Learning to walk: baby’s first steps

Nicole Wendler holds a doctorate in biology from the field of oncology and immunology. As a medical editor, author and editor, she works for various publishers, for whom she presents complex and extensive medical issues in a simple, concise and logical manner.

Learn to walk Babies at different speeds. Most children start by sitting and crawling before they pull themselves up and take their first steps. However, some babies also skip a phase. Find out here when babies learn to walk, what physical requirements they need and how you can help your baby learn to walk.

Learning to walk: a complex process

For body skills such as learning to walk, different parts of the body have to work together perfectly: tendons, ligaments, bones, muscles, but also nerves and senses all contribute to the successful movement. The first step is planning in the brain, then a nerve impulse via the spinal cord informs the muscle of what needs to be done.

Motor neurons ensure that the limbs finally move in a targeted manner. Each coordinated movement is in itself a complex process. At the end of learning to walk, they automatically interlock and work without much thought.

Learning to walk: what is needed for this?

Babies learn to walk by exercising three things: fingers, legs and balance. But energy, body awareness and patience are also required to make learning to walk possible.

Learning to walk requires strong legs

Our leg muscles are used to it and strong enough to carry us through the day. In the baby, after nine weightless weeks in the womb, all muscles are weak and need to be trained first. The leg muscles are of course particularly important for learning to walk, but a strong back and neck are also necessary for an upright walk.

Back and neck muscles develop in the first few months, until your baby can finally lift his head and turn from back to stomach a little later. Then it begins to seal and crawl. The legs are constantly in motion when pedaling, seesawing, sealing or crawling and are getting stronger. Around the age of nine or ten months, children can bend their knees and sit up from a standing position.

Learn to walk: Hold on instead of falling over

In order to be able to pull themselves up by the trouser leg or the couch, babies first have to master grasping and holding on. A firm grip is also crucial for running with a safe hand. At around eight to ten months, this finger exercise usually works quite well.

Learning to walk: a question of balance

The majority of babies started learning to walk on their first birthday and are taking their first steps without outside help. Babies like to look for short distances first, for example from the table in mom’s arms. The first attempts on your own legs are still quite bumpy and uncertain. It takes some practice until the coordination of the movements is perfect and first steps without help do not unbalance the baby.

Learning to walk takes strength

In addition to muscles, finger grip and balance, your baby needs enough energy to learn to walk. Healthy eating is therefore an important prerequisite for babies to learn to walk. If the strength is lacking, even a strong will is not enough. Too many calories are also a hindrance: learning to walk is much more difficult for overweight babies.

Learning to walk: healthy body feeling

A healthy body feeling is helpful when learning to walk. If babies have the opportunity to move a lot and extensively and to gain new sensations in the fresh air, they learn to walk faster than babies who cannot adequately express their urge to move.

Learning to walk: practice makes perfect

Last but not least, you need a large dose of patience and a high tolerance for frustration. A study did examined, how many steps 11 to 14 month old babies complete each day and came to the proud sum of 14,000 steps. They fell about 100 times a day. The more you practice, the less often you fall and the faster you learn to walk.

Learn to walk: When do children learn to walk?

The speed of motor development varies from person to person and reflects healthy diversity. A somewhat delayed movement development is not a cause for concern at first.

So-called motor milestones, such as crawling, sitting or learning to walk, are trailblazers and mark essential development steps. How quickly a child can master these steps is independent of gender, siblings, birth type and weight or preferred mode of transport (stroller, sling).

Premature babies, however, reach the milestones later and learn to walk later. So the age varies from child to child.

When do babies run at the earliest??

When babies start to run depends on the points already mentioned: How good is your body feeling and nutritional status, can you live out your urge to move? If these conditions are good, your baby may actually take the first steps at eight or nine months. Babies who need a little longer usually pull themselves up for the first time up to 16 months.

When do children run??

After weeks of bending their backs, holding the child by the hand, parents can hardly wait until their child can walk alone. It takes some time from the first steps by the hand to free walking. By the age of 16 months at the latest, children should run alone or at least practice diligently to learn to walk. If a child is not yet able to walk alone at 20 months, you should ask a doctor for advice.

Learn to walk: what to consider?

  • Some children need a little longer to learn to walk. Every baby has its own pace. Compare your child not with others. Shake your hand and be patient.
  • Comfort your child if it doesn’t work right away and it ends up in the buttocks. Encouragement and encouragement are important so that it is not afraid to try again.
  • Let your child walk barefoot as much as possible, which strengthens and enables the foot muscles a good Unrolling the sole of the foot.
  • First steps shoes have more flexible soles, but are actually not necessary. Socks are enough in the apartment, maybe with stopper knobs on the underside.
  • Firm soles damage the foot. Children’s shoes for outdoors therefore need a soft sole so that the foot can roll when learning to walk.
  • Caution! Baby walkers, i.e. devices that are supposed to support the baby in learning to walk, only do harm: they do not enable muscle training, but they encourage poor posture and dangerous accidents!

New freedom, new opportunities

Higher, faster, further: running opens up new opportunities for your child and new exciting challenges await you, in which you can again actively support your child. After this learning to walk it starts with climbing stairs, playing soccer, cycling, or simply racing.


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Christina Cherry
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