Why is my baby not walking? Not even trying?

  • May 6, 2019

Because learning to walk is a very complex skill.
A skill set to be precise.

Walking is a very big milestone, and it takes 12+ months for your baby to learn it. Walking consists of many skills that have several components your baby has to learn.

If your baby is 14-18 months old and you are concerned that she is not even trying to walk most likely, she is facing unusual challenges.

Simply said: it is hard for her.
And possibly even scary.

Probably as hard as it would be for most you to learn to walk on a 6-inch tree log 100 feet over a fast running stream.

infant standing independently drawing

Why is it so hard for her?

Walking has many skill set and components:

Muscle strength
Motor planning
to name a few.

And every element has to work well on its own and in combination with the others.

Walking starts with a thought

Your baby has to think, has to decide to stand, take a step and eventually walk.

If he has muscle weakness or
has challenges planning his moves or
has a balancing and coordination issues he will have different or no thoughts at all about walking.

Why is he not even trying to take steps?

It would be so much better for him if he would walk.
I hear this a lot from the moms I work with.

Yes, (however it is debatable...), walking makes life easier.

Our adult minds think in a complex way. We think in the present, but we take into consideration the past and the possibilities of the future.

Your baby's rational mind is not mature yet to think like that. He cannot predict the future in a complex way as we do because he has a small database of past experiences and has challenges predicting the future.

Without the rational mind, he does not see that the effort he has to put into learning a difficult task today will pay him off later.
He prefers a cause and effect for the now.
And a pleasurable preferably...

Thus, if his actions do not give him satisfaction at the moment, he will try something else.

So he chooses a very smart route.

He adapts.

He needs to adjust his strategies of walking to his abilities 

Adaptation is one of the best strategies for survival, maybe even longevity.

So rest your mind.
If your baby is not diagnosed with medical challenges, his choice to postpone independent walking is a wise one.

Even though adults have their rational mind developed well, adults don’t act that much different either when it comes to a new or a difficult task.

If a baby has medical challenges, he will adapt to it by changing his walking skills

Some babies will walk later and choose to crawl everywhere.
Some will start to walk on their knees.
Some will walk if you hold their hands but will sit down if you let them go.

Some babies will try walking with a different gait pattern.
Some will try locomotion with a wheelchair.
And some babies have bodies that cannot move according to their will at all.

Seek medical help if you suspect your baby has difficulties or delays.

Your babies adaptation to walking also depends on his personality

Broadly speaking some babies are “thinkers”.
Some are “doers”.

Nobody is a 100% of either though.
So we have many variations.
But one will be more dominating.

Thinkers will most likely adapt by giving up the physical aspects and escaping into the dream world.
Doers will most likely adapt by pushing their bodies to extremes.

And to make things a bit more complicated your baby (and you as well) could be a thinker when it comes to one task and a doer when it comes to a completely different task.

Can I encourage my baby to walk?

The trick is you can not work only on muscles or balancing.

You have to start with the mind, the personality.

If you work with your baby without taking into consideration her personality, she will resist you.
She will work hard to find a way to avoid that movement instead of learning to walk.

To teach your baby to walk, or to do any challenging task you need to work with the whole child.

His body structure, his muscle tone, his balancing and coordination skills, his motor planning skills and his personality and his soul.

How should I teach him to walk?

To help you with the physical components of walking I wrote an extensive article about the ways babies learn to walk.

You can find it here.

If you are looking for the gear, I recommend for the children I work with you can find it here.

And I have a blog post on walking strategies for children with cerebral palsy right what you can read here.

If you need one on one help, you can contact me here.

The best approach to help your baby is to educate yourself about infant development and keep records about your baby's development.

With intention, a vision, a clear goal, patience, persistence, daily repletion, and a joyful firm belief in your baby, in yourself and the universe anything is possible!

As always, enjoy your baby and motherhood.

See your baby (babies) as a gift for you to love and cherish.



Why are you worried about your baby not walking yet?
Is he weak?
Is he scared?

The information presented here cannot substitute medical evaluation, medical diagnosis or medical treatment. All and any content in this article, blog post and on this website: BabySmileStones.com, including any and all medical and physical therapy opinions and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this blog, site, and connected site: AgotaRakoczi.com and the information contained herein does not create a physical therapist-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor and your baby’s pediatrician and physical therapist in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your baby’s health and development or the health and development of any other baby.
By reading, using, sharing any contents of the BabySmileStones.com and AgotaRakoczi.com Websites, FB pages, Instagram feeds and other social media sites, you agree that they are to be used for informational purposes only.