15 Month Old and Still Not Walking?

Updated on December 16, 2008
H.C. asks from Lincoln, NE
48 answers

Hi,
I have a 15 month old son, and he is still not walking? He can stand by himself and walk with a toy and along furniture, but he has not made any steps on his own. I just listen to other parents say their kids were walking by 12 months and I get a little nervous. Any suggestions on getting him to walk on his own and should I be concerned?

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M.M.

answers from Milwaukee on

My son just started walking when he was 15 months old and is totally fine (he's 7 now). By 15 months, my daughter was climbing over baby gates! Just depends on the child. My niece didn't start walking till she was 18 months and is totally fine now, too. (She is 3 1/2 now). It'll happen in time. Just wait, once they start walking you'll think back to how nice it was before they were mobile! :)

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S.P.

answers from Minneapolis on

Don't worry, they do it in their own time. It sounds like he can walk supported, so when he is ready he will decide to walk alone. My son started walking at 15 months, but before that he was content to sit and play, or crawl, or walk supported.
My daughter walked at 9 months right after watching a year old baby walk. My son continues to be deliberate and cautious while my daughter is always pushing her limits (10 years later!) THey are who they are... :)

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A.F.

answers from Cedar Rapids on

I really wouldn't worry about it until he is closer to 18 months. My son was around 15 months when he walked, and his daddy (an electrical engineer) didn't walk until he was closer to 16 months. It has nothing to do with how smart they are, or how coordinated they will be later. He probably wont stumble at all when he does walk. He will just be a walker (or runner) one day.

A.

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C.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi H.....my first (now 5 yrs) walked at 10 months. Full strides across the living room. My second (now 3 yrs) scooted around on his but at 13 months. He just had no desire to stand. He really didn't need to, his older brother played with him sitting and he was able to get where he needed to go by scooting. He finally pulled himself up and started walking around things at 15 months and took his own first steps around 16 months. He is perfect today. And he has a "not really in a hurry to do anything" personality. If I remember right, our peditirician said that 18 months was kind of the "deadline" before we starting looking into anytime of problem. Good luck. You know that once he does start walking on his own, you are going to be praying that he sits down from time to time :)

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S.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

H.,

You don't need to be concerned for at least a few more months. My fourth baby was like this - crawled at 10 months but didn't walk until 16 1/2 months. We tried everything. The kids weren't ever allowed to pick her up and we started having them "practice walking" with her every day. My husband and I practiced with her every day and tried not to pick her up and carry her around too much. We gave her a baby walker. She just didn't want to do it until then because crawling was so much more efficient.

If he still isn't walking at his 18 month well check, you may want to mention it to the Pediatrician. Kids really fluctuate on this. I know moms whose kids walked at 8-9 months, others not until 18.

Good luck,
S.

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K.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi H.,
I have a 4 year old daughter who is athletically inclined and graceful. She did not walk on her own until she was almost 17 months old (I guess she just figured crawling was more efficient). Soon after she started walking she discovered running (and climbing and pulling books off of shelves and pulling out long strips of toilet tissue...) It sounds like your son will "get the hang of it" really soon! Best of luck!
K.

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K.D.

answers from Rapid City on

This is not uncommon. Some times children have a more reserved temperament. Sometimes they are putting more energy into cognitive development than their physical development. Make sure there is nothing wrong physically. I am assuming not because he is walking around furniture.
By the time you read this he will probably have taken a couple of steps.
All 3 0f my sister's kids walked after 15 months. Two are now College graduates, and one is a senior in high school.They have had no trouble with walking once they started.

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T.C.

answers from Des Moines on

I am a firm believer that kids learn things at their own pace, but as a former special ed teacher I met a little boy who wasn't walking by at least 15 months. It may have been much later. They also noticed he would bump into door ways once he was trying to walk. They found out later that he just needed glasses. Both of my little ones have them, so that was my first thought. I wouldn't get overly concerned yet since he is attempting to walk along furniture, but my first daughter got glasses at 10 months and didn't walk until 13-14 months.

