First steps

13 reasons why the child may be slow to walk


In general, a child in good condition and without motor pathologies begins to walk at 12 months, although many may be earlier and many others take a little longer. What are the reasons why a child may be slow to walk? Assuming that each baby is unique and has its own psychomotor development, we are going to try to find those reasons that delay its first steps.

As parents we are eagerly awaiting each evolutionary moment of our children, such as turning, sitting, crawling, standing, walking ... and we are almost always comparing the psychomotor development of our child with other babies of the same age. What happens then? Than It distresses us when we see that others have already managed to walk and ours is lateTherefore, we must consult with the pediatrician and, if necessary, with the physiatrist for an assessment and search for the possible causes of the baby's delay in walking.

When parents come to the consultation somewhat worried because their child is already more than 1 year old and still does not walk, I inform them about the possible causes of this delay, although only after 18 months is there a true delay in walking and these are the probable causes:

1. Genetic origin
We found that one or both parents also had some delay or slowness in starting to walk.

2. Prematurity
It is because it is a baby that was born prematurely, therefore, its psychomotor development cannot be taken into account by chronological age, but by corrected age.

3. For peace of mind
They are passive, calm babies, little interested in physical activity.

4. Out of fear
Perhaps they are babies who have tried to walk and due to a fall they could feel fear and they should not be forced.

5. As a precaution
Very careful, cautious babies, who prefer to crawl while sitting or always holding onto furniture or walls to avoid accidents.

6. Lack of stimulation
They are babies that perhaps from their intrauterine life were little stimulated, very sedentary, all the time lying down or sitting down.

7. By high weight
Perhaps being chubby, reduces agility and mobility, above all, to stand and walk.

8. For preferring crawling
Many keep crawling for a long time because they like it or because they do it in a sitting way, and this delays their desire and curiosity to stand up and walk.

9. Due to frequent use of the walker or walker
Being able to move around the house, rolling on the walker, decreases their interest and encouragement to walk. And this type of device produces hypotrophy of the muscles and ligaments of the legs.

10. For always having help
They are usually babies whose parents decided to shake hands to help them at the beginning, but they get used to always shaking hands to walk and it is difficult for them to do it by themselves.

11. Generalized hypotonia or specifically lower limbs
What makes their muscles weak, which makes it difficult for them to sit up and therefore walk.

12. Vision or hearing pathologies
That can lead you to feel fear when moving and even due to lack of balance.

13. Other pathologies
That alter psychomotor development, which must be diagnosed in time by the pediatrician in their corresponding reviews.

Parents should empower themselves on this issue of psychomotor development and understand that each baby is unique and that each one has its individual rhythm of psychomotor development, so it is not advisable to compare with other babies, much less force it.

But also know that you should consult your pediatrician when the baby reaches 18 months and has not started to walk. The doctor will recommend physiotherapy sessions, if necessary, to strengthen the muscles or to treat pathologies that limit or prevent ambulation. At home they can be stimulated as follows:

- Prepare the house for the safety of the baby: pick up some furniture, cover the electrical outlets, place bars on the edges of the stairs, remove glass objects that are close to the baby's hand, keep objects that we consider dangerous, protectors in drawers ...

- When you are standing, holding onto a piece of furniture or something else, place a toy near him that catches your attention so that you go looking for it.

- When the baby decides to stand up by himself and stand for some time or take a step, congratulate him, rejoice and applaud him, but without scandals, so that he does not panic and stop doing it.

- Stimulate your walk with the device called 'treadmill', which allows him to lean on it and at the same time the baby on his own is pushing him and taking his steps.

- We stand behind the baby and take him by the arms, (without lifting them on his shoulders, to avoid injuries to his joints), taking them forward and help him to take steps, but avoid doing it frequently to don't get used to the help we provide.

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