Causes and Management of Walking Delays in the Little One

Morinaga Platinum ♦ 1 August 2017

Causes and Management of Walking Delays in the Little One

It is said that the sooner the Little One learns to walk, the better their level of intelligence. So, what about the Little One who is enjoying crawling and not yet showing signs of being ready to walk? Is it true that the intelligence of the Little One is influenced by the age they start to walk?

Parents do not need to worry. A study conducted by investigators at Zurich Children’s Hospital that was published in the Acta Paediatrica medical journal demonstrated that children who are already able to walk at the age of 9 months are not necessarily smarter or more adept at coordinating their body compared to those who are only able to walk a few months later.  

Indeed, the average age for children to generally be able to walk is 12 months. However, this is not an absolute value, as not all children go through the same development phases. Therefore, the age of 18 months is established as the limit for learning to walk. If the Little One is still unable to walk at this age, parents should consult a pediatrician. However, a majority of cases of walking delays are not based on organ abnormalities (for instance, muscles or nerves).

If the development of the Little One in other domains, such as talking, understanding the speech of other individuals, and so on, is considered normal, this may mean that they are just still not ready to walk. If the Little One uses a baby walker at home, there is a possibility for the muscles that are required to walk to be untrained.

However, if parents notice something unusual from the posture of the Little One, for instance, if the size of their head seems too small or their body seems too little and short, as well as if they experience speech delays that accompany their walking delays, immediately bring the Little One to consult a doctor.

Some causes of walking delays in the Little One may be due to the presence of an organic disorder in the muscle, nerves, or bones. Generally, this condition can occur due to the muscle tone being very weak (muscles are soft on palpation) or very strong (muscles are tight or stiff on palpation).

If the doctor says that the Little One is in good health, this means that parents should conduct various stimulations to trigger them to walk. Avoid carrying the Little One too often, so that they use their leg muscles more. Assist and stimulate the Little One to learn to walk. Parents can support their body from the back, while they strengthen their leg muscles.