Sometimes, delayed walking in babies is caused by a foot or leg problem such as developmental hip dysplasia, rickets, or conditions that affect muscle tone like cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. If your baby isn’t walking by 14 months, your concerns are understandable. You want your child to reach milestones, and you don’t want your baby to lag behind other children of a similar age. But a baby being unable to walk at 14 months isn’t usually indicative of a problem. While some babies begin walking before 12 months, others don’t walk until 16 or 17 months.
To determine whether your baby’s inability to walk is a cause for concern, consider the big picture. For example, although your baby is unable to walk at 14 months, you may notice that your baby is able to perform other skills with no problem, like standing alone, pulling up on furniture, and bouncing up and down. These are signs that your baby’s skills are developing. Therefore, you may witness their first steps soon. Continue to monitor your baby’s progress. If your baby doesn’t walk by the age of 18 months, talk with your doctor.
You should also talk to your doctor if you feel your baby’s skills aren’t developing properly. This might be the case if your 14-month-old is unable to stand, pull up, or bounce. It’s also important to realize that some babies born prematurely begin walking later than children of the same age. If your baby was premature, don’t immediately panic over their inability to walk. Use your child’s adjusted age when tracking developmental milestones. The adjusted age is based on your baby’s original due date.
If you have a 14-month-old, but you gave birth three months early, your baby’s adjusted age is 11 months. In this case, it may take your baby an additional two to three months to learn how to balance and walk, which is normal. Don’t worry. In all likelihood, your baby will catch up.