The child starts walking

Fonte: shutterstock

Towards the first steps

It is a delicate and exciting process, both for the child and for the parents, when the child gradually begins to to crawl, then learn to put on upright and finally a take the first steps.

Usually, children have airrepressible desire to verticalize and, as soon as they reach equilibrium, di move. But how can we encourage and support them in this very important period?

The parents' questions are answered Manuele Lampasi, head of Orthopedics of the Meyer University Hospital of the city, Alberto Villani, head of the general pediatric unit of the Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital in the city, e Gaetano Pagnotta, formerly in charge of High Specialization in congenital and rare diseases of the skeleton of the same hospital.

The child starts walking

We learn to walk

go to the gallery

Learning to walk? It is far from easy! We pass from the innate reflex of the newborn to an ever greater awareness, up to the first real steps. Discover this path by looking ...

In this article

Read also: Newborn Growth: When Will It Start Crawling?

When does the crawl phase start?

Generally it begins to crawl between 6 and 12 months, but there is no one-size-fits-all rule. On the contrary, there are those who even skip this phase and experiment with other modes of movement - for example crawling on your stomach, moving from a seated position and helping yourself with your hands and feet - and then go straight to standing.

Il in fact crawling is not a prerequisite for walking and everyone has a personal psychomotor process.

In the phase of crawling, the parent's task must first of all be to check that there are no obstacles and / or dangers in the spaces in which he crawls. Once they are eliminated, it is good to leave the boy or girl free to experiment as much as possible independently. Only in this way will they gradually acquire confidence and gradually prepare to get on their feet. The attitude of mum and dad must always be playful and encouraging, never worried and too protective.

A good 'gym' for experimenting can be a soft mat - with the rubber underneath (so it does not roll up) - with some toys: the child will learn to move in the way that is most congenial to reach them, training his muscles.

What should she wear on her feet?

You don't need shoes to crawl: they can barefoot or wearing non-slip socks.


If the child walks on toes: 27 exercises and tips to help him lose the habit

go to the gallery

Up to two years of age it is common for children to walk on toes, but some continue to do so afterwards. Toe gait may be related to neurological conditions or ...

When does the baby start walking?

On average a 9-10 months verticalizes, he is comfortable standing alone. Gradually he begins to take a few steps to the side, holding on to objects or furniture (the so-called coastal navigation). And after having conquered theequilibrium, understanding that by launching the step forward he must position the body along the load axis, in a short time then start walking alone.

The average for the first steps is 12 months, but again the calendar is individual. There are more precocious children who, exceptionally, start even at 9 months, others who wait a year and a half. In any case within 18 months it is normal.

How to help him when he takes his first steps?

Simply indulging it: the child does what he feels like doing and should not be forced. For this reason, the parent should not put him on his feet and then try to leave him alone: the child must autonomously reach the standing position, because only then does it mean that he is ready to stand and take his first steps.

To mom and dad the task of encourage him and compliment him for the goals achieved.

What if?

If it happens, parents don't have to be scared: certain falls are not harmful to him and if he cries it is only because he has seen our worried expression.

An alarmed attitude on the part of the parents could indeed give him insecurity and discourage further attempts.

Mum and dad, however, are warned: a "tiring" period has begun in which one cannot lose sight of him even for a moment!

What should a toddler-friendly home look like?

As soon as the baby begins to move by himself, it is necessary to reorganize the spaces in the house:

  • all fragile or dangerous objects must be removed from its height,
  • away the ornaments from the lower shelves,
  • cover the edges with corner protectors,
  • electrical sockets with socket covers,
  • close the detergents in the cabinets,
  • remove carpets that could cause him to trip,
  • and pay attention to the edges of the tablecloths, which could easily drag down with all the dishes placed on them

By now the spaces must all be made to measure and his irrepressible desire to explore!

Read also: We learn to walk

Can the walker be useful in helping the child to walk?

Il walker it is potentially harmful, because it makes you set your pace badly, and also does not allow you to train the muscles and the sense of balance.

The recommendation is therefore: DO NOT use it, even if the temptation to use the walker can be strong. But in addition to not being useful - it does not teach to walk - it exposes children to the danger of tipping over easily.

The risk of accidents is in fact documented and for this reason the American Academy of Pediatrics calls for a ban on its manufacture and trade.

As stated in the Guide for the family From 0 to 6 years by the Del Paesena Society of Preventive and Social Pediatrics (Sipps), "the walker, too often used to help the child move early by himself, is instead a enemy of the correct posture of the feet and legs. In fact, it accustoms the child to walking on toes and delays the acquisition of the sense of balance, with the consequence of frequent falls, for a prolonged time, when he really begins to walk alone ".

Much better a "walker" with wheels: in the shape of a truck, a dog, a toy car, they are all equipped with a rear handle on which the child can lean and move at will.

Read also: Box: yes or no?

To help the little one a take the first steps, just offer him a finger, which the child will hold and to which he will support himself.


Instead, it is wrong to hold him by the hand, as there is a risk of tugging which can also cause dislocation of the head of the radius (the lateral bone of the forearm, located between the elbow and wrist).


