When a baby starts walking

One of the only objective measurements that parents have of whether we’re doing an okay job at guiding this little being to adulthood is when does our baby start walking.

We have plenty of subjective feedback: my baby seems to smile a lot, she seems to have a sense of curiosity and a sense of joy, she even seems to care about other people in really sweet ways. She has a new sippy cup that she really likes, and so what she keeps doing is thrusting it in my face, to share her joy with me. I think she’s growing into being a really wonderful person. But that’s all subjective. It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

The only objective measures we have are height, weight, head-circumference, and at what age does she start walking. The irony is that none of those objective measurements mean squat.

Sophie started crawling early, at 6 months, so I was proud, although also a little frightened at her hurry to be independent. But now that she’s such a good crawler, she isn’t in a hurry to walk. She has other skills: just yesterday, she learned how to ask for a piggyback ride. She’s not late to walking, but she’s not early either, and so I am particularly aware that it doesn’t matter at all. Parents at the playground tell each other this all the time: late walkers often develop into great athletes, spending a long time crawling may help kids get better connections between the left & right sides of their brain, early walking isn’t anything to be particularly proud of. We keep saying this because we need the reassurance.

So I’ll be letting you all know whenever she does walk. As much as I can analyze it away & claim it doesn’t matter, I am still curious to see when Sophie chooses to walk.

And I am fascinated at the ways she subdivides the task. She can stand while holding onto something like a kitchen chair, then move to holding onto something else like the side of the table, and sometimes she’ll waver between the two holds in what is almost an independent stance, except that it is quite precarious, not yet a steady stance. Lately she is working on pushing things across the room, like an old person with a walker. It’s almost as if she knows the skills she needs, and how to break it down. When I sit on the floor, she leans on me, slowly walking around my body, but pausing when she’s holding on to my back & shoulders, because she has discovered that that’s the way to get a piggy-back ride. Her sense of discovery is wonderful to watch.

Last weekend we went to the Wild Animal Park, where she wouldn’t stop pointing at the cheetahs, & gibbons, & some odd people in the crowd too.


One response to “When a baby starts walking

  1. e961

    Some would consider Sophie as already walking. You’re right, I think, to wait until she independently moves both feet across a surface of one yard or something. Definitions are not clear.

    With that in mind, as I remember, Karen walked very late, you quite early and David at the normal time. I think you all walk very well now.

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