View Full Version : 16 month old not interested in walking

09-27-2006, 05:25 PM
Hey all,

I haven't posted in a while but I'm having a few concerns about my lil' guy so naturally, I thought of talking with you all first. My BRighton is almost 16 months old and has no interest in walking. He stood today for the very first time on his own, for about 10 seconds. He didn't realize he was doing it. He thought mom was holding on to him. Which makes me think that it's a total confidence issue. So what do I do about that?! He crawls like the dickens, he cruises all over the place, he will walk if you hold his hands above his head, he climbs like a monkey, as a matter of fact, he climbs EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME! My friend who has a 11 month old came to visit and she is walking all over the place...And should I be concerned that he's not really interested?


09-27-2006, 05:50 PM
Well, disclaimer is that obviously without seeing him and evaluating him, I can't really say specifically ;)

In general though, the normal range for walking is anywhere from 9-10 months up to 18 months. 18 months is the later end of normal, but still technically in the "normal" range, and he's not even there yet ;) The average is about 13 months, but there's a big range of normal for walking. My son walked at 13.5 months and I'm a PT ;) Not late at all. 16 months really isn't very old.

One of the biggest things to look at in general IMO is to see if the child has the precursory skills. Are they cruising? Pulling to stand? Walking with hands held or holding a push toy? If so, I tend to be less concerned, particularly if they haven't hit the 18 month mark.

It sounds like he's doing a lot of the right precursory stuff. Standing on his own, cruising, walking with hands held, climbing...all really positive signs.

You can try lowering the level of support you provide when he's walking w/ hands held. If you are holding them at (his) shoulder height, you could try lowering them to chest/nipple height. Once he can walk with hands held at that height, try lowering his hands toward his tummy a bit more. Progressively lower the level at which you give him support, but give him enough that he's still *willing* to walk. If you push too hard/too fast, he may just decide it isn't fun and stop altogether ;)

You could also look for a pushtoy...something w/ some resistance like the Radio Flyer walker wagon and see if he'll use that.

I wouldn't worry too much based on what you describe, but of course, without seeing him I can't say for sure. You can always double check w/ your physician. If he's not walking by 18 months I'd be more inclined to call early intervention at that point, but it sounds like he's on the right track ;)


09-27-2006, 08:04 PM
Hi Marcy, been wondering about you...how is Bright?
I have missed seeing your posts....glad you are checking in!
Sounds like Brittone gave you some great advice....

Good to "see" you!

09-28-2006, 08:37 AM
Hey there,
My DD is 16.5 months and barely walking. I say barely because for about a month she will take 4-5 steps on her own IF there is something in both of her hands and she doesn't realize that she's doing it. Sounds like the same confidence issue to me. DD is also a climber and will climb anything. She will also pull things over to help her climb up to something she can't reach...little monkey.

I feel your pain. I almost bought DD the shirt that says, "I'll walk when I'm good and ready." But figured that as soon as I got it she would take off for the hills. As the PP said, since she has all the skills, we're not worried. If DD is walking and one of us makes a big to-do out of it saying how proud of her we are, she will immediately smile, drop to her knees, and crawl.

Besides the confidence issue, right now crawling is faster for her, and she's a bit impatient. Also, we have hard wood floors and ceramic tile, so falling isn't fun. She does better on the grass.

I know I didn't offer advice here, but do know you aren't the only one! As PP mentioned, 18 months is when our pediatrician said to look more into it.


09-28-2006, 08:49 AM
If it would make you feel better you can ask the ped to do a check on his legs or have Early Intervetion check on him.

I had 2 late walkers. 1 was 15 months, nothing more than a confidence issue she was very cautious for a few months after that too. My 2nd late walker was 21 months, she did have some issues. Her hips don't line up and she had to grown into her socket before she was able to walk and she also has sensory integration and it took her awhile to get used to the pressure of the floor on her feet before she would walk. She's fine now. She was cruising and crawling, even climbing just not walking so we waited until 18 months to evaluate her.

09-28-2006, 09:53 AM
Mine were both "late" walkers. M was 15 months and G was 17. They were both very cautious, and I think weren't willing to risk it until they were sure they could do it without falling.


09-28-2006, 02:37 PM
Thanks gals. That does make me feel a bit better. Seems to be OK in every other aspect, just the confidence. And he's like the last poster's DC. It's almost like he wants to make sure he won't fall. More later, i'm at work but wanted to say "THANKYOU!" to all the posters so far. Made me feel better!!!


09-29-2006, 12:44 PM
>Hi Marcy, been wondering about you...how is Bright?
>I have missed seeing your posts....glad you are checking in!
>Sounds like Brittone gave you some great advice....
>Good to "see" you!

Hey Rachel!! I've missed the boards, but I just haven't had any time this summer! It's been CRAZYOLA! Bright is doing good, still nursing but I'm contemplating weaning. He does it more for comfort now than for nourishment, which is OK, well, anyway, that's another post!!! Brittone did give me some great advice, so did everyone else. We're going to try the lowering of the arms thing and see how he does with that. I tried just using one hand and walking beside him and he puts his noodle legs on and crumbles to the ground, so that didn't work. ;)

One more question, should I do this with or without shoes on? He has some new balance (that's what he was wearing in the orchard when he stood all by himself) and robeez...is there something better I could get?


09-29-2006, 01:39 PM
Barefoot is best :) Really, as much barefoot time as you can give them is beneficial. Having their feet free of shoes makes it easier to get sensory input (they can feel the floor better) and it allows their toes to grip and spread out, helping w/ balance.

Really, shoes are only needed for outside time to protect their feet. If your child is walking on surfaces where there aren't major hazards (risk of glass or sharp rocks for example), then Robeez are even fine for outside. Once they are walking well you can do shoes indoors, but even then, the more barefoot time the better. It enhances foot development. If you can't deal w/ cold feet in the winter time, grippy socks or Robeez will work, but even then, the toes aren't getting as much free range of motion as they would otherwise.

Most of us have been cramped in shoes way too much. When we spread our toes, we should be able to pull our big toe away from all of our other toes toward the center of our body quite a bit. Most people can only move theirs minimally. We have a decent sized (small, but not that small) muscle thaat should allow us to do that, but from spending most of our lives in shoes, most of us have lost the ability ;) Just some random trivia, but it shows how shoes impact foot development.

Best of luck!

09-29-2006, 02:27 PM
My DS didn't walk until just before 17 months. What worked for him was giving him a stick to hold onto (it was the discarded plastic middle of an old-fashioned thermal fax paper roll) and we'd hold on to the other end. (He still likes to walk holding something in his hands.) Then we'd just hold him up by the back of his shirt. FINALLY, he was able to walk across the room by himself. He didn't learn how to stand up in the middle of the floor until later, after 17 months. [email protected]

Amy in NC
mom to Dixon, born 2/14/05
...and a sequel! Due 3/30/07

09-29-2006, 03:10 PM
you can also use something like a hula hoop, yard stick, etc. If he's not yet willing to walk with hands held a little lower than you (OP) have been doing, he might not be ready for this, but you can try it.

A lot of kids walk better with an object in their hands in general.

I've had kids that would NOT let go of having support even once they were probably very capable. I had a colleague show me a trick where she actually used a necklace (like Mardi Gras type beads) and had the child hold onto the necklace while she held the other end. Weird, but it sometimes works to wean them off the need to have a hand held.

To the OP, those are things to try once your son is receptive to having his hands lowered a bit or walking with one hand held.

edited to fix typo

09-29-2006, 06:47 PM

Isn't it amazing? In the beginning BF was so hard.....now you are at 16 months and counting! I feel blessed to have made it to 17 months,,,and she has just weaned. Bitter sweet! Good job Mama!

Hope to "see" you around!

09-29-2006, 08:47 PM
DD is in daycare. As per my previous post, she doesn't walk at home more than a few steps and only when really distracted like other posters have mentioned (intent on something, holding something in her hands).

So imagine my surprise when I get to school today to pick her up and she walks over 10 feet to get to me. Included in that was a curb she had to STEP OVER. She did it like it was nothing. DH typically picks her up from school. I sat there stunned and talked to the lady watching her (not her normal teacher). She was surprised that I was stunned because DD apparently never crawls at school. What?!!! Little monkey. I talk to her teachers all the time and realized that this was an issue that never came up because we were always discussing other issues like biting, what funk is currently going around, what stuff we need to bring in, etc.

I consider myself no longer duped by my DD. Apparently my other friends' kids walk better with their grandparents because they are less likely to carry them.

Just thought I'd let you know there is hope!

09-29-2006, 09:13 PM
You/ve gotten some great advice already, but I thought I'd chime in. My DS2 didn't walk until 16 months. At 12ish months I was already a little concerned, but the pedi checked his legs/hips and said his "equipment" was perfectly fine. He cruised everywhere and would stand also, he just wasn't interested in walking. The pedi said there were no physical problems as long as he was standing on his legs, and he would walk when he was ready. And he did! Now I can hardly keep up! It might be worth it to talk to the pedi, but if he's cruising and climbing, it sounds like he's fine.

09-30-2006, 10:15 AM
HAHA Michelle That is funny! Doesn't it just figure? THey'll be doing this to us for a long long time I suppose. I hadn't thought of a stick or a hula hoop, what a great idea. I have some nice walking sticks that are just his size that he really likes already. ANd I also think you're right in that we are pretty likely to be holding him moreso than say at DAycare. Though I think he dups them into holding him too. He's pretty cuddly so people enjoy holding him LOL.

More later! At work again!


HHCs Mom
09-30-2006, 10:48 AM
My DS didn't walk until about 15 mos. He had all of the other skills but just wouldn't let go. I think it was that he wanted to do it 'right' before he did it at all. He cruised forever and it was really just a confidence thing. He wasn't one of the kids who walks a few steps and then falls. Once he started walking, he was *walking* and walking well. Hardly ever fell. Your DS could be the same way. Frustrating but he'll do it in his own time and never look back! :)

~ mama to a sweet boy named Harrison ~ 4.6.04
...and #2 due 5.24.07!

09-30-2006, 11:52 AM
Sounds like you've gotten a lot of very good advice. I have nothing really to add, but wanted to say "Hi!!" ;) Miss hearing about Master Brighton. :)

My Waterbabies
http://lilypie.com/pic/060928/Yw0w.jpg http://b3.lilypie.com/0vphm4.png
http://lilypie.com/pic/060928/iBmU.jpg http://bf.lilypie.com/uy3Mm4.png

10-01-2006, 06:15 AM
Aww!! Thanks Christy! It's great to hear from everyone. I love your tickers! HAHA! Congrats on the new baby! I don't think "J" was born when I drifted off...

This is a great thread with lots of great information. Kim, I think you're right. I have a feeling that when he decides he wants to walk, he'll be *walking*. Or like my family tells me, *running!* YIKES!

10-02-2006, 09:36 AM
Oh yeah, DD knows how to work it as well. Whenever she wants something, she'll go to whomever she thinks is likely to give it to her, hug that person while saying "ahhhh." Like what a nice hug. How can you resist that? In terms of a walking stick, make sure it's nothing that could poke him when he falls. For DD, ANYTHING in her hands gives her security. Her favorite is 2 puzzle pieces with the big knobs. One in each hand will get her wherever she wants to go. Or her sippy of milk.

So then there is the not so nice part of me that thinks it's easier because we have a daughter. If we really wanted to be mean and have her walk, we could just stick her in a dress because when she's crawling, it gets caught under her knees and she can't go anywhere like that. Haven't tried it yet, but if we hit the 18 month mark, it may be next on the list!!

Good Luck!