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How to Teach a One-Year-Old to Walk

by Ireland Wolfe, studioD

When your baby turns 1, he is starting to reach many development milestones. He may be saying a few simple words, standing on his own and able to drink from a cup. If your arms are growing tired, you may be anxious for your baby to start taking his first steps. Babies often acquire this skill around 12 months or a little after their first birthday. "Parenting" magazine states that it takes children approximately 1,000 hours of practice before they can walk alone, but you can help the process along with some praise and attention.

Prepare your house for walking child. Once your baby officially becomes a toddler, you'll have a hard time keeping up with her. Remove or cover any sharp-edged furniture, and put away furniture that is light and tips over easily. Install baby gates at the top and bottom of all staircases.

Help your baby to stand up; it's difficult for babies to stand up from a seated position. Standing also help your baby to develop balance. Praise your little one every time he stands for a few seconds by himself.

Walk with your baby once she can stand on her own. Hold on to her hands and help her walk. Let go of her hands every once in a while so that she can practice getting her balance.

Encourage your baby to walk while holding on to furniture, though your little one is likely to figure this out on his own. Provide him with sturdy furniture and arrange it in such a way that he can get across the room by "cruising" from one piece to the next.

Buy push toys for your baby, such as shopping carts or a small buggy. Babies who are learning to walk love to push these sturdy, fun toys around the house while walking behind them.

Use your baby's favorite toy as an incentive to encourage him to let go of furniture or your hands to try and walk on his own. Provide your baby with plenty of praise every time he tries to take a step.

Items you will need
  •  Baby gates
  •  Sturdy furniture
  •  Push toys


  • Help your baby develop confidence and offer praise every time she tries something new.
  • When practicing walking indoors, allowing your little one to walk barefoot is usually best.


  • Avoid using traditional baby walkers. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports a ban on walkers because of the high amount of injuries they cause each year.

About the Author

Ireland Wolfe has been writing professionally since 2009, contributing to Toonari Post, Africana Online and Winzer Insurance. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Master of Arts in mental health counseling. She is also a licensed mental health counselor, registered nutritionist and yoga teacher.

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images