doing. Everytime he'd take some steps, we'd cheer and clap and get all excited. Even if he fell down, we'd cheer because he was trying. He would actually look around at everyone in the room to see if they were cheering for him and then he'd get up and try again! Last Thursday, he suddenly just started walking. Keep cheering him on and do as much walking with him holding on to your finger and eventually he'll just start.
Congratulations on your first!

Mine all walked late. They just would rather I carry them everywhere. I did have one that was as late as 18 months. Don't worry about it, but maybe get him a toy he can steady himself on. We had a little wagon with a toddler sized handle that they used like a shopping cart. I am sure there is something like that around still. Don't be in too much of a hurry, once they start walking, they are ALWAYS headed away from you. You will soon wonder what you were in such a hurry for.

My 2nd walked at 16 months (after my first walked at 10 months it was quite a shock to me). We would encourage and try to get him to walk holding our hands and he just wouldn't. He decided at the airport before our flight to Florida to walk on his own and he hasn't stopped since. Just encourage and don't make a big deal out of it.

you could always try putting his favorite toy on a low table and once getting him into a standing position from a few steps away tell him to go get it (be right by his side in case he goes over). Otherwise, don't worry it will come!

Our neice's pediatrician suggested that they buy her some kind of a push toy that she could hold onto and push while she walked. He said it would help to build her confidence and balance. Sure enough, she was walking independently in a pretty short time! I have seen some really cute ones and Toys R Us had some not long ago that were in the $20 range. Good luck!

From a 1st time mom to another 1st time mom don't worry! My son didn't start walking until he was 17 1/2 months old. Not to worry. If he is taking steps it will be any time now. & Trust me once they start they don't stop and he will be running in no time, as is my son. They say a child will walk when they are good & ready. There is no teaching them how to do it. They already know it's just a matter of them doing it when they themselves are good & ready. My son would crawl & walk on his knees for the longest time and then one day poof he was walking. It will come when he is ready. Good Luck & God Bless.

My daughter walked early (9 mo., running full board at 10 mo.), but I associate that to our consistant and constant practicing with her.

When it came to walking, we wanted her to be independant in that area as quickly as possible, so we walked with her while holding fingers where ever she wanted to go, even if it meant our backs wanting to break from bending over. But, we did it and her legs got so strong that soon, she was running and jumping, etc.

Build those muscles and keep him working on it...soon, he'll learn that getting somewhere on his feet is faster than on his knees. Those walker toys that kids walk behind work great too and work best on carpet or in the grass because the carpet and grass will keep the thing from going too fast while the kid is behind it. Plus, it encourages them to have to push it forward which strengthens both their legs and arms at the same time. Plus, carpet and grass make for a more gental fall. Good luck. :)

I'm sure you've tried lots of things so maybe you've already tried this, but I just wanted to throw it out there...

When my son was almost ready to walk but just not brave enough to let go yet, he happened to get a little push vaccuum as a gift. As he pushed the vaccuum around, it wasn't holding him up at all because it was very tilty (if you know what I mean?) but just the comfort of holding on to something kept him walking. He walked behind this vaccuum for a while perfecting his balance and building his confidence, and then all of the sudden took steps all by himself.

I think the vaccuum was just from Walmart. It's a little blue, yellow, green, and purple thing that says "uh oh, who spilled the milk" and all sorts of other sayings. My son still loves to play with it. I'm sure any tilty toy would work though.

Hope this helps?? Like you said he'll be walking in no time and then you won't even remember his struggles as you chase him around!!!

My suggestion would be to buy some sturdy push toys...that way he can have fun pushing them around, practice walking and see that it is fun to be up and around. Also play games with him that make him go across the room for toys, hugs, treats etc...

My son walked at 16 months old, and I was a little worried he'd want to crawl forever! Eventually he realized it's much easier to carry toys/stuff around when his hands were free. Maybe if you try having him carry something from one spot to another or while you're walking and holding his hand. Good luck and try not to worry.

A.,

Don't worry, he'll get it! (You know that!) My youngest didn't walk on her own until she was 15 mos. We knew she could, she just wouldn't (same as your son!).
I am also a SAHM. When she was 15 mos, I helped out a friend whose day-care provider was on vacation. Logan is one month older, and he was walking everywhere. You could see the look on her face as she watched him walk everywhere. She was thinking "Ok, I can do THAT!". And she DID! By the end of that week she was done crawling and has never looked back!!

Kids are stubborn, and fiercely independent. I would back off. Stop talking about it all together. Sort of take the pressure off of him so that he feels this is HIS decision, not yours. Good luck!!

M.
SAHM to 3 wonderful children

My daughter did not walk until she was 17 months. I had a friend who's daughter did not walk until she was almost 20 months. My oldest daughter walked at 13 months. My son walked at 11 months. It sounds like he is almost there! Good luck.

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