Furthermore, always keeping him by the hand can make him insecure and slow down the conquest of autonomous walking ("if they hold me by the hand, it means that I can't do it alone"), and the adult's hand could become a foothold from which the baby struggles to break up with.

Do not forget that for the child being able to walk alone is also one conquest from a psychological point of view, since it represents a first important form of detachment from mom and dad.

What are the right shoes?

The first shoes they should be soft and flexible. But he will need it when he starts walking outside the house. Walking shoes should only be worn when he is able to walk and will do so outside the house.

And at home: is it better that they are barefoot or with shoes?

For the first steps in the house it is perfectly fine if the boy or girl walks barefoot or with non-slip socks. The preference depends on the type of floor: with carpet and parquet you can stay barefoot, with marble and tiles it is better with non-slip socks, to avoid slipping and contact with the cold surface that can be annoying.

Read also: First shoes, when you need them

If the baby walks with his toes inwards or on his toes, what does that mean?

In medical terms, the former is referred to as gear with rotated tips. Although parents tend to be alarmed, in reality, in-to-tip walking is part of the normal quest for balance that children engage in as they learn to walk.

Furthermore, walking with the toes turned inward is part of the physiological path of persistence of fetal postures that disappears with growth without the need for any treatment.

Also the walking on the toes it is part of the physiological search for balance, which leads the child to put his feet in the way he finds most congenial to standing upright. As the months go by, the weight gain will spontaneously bring him to place the entire sole of his foot on the ground.

This is true in the vast majority of cases, because 90% toe walking is physiological and transient. However, if it persists beyond 3-4 years, that is, the child does not show any signs of bringing the heel to the ground, it is advisable to evaluate with the orthopedic pediatrician whether this type of walking does not derive from other rarer problems (behavioral disorders, neuromuscular problems, short Achilles tendon, etc.).

The child seems to have flat feet: how to behave?

Up to 3-4 years the so-called flatfoot it is quite normal: it is part of the normal growth of the foot. In other words, in the first years of life it is typical that when the baby or girl gets upright, the foot does not show the physiological plantar curvature but the whole sole of the foot touches the ground. This is because the arch of the foot is hidden by the fat which is quite abundant in the baby's foot.

Typically this situation it corrects itself spontaneously within 6-7 years. Within certain limits, therefore, a slight flatness is normal and is linked to the presence of a greater adipose tissue under the plantar plant.

However, if, in the opinion of the pediatrician, the flatness is too pronounced, if the child gets tired easily and refuses to walk or if he remains over 6 years of age, then it is a must. a check-up by a pediatrician orthopedist, who, having made the diagnosis, will be able to evaluate the opportunity to insert a small insole in the shoes.

In other words, if the flatness does not recede, a mobile insole can be used to insert into ordinary, NOT corrective shoes. Regarding the use of the insole, it is necessary to avoid excessive and useless prescriptions, but it can be useful in specific cases.

As stated in the Family Guide 0 to 6 years old, edited by the Del Paesena Society of Preventive and Social Pediatrics (Sipps), "there are very few cases that require corrective orthopedic intervention. In the past there has been excessive use of orthopedic shoes and orthotics, in the belief that they were useful. The most modern research has highlighted that such aids, apart from particular cases, are of no effectiveness ".

However, you do the clinical evaluation of the support and the rear foot: with bare legs and bare feet, that is to say if the heel is aligned with the leg or if it yields outwards and / or with the podoscope (the glass platform on which the child is made to climb barefoot) evaluate the support and the plantar footprint.

But what if it has arched legs?

It can happen when the child begins to stand upright: if he stands with his feet together, you see a space between the knees, which form, in fact, an arc. The phenomenon is called properly knee varus (or tibia vara) and it can affect more frequently sturdy children, who with their weight can cause the knees to arch.


There is often a family component, but in most cases it is a characteristic that it tends to regress spontaneously around 2-3 years. In any case, it is good to point this out to the pediatrician who, if he deems it appropriate, can recommend an orthopedic visit.


Like the valgus knee, the tibia vara infantum is one of the paramorphisms of the developmental age, already known in ancient times as a characteristic of the first moments of the step that usually resolves itself: that is, it disappears with growth.

Or the X-shaped legs (ie the valgus knee)?

It is the opposite situation to the varus knee: when the child is standing, even if the knees are in contact with each other, the feet remain spaced. It is the phenomenon of knee valgus, and usually occurs between 3 and 4 years. Also in this case it tends to be a physiological process that it corrects itself with growth.


Also in this case there is generally a family component and even in this case the phenomenon tends to disappear with the physiological development of the lower limbs. However, it will be the pediatrician, during periodic check-ups, who will evaluate if and when it is appropriate to consult an orthopedic specialist.

Questions and answers

How to promote crawling?  

To help the baby crawl, lay down on a soft rug and sit on the ground in front of him at a small distance. At this point, spread your arms out and call him by name over and over again, saying "come!" with an affectionate tone.

How to stimulate children to walk?    

If you want to help your baby learn to walk, hold him with your hands in front of his chest: this will facilitate his balance and postural development, and he will learn to walk in a good position.

Read also: The child learns to walk

  • to crawl
  • baby first steps
  • baby standing
  • baby first shoes
  • learn to walk baby
  • walker
  • walker
add a comment of The child starts walking
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.