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T.H.

answers from Omaha on

H.,
Our son was 15 months when he started walking. I truly believe he's a profectionist sp?? Once he started walking watch out. He rarely fell down. He had it mastered. Just be patient he'll start walking soon enough. Take care

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J.H.

answers from Appleton on

H., you have gotten tons of great responses and hopefully you are feeling better about things. I asked the exact same question a few months ago; my son started walking a month and a half later, at 16 1/2 months. Here's the link to my question in case you want to see even more responses: http://www.mamasource.com/request/9550958776035573761

In the meantime, enjoy him while he's still a baby (not that he'll ever stop being "your baby") :-)

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J.T.

answers from Minneapolis on

I have 4 kids, all started at different times ranging from about 9 months to 15 or 16 months. The one that started the latest turned out to be an intellectual genius (nothing to do with his late walking~just wanted you to know that it wasn't because he wasn't smart enough). They are all smart, but every skill they achieve came at different times in their development.
Do not worry. It sounds as though he's developing very normally (walking along things, etc. . .).
Also, when it comes to potty training, each of mine learned at different times. Again, the smartest being the latest~still having some challenges (accidents).
Just be patient and don't compare. But follow your gut. It will tell you if you should truly be concerned and talk to a pediatrician.
Good luck!
J.

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L.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

My son didn't start walking until 15 1/2 months. And I don't think he was walking 100% of the time at the beginning. Like he was still getting down to crawl some of the time the first month. Because he could get there faster crawling. Every step he takes applaud and make a big deal out of it. When he's got himself pulled up on the couch get one of his favorite toys and be like, "look what I've got? You want it?" If he even takes one step towards you without holding onto the couch applaud and cheer and tell him what a good job he did. Also, having hubby hold onto his hands, then he lets go and your there for him to walk to and only be like to where it would be 3 steps for him to walk if you held your arms straight out. So if after he takes 3 steps you could catch him. If he can stand by himself then that's a BIG advantage then you can just get him standing by himself and tell him "come to mama, come to mama, mama wants to give you a big hug" or something like that. And when he realizes that he can take even a few steps by himself without getting hurt that will build up his confidence to take more steps. It isn't going to happen over night. But he's heading down the right path. He could take a few steps by himself a few times and then just all of sudden have the confidence and take right off.

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S.F.

answers from Milwaukee on

My little guy (now 3 1/2) didn't walk until 18 months and he's completely fine, bright, etc. He's a bigger boy and buying excellent shoes (stride-rite) helped a lot to stabilize his feet and ankles to walk. I think there may be a genetic component as well. My husband didn't walk until 16 months and I didn't walk until 18 months. We're just fine, too!
Don't worry.

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C.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi H.,

Please remember that children develop at all different rates. (At the other end of the spectrum, my husband walked at 9 months!) When a child lags behind in several milestones, it is worth looking into, but just one thing is nothing to lose sleep over.

For example, my son could not sit unsupported until 9 months. His Ped. Nurse Practitioner wanted his to see a Neurologist. My mommy instinct told me that he was just fine, just lagging behind in that one area. At 10 months, he can sit up now and he is pulling himself up and standing.

Your little guy will walk when he is ready. Just cherish him for the individual that he is!

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L.P.

answers from Minneapolis on

One of my children was 16 months old, and we were SO happy she took that long! She is our 6th child and we were not looking forward to the destruction a toddler can do in fast time, lol.
There is nothing wrong with your child. And getting a late start is good. I would get her checked if she isn't walking by 18 months, but I still would not worry until the doctor says there is a problem.
Enjoy the delayed baby stage, because it will soon be long gone.

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K.G.

answers from Sioux City on

I can understand! My 1st DD was 15 months before she walked...they will do it when they are ready that is what the doctor told me when I 'voiced' a concern at an appointment. And low and behold she walked shortly after 15 months. It is VERY hard but TRY not to compare...ALL kids are different and do things at different times.

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H.A.

answers from Waterloo on

Don't worry! Neither one of my boys walked til they were 18 mths. They never did much "cruising". They crawled and crawled, then the next minute they decided to walk =)

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S.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi,
My first daughter was 13 months and my second was 15 months when she started walking on her own. My pediatrician said they don't start worrying til they're 18 months and even then it could be normal. My advice is don't stress about it and don't compare your child to others. I did this with my first child and it's not worth worrying about. Your child will do things at his own pace. Actually I like that my kids have been a little behind the curve on walking cause trust me, after they do walk it's a lot tougher to keep track of them. Good luck!!

