Skip to content

Baby Afraid to Walk? When to Worry.

baby afraid to walk

Why is my baby afraid to walk?

When it comes to raising a child, there are certain milestones that every parent looks forward to. Things like your baby’s first laugh, first words, and first tooth are all moments that anyone with kids likes to think about and record.

However, when your child seems to be reaching these firsts at a slower rate than your other children, it can cause a bit of a damper on things. Waiting for these moments can be stressful instead of exciting.

One of the notorious firsts that may have parents worried is the first steps.

A lot of people experience that their baby is afraid to begin walking. While this could be troublesome for a few, it is widespread. However, many things can be done to help overcome this slight roadblock.

Understanding Your Baby’s Fear of Walking

The first step in getting past it is understanding the fear and where it comes from. First and foremost is to note that many children, as much as 40%, begin to walk at an age considered later than average. This fact shows that this issue is not an uncommon one.

Therefore, your baby’s fear of walking shouldn’t cause an enormous concern.

The fear of walking isn’t that; it is a fear of falling. Because the leg muscles in children are not fully developed, they are prone to falling when taking their first steps. The idea of falling and hurting themselves scares the baby.

Due to this, it is not unusual for a child to begin walking a bit later than others. However, if a baby has not been walking or at least attempting to walk by 18 months, it could be an issue of motor skills not developing correctly.

At that point, reaching out to a doctor could be a good call.

What to do when a baby is scared to walk?

If your baby is scared to walk, it is essential to be patient and understanding. Here are a few things you can try to help your baby feel more confident and comfortable:

  1. Encourage your baby to crawl or scoot around on their stomach or bottom first, as this helps build strength and coordination in their legs and arms.
  2. Make sure your baby is ready to walk by checking their physical development. Most babies take their first steps between 9 and 18 months old.
  3. Hold your baby’s hands and walk with them, helping them balance as needed. You can also use a walker or push toy to help them get used to the feeling of walking.
  4. Encourage your baby to take small steps by placing toys or objects just out of reach so they have to take a few steps to get them.
  5. Practice in a safe, open area with plenty of space to move around.
  6. Be patient and praise your baby for their efforts, no matter how small. Remember that every child develops at their own pace, and it is essential not to put too much pressure on your baby to walk.

Why do some babies not want to walk?

There could be several reasons why a baby may not want to walk. For example, some babies may be content to crawl or scoot around on their stomachs or bottom for extended periods. In contrast, others may be more hesitant to try walking due to physical or developmental issues.

Some babies may be slower to walk due to physical issues such as low muscle tone, developmental delays, or health conditions such as cerebral palsy. In these cases, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for guidance on best supporting your baby’s development.

Other babies may be hesitant to walk due to a lack of confidence or a fear of falling. In these cases, providing a safe and supportive environment for your baby to practice walking and to be patient and encouraging as they learn and grow is crucial.

Should you help your baby walk?

It is generally recommended to allow babies to learn to walk independently, with minimal assistance. However, it is also essential to provide a safe and supportive environment for your baby to practice walking and to be available to offer guidance and help as needed.

How do I make my baby more confident to walk?

Here are a few ways you can support your baby as they learn to walk:

  1. Hold your baby’s hands and walk with them, helping them balance as needed. You can also use a walker or push toy to help them get used to the feeling of walking.
  2. Encourage your baby to take small steps by placing toys or objects just out of reach so they have to take a few steps to get them.
  3. Practice in a safe, open area with plenty of space to move around.
  4. Be patient and praise your baby for their efforts, no matter how small.
  5. Ensure your baby gets enough physical activity and movement throughout the day, which can help their overall development and coordination.
  6. If your baby is hesitant to walk due to a fear of falling, consider using a baby-safe gate or other barriers to create a more enclosed area for them to practice walking.

It is important to remember that every child develops at their own pace, and it is essential not to put too much pressure on your baby to walk.

Forcing the baby to walk too early?

It is generally not recommended to force a baby to walk before they are ready. Most babies take their first steps between 9 and 18 months old, and allowing babies to develop at their own pace is essential.

Forcing a baby to walk before they are ready can strain their developing muscles and joints unnecessarily and may even cause delays in their development. It is essential to be patient and allow your baby to learn to walk at their own pace.

Instead of forcing your baby to walk, you can encourage their development by providing a safe and supportive environment for them to practice walking and offering assistance as needed. You can also encourage your baby to crawl or scoot around on their stomach or bottom, as this helps build strength and coordination in their legs and arms.

Do babies get frustrated learning to walk?

Babies may become frustrated while learning to walk, just like adults do when learning a new skill. It is natural for babies to feel frustrated as they learn to walk, as it can be challenging.

Do babies learn to walk naturally?

Most babies learn to walk naturally, without formal instruction or training. This is because babies are born with the innate desire to move and explore their environment, and walking is a natural way to do so.

