Somewhere between 8 and 12 months your little ankle-biter turns into a full fledged toddler. How he goes about that, is truly up to him. Some wee ones rock 'n' roll, others do the bum shuffle and the more traditional ones simply crawl on hands and knees. However, there's always one in every group who just goes for it. No fuss, no muss and no crawling. One day he just pulls himself up using the coffee table for support and takes that one big step for toddler-kind. And it's completely normal.
Developmental milestones are meant to be used as guidelines during which your child accomplishes behaviors and physical skills. The National Institutes of Health describes developmental milestones as ranges, and as long as development occurs within that span of time or on either side of it, your child's progress is probably on track. Milestones also refer to the average scope of development and take into consideration that every child is distinctive. So if your little one decides that it's more comfortable and convenient for her to walk, and leave out the crawling part, that's OK too.
When it comes to crawling before a baby can walk, little ones break all the rules, according to a paper published by the psychology department of New York University. A healthy child will eventually walk by the time he's 18 months old, it states. It also notes that although many children use the conventional method, a precursor to walking doesn't necessarily have to be cruising, scooting, rolling or crawling.
Motivated to Move
Your soon-to-be-toddler may go straight from sitting and watching to that first step if she feels comfortable and safe. Allow your child opportunities to move, whether that means crawling or walking, by limiting her time in her stroller and crib, suggests Kids Health. Encourage her to stretch for a toy that is just out of reach. If she wants to stand, help her up and find a secure item for her to hold onto, like the coffee table, a walking toy or you. If she decides that crawling isn't her thing and walking is a more effective use of energy, let her walk.
Some babies will naturally walk early and some much later. If your child was a preemie or is a big baby, it's possible he may be a late walker. The important thing is that your little one makes progress and his arms and legs move normally. However, even if your child walks without crawling, you may want to contact your pediatrician if he favors one side of his body over the other, he shows signs of a limp or appears to be uncomfortable when walking.
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