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E.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

My son just turned 16 months and he just started walking unaided about 3 weeks ago. He, like your son, was walking along furniture for a long time but never let go. All of a sudden one day he tried it and now he won't stop walking! I was worried too but our pediatrician said that there is such a huge range of walking. I think it's 9-18 months. Enjoy this time because once he starts walking you will never sit down:)

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A.R.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi H.,
My son was the same way. We bought him a telatubbie walker. I don't know if they still have anything like it but he would push it and he could lean on it at the same time. He is 9 now. I can picture him walking across our kitchen floor after letting go of the walker. P.S I still think I have the cutest boy in the world.

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L.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

All three of mine started walking by themselves at 10 1/2 months. BUT, then then still fell over for another 6 weeks while trying to go too fast. Then you have to worry about all the little corners and hard surfaces. If it takes longer to start walking they are usually stronger and can balance better, less falls and injuries. Also, moms and dads who hold their kids more will have kids who walk later. I usually because of breastfeeding felt like I was holding them all the time so they had non feeding times where they played independently on the floor, in the johnny jump up, in the walkers, swings, tummy time. I think also, we could not wait to see the next thing they would do on their own. We would get so excited when they started holding a toy on their own, and then try to teach them the next thing cause it was fun to see them learn something new each day. My SIL held her little guy a lot who was 1 month younger than my oldest, and he did not start walking until 18 months. One of our cousins actually was holding him for her and not thinking, set him down to walk, and he fell over. She felt terrible because she was thinking he was at the same stage as my son. They both run circles around each other now and race everywhere. There is not one way of doing things. They all figure it out and end up being the same no matter when they start.

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M.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi - my pediatrician said that the cutoff for worrying about lack of walking is 18 months so you are in the normal range. Even though it may seem like the other kids around you are walking by 12 months, that's often not the case. Please try to not compare yourself to others since every child has their own milestones (easier said than done, I know but if can tune out the other parents, that will help ease your mind). Sounds like your son is doing just fine :)

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K.U.

answers from Davenport on

Like the other moms echoed, I wouldn't be concerned at this point. Every child has his own time table. My first walked at 14 months and my second just turned a year and has taken as many as 12 steps--I think he's trying to keep up with his big brother. Anyhow, it sounds like your little guys is doing just fine and moving towards independent walking. That being said no one knows a child like his parent. If you ever have any concerns or just want reassurance, you can always have a free evaluation done through the Illinois Early Intervention program. I used to be a developmental therapist for them. I'm not sure of the number to call offhand, but I'm sure you could find it on the internet. If you can't find it, or have any other questions I might be able to help with, feel free to email me.

Best wishes!

K. ([email protected]____.com)

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B.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Don't worry! My son starting walking at about 15 months. Boys are a little slower than girls. But don't worry - he will!!

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J.L.

answers from Milwaukee on

Sounds just like my son! You don't have to worry--he's still in the normal range until after 18 months.

J.

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L.G.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi there. My friend and I were just discussing how children develop so differently and she said that some boys take up to two years to walk. I guess I never realized that before, but it should at least put your mind at ease. Eventually he'll catch up in every area and be just like every other kid. And, since you're his mom and you think he's the cutest boy in the world and you love him so much and spend so much time with him, he'll probably be even slightly more advantaged than every other kid, just because of all the love and time and attention you give him. So, don't worry, just enjoy him. ;)

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A.S.

answers from Sioux Falls on

Our, now 20 month old daughter, was slow to walk too, and we always felt it was a confidence issue with her. She just didn't want to let go of us or furniture. However, she did have some issues with her feet. Her pediatrician felt she would grow out of it, but by 18 months, we grew very concerned and took her to a podiatrist. I always had her in soft soled shoes or no shoes, but it turned out, for her, that was making her feet worse. She was pronating severely, walking on the inside edges of her feet (try balancing like that!). Her podiatrist made her orthotic insoles, and within 2 weeks she was a new little girl! She has to wear her orthotics and shoes (any type of regular shoes with flexible soles) pretty much all the time, but while she's wearing them, she's great.

So my point?! I wouldn't worry until he's closer to 18 months, since he's standing and attmepting to move about. If at that time he's still not walking, then you might get him checked out and don't be afraid to get a second opinion!

