Is Your Baby A Late Bloomer?

Get A Move On!

Lydia Hawley-Brillante, of Baltimore, never crawled and didn't walk until she was almost 2. Her mom, Robin, remembers Lydia as the most placid baby she'd ever seen. "She learned to sit at 6 months and was content with that. She didn't try to pull up to a stand," Robin says.

After Lydia turned 1, Robin began lifting her up to her feet so she could hold on to the coffee table. She'd leave Lydia stranded there for a little while, and when Lydia got bored enough, she tried to move. That's how she started cruising at 18 months. Eventually she took her first steps without holding on. Shocked by her accomplishment, she didn't try again for a week.

The range of when children learn to walk is huge. Statistics show that only 50 to 60 percent are walking by their first birthday. Some walk as early as 8 months, and some, like my son, walk at 18 months. It's all in the range of normal. Dr. Zuckerman says that even most babies who are not walking at 18 months, like Lydia, are fine. "If the child has good muscle tone and reflexes, I don't worry too much," he says.

There are many reasons a child may walk late. Heredity plays a part; if either parent was a late walker, there's a chance the baby will be as well. Sometimes babies who are big walk later because they have more weight to support, and building up strength takes time. And just as in language development, personality plays a role. Some babies seem happy staying put.

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