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Late walkers: When should baby learn to walk

The question:
My son is 16 months old and still is not walking! Is this unusual? Should I be concerned? He seems very normal otherwise. – Jennifer in Cary, NC

The Pediatrician Answers:

It is difficult to say if your 16-month-old son’s inability to walk at 16 months is worrisome or not. I hope you have told your concerns to your pediatrician and I hope he or she has done a good physical exam and has followed your child’s development. For instance, is your son doing other skills that we associate with beginning to walk-cruising the playpen, or pulling himself up to stand? Pediatricians use certain “milestones” to determine what is normal and what may be abnormal.

Most 15-month-old toddlers have usually learned to walk by this age, but some perfectly normal children may not be walking yet. Generally, the later a milestone occurs, the more we start to consider other possibilities for why milestones may be delayed. There may be certain medical conditions that affect your child’s development, and that is why well child visits and physical exams are such an important part of your child’s early childhood.

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