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A.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

Ugh, H., I totally feel your pain. I was on here just like you when my little one was 16 months and not walking, and everyone was SO reassuring! I found that most people said their babes had started walking around 17 months, and lo and behold he started walking at 17 1/2 months! Like your boy, he was cruising forEVER and even taking a few steps here and there occasionally, but he refused to walk on his own until one magical day. He walked holding our hands for about a month, and let me tell you did that get old. You really can do nothing for your boy to make him walk, he will get there on his own. Just make sure you have a little walk behind push toy in the house and hold his hand to help him walk when he needs it. Even though I had to muster the patience for that, it made my son feel more secure and I'm sure helped him finally venture out on his own.

Don't worry! It's totally normal for kids to NOT walk until they are 18 months old!

Good luck,
Amy

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A.B.

answers from Fargo on

I wouldn't be too concerned about it right now. I have 3 children and they've all started walking at different times. My first was walking at 11 months, my 2nd was 14 months, and my 3rd was 15 months. I encouraged them all, but they didn't start until they were ready. Have you tried encouraging him to step away from the couch to you? One thing I did with my son was stand him out just beyond my reach and encourage him to step to me. Then when he did, I'd cheer and give him hugs/kisses. It also helped my other two would cheer him on, too and then he'd want to try it again. Pretty soon, you'll be wishing he wasn't walking! :)

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K.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi H.,
There is a very wide range that is considered "typical" for kids to start walking - up to 18 months is still in the range. If he is walking furniture and behind toys, I wouldn't worry.

Some ideas: I carry a product called Walking Wings in my store. You can email me at [email protected]____.com for more information. This allows you to hold handles so he can practice hands free walking. Also, you can work with him yourself - hold both hands as he walks, then drop to 1 handed walking. Sometimes kids feel like they need to be holding something, so you can try giving him something small to carry in the free hand while you hold his other. Then start working with him walking to you a couple of steps and gradually extend the distance.

I think you'll be surprised and one day, he'll be off and running out of the blue.

K.

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A.C.

answers from Minneapolis on

Ask your Dr. about an early intervention program. You can find out more information about motor development on the American Academy of Pediatrics website too.

http://www.aap.org/healthtopics/stages.cfm#inf

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K.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Don't worry at all for another couple of months. He sounds like he's preparing so one day it'll just happen and you'll wonder why you even worried. I worried because my son was not rolling much and not crawling. Then at 10 months he crawled and at 11 months started walking. He was a toddler for a long time. What I've noticed with friend's kids who walked later, was that they got good at it quickly! One day walking, the next running! Enjoy that he is still your baby...they grow up too quickly!

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T.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

My son was 14 or 15 months when he started walking. Not all kids will walk by the time they are 12 months. The only suggestions I have for you are to not push him, but always encourage him to come and see you or someone when he is holding onto the couch or something where he would have to walk away from it. He more than likely just has a fear of falling down, nothing to be concerned about yet in my opinion.

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S.G.

answers from Rapid City on

I wouldn't worry to much unless he is walking on his tippy toes or if both feet turn in, then you may want to see the doctor about it. If he can walk around with a toy it seems it is more confidence then anything. My youngest was like that, he would push my kitchen chairs around but never willing to take those steps on his own. I bought a toy that he can walk behind. It was a phone but a lawn mower or a riding/walk behind toy would work. It teaches them balance and gives them the confidence they need to do it on their own.

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S.F.

answers from Madison on

I wouldn't worry. Sounds like he is progressing just fine. Some kids walk earlier and some later. My 2nd child didn't walk until she was 17 months old.

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K.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

First, let me say - stop worrying! I was right there with you, thinking my son should have walked by 12 months (which was still older that many girls we knew who walked at 9-10 months). Point is, he started walking at 15-16 months, and he is perfectly normal developmentally both physically and mentally. And, I got a few extra months of being able to hold my baby before he grew up! :)

If he's starting to stand, showing signs that he's figuring it out, and your doctor hasn't voiced any concerns, than just be patient. He'll walk before you know it. (P.S. We have friends whose boys didn't walk until 16 months either. You are NOT the only one).

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K.C.

answers from Janesville-Beloit on

Hi,
My son was 14 months when he started walking. We didn't do anything different other than a little encouragement here and there to take a few steps toward us on his own. My advice is give him time. All children develop at their own pace.

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K.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

I had always thought 12 months was the standard time for walking too. But I came to find out the spectrum is really quite large and walking at either end is well within the normal range. Walking any where between 9 & 18 months is considered normal.