As babies grow and develop, they naturally begin to practice standing and taking steps, usually around 9 to 18 months. However, every child is different and will develop at their own pace. Therefore, some babies may take their first steps earlier or later than this age range.

You can do several things to support your baby’s natural desire to walk.

How to help your baby walk:

One way parents can help overcome the fear of walking is by just helping the baby get used to it. In reality, taking the first steps and walking is new to the child. This idea means they’ll have to warm up and get used to it before it becomes a regular part of their routine.

Grab your baby’s hands and attempt to help them take a few steps. This can get them familiar with the form and using leg muscles in general.

Doing this repeatedly a couple of times a day can be a great help, even more so if it is on a schedule or routine. That way, your baby is more comfortable walking because they expect it to happen simultaneously every day.

Your baby is afraid of falling!

As mentioned above, the fear of walking isn’t that. Instead, it is the fear of falling. Therefore, a simple but effective way to overcome the fear is to eliminate it or make it less harsh.

Baby-proofing to help your baby walk:

Baby-proofing a living space is something that most parents do before the child arrives. However, making extra efforts to make the walking area safer and more comfortable can do wonders when teaching children to take their first steps.

Using furniture with rounded edges and making sure the floor in which steps are taken can be a big help. The goal is to make the falls the baby will take while walking less painful. That way, they aren’t as afraid of them.

When should I worry baby isn’t walking?

If your baby is not walking by 18 months, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for guidance.

There are a few potential red flags to watch for if you are concerned that your baby is not walking:

  1. If your baby cannot stand up on their own by 12 months old.
  2. If your baby is not attempting to walk or move around by 18 months old.
  3. If your baby has difficulty standing or walking or has an uneven gait.
  4. If your baby has a medical condition or developmental delay that may affect their ability to walk.

Can autism cause delayed walking?

Delays in developing motor skills, including walking, can be a common symptom of autism.

However, it is essential to note that not all children with autism will experience delays in walking or other motor skills. For example, some children with autism may walk later than typically developing children, while others may walk at the same age or earlier.

Strengthening Your Baby’s Leg Muscles

Another way to make walking more comfortable for a child is to help them build their leg muscles. The entire reason why walking can be such a struggle is that their leg muscles aren’t yet fully developed. Therefore, it can be challenging for your baby to balance and support themself when standing up.

Parents, however, can do things that can assist in building these muscles. Your efforts can make it infinitely more straightforward for the child to begin balancing and walking.

Allowing a baby to stand in a parent’s lap while holding their hands and letting them bounce and jump is a speedy way to assist in building leg muscles.

This exercise lets your baby get practice supporting themselves with their legs in a way in which they can’t fall. Remember, the parent is securely holding them during this exercise.

Things like tummy time, crawling, and virtually anything that permits leg kicking can assist in building the leg muscles of infants up.

Encourage Your Baby to Walk

Additionally, encouraging children to walk more is a great way to assist in overcoming the fear of walking. This can mean both verbal encouragement and physical as well. Things like toys and even people are beneficial in this department.

A parent standing across the room and encouraging the child to walk towards them is a prevalent form of this tactic, and it seems to work a lot in most cases.

Using push toys can help as well. For example, a toy shopping cart given to a child can help them begin walking as they can push on it and lean for balance.

Praise Your Baby for Their Walking Efforts

It’s important to remember that babies are still human beings. They have many of the same motivations and feelings as healthy adults.

With this being said, praising your baby for their efforts in walking is a great way to reinforce it. Encouragement can make your baby continue trying and practicing their walk. Babies want praise from their parents and to make them proud.

So if a baby sees that their attempting to walk makes their parents happy, even if it is difficult for them, they will keep trying to do so. Also, if the child falls, be sure to express gratitude and encouragement for how they are trying.

How does walking impact a baby’s sleep?

Walking may impact a baby’s sleep in a few different ways. First, as babies become more mobile and walk, they may be more active during the day, leading to increased tiredness at night and potentially longer or more restful sleep.

However, it is also possible that the new skill of walking may cause some disruption to a baby’s sleep pattern. As babies learn to walk, they may be more interested in exploring their environment and have difficulty settling down to sleep.

If your baby’s sleep is disrupted after they start walking, it is essential to be patient and maintain a consistent bedtime routine. It may also be helpful to create a calm and relaxing environment for sleep, such as dimming the lights and playing soft music. If the disruption persists or if you are concerned about your baby’s sleep, it may be a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional for guidance.

For more information on helping your baby sleep better, check out SleepBaby.org.

Conclusion

All in all, the firsts of a child’s life are significant moments, and rightfully so. However, these memories are meant to be moments that are special and remembered forever not stressful ones.

Above all else, remember that each child is different and will cross certain boundaries at different times. Fear of walking is entirely healthy. A child walking a bit later than others is not something to automatically fear.

There are a bunch of things parents can do to help overcome this concern.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *