Some babies cruise around holding onto furniture for months and months while others start walking practically the moment they get up on two feet. Pediatrician Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP, describes the signs that those first steps are coming so keep an eye out and then keep your video camera close at hand. And if you’re worried your baby is a little behind the curve, be patient—there’s really no need for concern until 15 months.
Sign #1: Pulling up
Obviously, baby can’t start walking until he’s learned how to get himself upright. “Usually, babies are getting ready to walk when they start pulling up on their own,” says Shu. “They want to stand.” Lots of Bumpies see this start to happen around eight months, and this could last for up to three months before you see any independent steps. Babies will begin pulling up on furniture, so you’ll want to finish baby-proofing ASAP.
Sign #2: Fussiness
Remember the dark days of teething? “Anytime babies reach a new milestone, they get fussier,” Shu says. Fussiness tends to make an appearance at mealtime: If you suddenly have a pickier eater on your hands, it could signal you’ll soon have a walker too.
Sign #3: Extra sleepiness
Shu says your soon-to-be walker might be snoozing a lot more than usual. Bumpies attest to this around 10 or 11 months, right as baby is also going through a growth spurt.
Sign #4: Acting like a daredevil
Once baby has gotten the hang of pulling herself up, she’ll probably start testing the waters of balancing on her own. Whether your baby is an early walker or a late walker might have nothing to do with her ability and more to do with her personality says Shu. A super-brave kid might give it a go right away, while a more cautious one might want to be more confident she won’t fall before letting go of the sofa.
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