Is your son a great crawler? Are his other gross motor skills on target? If so, you probably have nothing to worry about.

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D.R.

answers from Sheboygan on

Every child is different and some just don't have a big desire to walk so fast. If he isn't walking when you take him for his 18 month check-up then you should ask his pediatrician. But I don't think it will come to that, it sounds like he is getting close to taking those first steps.

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G.N.

answers from Lincoln on

I would be worried if he would not cruise, but he does. Are you sure he does not walk when you are not looking? :) I swear that's what mine did because all of a sudden he just walked across the room! He was 13 1/2 months when that happened.
Anyway... you could stand him up in front of you (arm's length) and then ask him to come to you. If he doesn't do it on his own, hold one hand and ask him again. Progress into offering one finger and little support. When he does walk to you, praise him and hug him and kiss him. He likes pleasing you and he'll probably love this new game. Another variation is to have dad at one side and mom at the other. So he's got to walk back and forth from you both. Kids typically squeal with delight while doing this.
Encourage his walking, but try not to put too much pressure on him. Enjoy him and don't worry!

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G.N.

answers from Sioux Falls on

Hi H.,
I don't think you have anything to worry about. If your son was not standing or walking toys, etc. and was just sitting, then maybe you would need to see your pediatrician. But every child is different and kids seem to walk when they're ready. Trust me, life is simpler when they aren't walking yet:) Once they walk, life as you know it will be over :) Try to enjoy each day and each new stage and not rush him through each phase just to get to the next one. It sounds like you are loving being a mom and are doing a great job.
God Bless,
G.

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J.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi H.,

It is not anything to worry about my daughter just started to walk 3 weeks ago and she turned 18 months on saturday. My doctor said to me not to worry about it they will walk when they are ready. She was walking all over with toys and holding hands and stuff like that but, never wanted to do it her self. Then out of the blue she just started to do it. Hope that makes you at ease a little.

J.
www.mommieathomewithkidos.com

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J.G.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi H.,

I wouldn't be nervous at all unless your doctor shared something with you to be concerned about.

All children develop at different rates. What he is late developing in one area he will excel in other areas.

Just love him and keep encouraging him to take that first step. I'm sure he'll do it when you least expect it!

J.

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S.B.

answers from Omaha on

Hi H.,

Please don't worry that your son isn't walking on schedule with other people's kids. I didn't walk until I was 14 mos. Mom said I just chose not to until I was ready. I also know another little boy who just started walking at 15 mos. He is all over the place now. Once it starts, you'll wonder why you were so concerned.

The average age for kids to walk is 12 mos., but I've heard of kids who walked at 7 mos. That means that in order for 12 mos. to be the average, other kids didn't walk as late as 17 mos. or 18 mos.

It usually just means your son is working on some other developmental milestone right now and will walk when he gets around to it.

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M.R.

answers from St. Cloud on

H., Hey! don't worry my little guy just turned 16 months and just started walking this last week!!! I wouldn't worry. soon he will be running and you'll be going crazy!! :) Babies are at there own pace!!

M. Single Mom of a 10yr old girl and 16mo boy! :)

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M.C.

answers from Minneapolis on

My son just started walking a few weeks ago at 16.5 months. I would see my friend's kids walking and feel worried too. Within one week of finally taking steps he was holding objects in both hands and nearly running- which are skills that generally take weeks and weeks to master after basic walking starts. So don't worry, your son sounds like he is on track and will walk when he is ready!

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A.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi there -- My first son did not walk until he was between 15 and 16 months. I think there is a large range of time where babies start walking (9 months - 18 months) Your little guy will walk when he is ready. Not to worry! As far as suggestions on getting him to walk on his own....I guess just spend some time enocuraging him to walk to you. Good luck!

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N.W.

answers from Davenport on

I see everyone has already reassured you but I will as well!

My son walked at 11mo, but my daughter(now 5yr) didn't walk until the week she turned 15mo. ALL babies go at their own pace. He is pulling up and walking with the support of other things, so I bet he is just fine! My daughter was a little "late" on every milestone (except potty training!). She rolled "late", crawled "late", pulled up "late", even talked "late" ....we were worried for a long time that something was off, but she was just on her own time table. She is just fine and "on schedule" for a five year old. I'm sure your son is as well. If everything else is developmentally fine, I wouldn't be worried!

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