Toddler not walking yet
May 20, 2022 3:05 PM   Subscribe

My 19 month old isn't walking yet. Otherwise she's been pretty normal developmentally. Should I be worried? Have any of you dealt with this and had it turn out okay?

The pediatrician said it would be a concern if she was
n't walking at 18 months. The x-rays checked out fine. We're waiting on an early intervention physical therapy type person to get back in touch with us.

I'm just, I don't know, worried? I don't want her to have cerebral palsy, no offense to those who do. And it's getting hard not to freak out. This is late, right?
posted by J. Wilson to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yeah, it's a little late, but for sure not unheard of. Glad you're getting early intervention. Is she speaking yet?
posted by tristeza at 3:08 PM on May 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You're doing all the right things. Your kid is probably just fine, but that's why following up with early intervention and making all your doctor appts is so important!

I have seven kids. The first two walked around 11 to 12 months. Kids 3 and 4 were very stubborn in their walking, and scooted until they were 25 months old. We took kid 3 to a specialist at a kids hospital to make sure things were ok. Doom and gloom was mentioned. Three weeks later, she started walking totally on her own.

Our last three walked pretty early. So there's no rhyme or reason. It's also less worrisome if your kid is hitting all of their other milestones.
posted by Happydaz at 4:18 PM on May 20, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Both of mine were late walkers - later than 18 months. They are now in their late teens and doing great, and neither ever had any developmental issues. Their brains were just busy with other stuff (one was a very early talker and all his grey matter was taken up with that. The other one...who knows.). All this anecdata to reassure you that late walking can indeed mean absolutely no bad outcomes.
posted by sonofsnark at 4:28 PM on May 20, 2022 [6 favorites]

Best answer: We are going through this now too. Ours is 18 months. We started with an early intervention program when she was 10 months and not crawling. They gave us weekly physical therapy and an appointment with a neurologist (who found nothing in particular wrong).

I was worried about cerebral palsy as well, which is hard to rule out. At this point, she is doing well and progressing in the way that her PT thinks is appropriate, so my nerves about it all are calming down.

I've heard lots of anecdotes from friends and folks online about kids who were very late walking and/or talking and turned out just fine. And the PT said that, in his experience, "normal" development is a much more naturally variable thing than the usual charts indicate. He's not worried about her at all.
posted by quiet wanderer at 5:48 PM on May 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, all. That's reassuring and helpful information. And to answer one question, yes, she's talking within the normal range for her age.
posted by J. Wilson at 8:23 PM on May 20, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: My daughter is three, she does things late and then she does them quickly. It's her personality to get the lay of the land, get comfortable, then dive in.

She didn't walk until close to 19 months, and we had to teach her. Then she ran in short order.

She was a very late talker, she got speech therapy, now she's a chatterbox.

She isn't potty trained, I imagine she'll sort it out quickly when she's good and ready.

Always consult a pediatrician when you're concerned, but factor in your child's personality before you panic.
posted by champers at 2:58 AM on May 21, 2022 [2 favorites]

Both of my kids were late walkers - my son at 18 months, my daughter at 22 months. My daughter never really crawled and had physical therapy for a few months building up her strength. The point is that they are both today completely indistinguishable from their peers. My daughter does gymnastics and dance; my son plays baseball and soccer.

So, get the help. Make use of early intervention. But just know that, absent some complicating factor, it’s likely she’s just a late walker (as, statistically, some kids are going to be).
posted by Betelgeuse at 5:56 AM on May 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My daughter didn’t walk until 20 months. They considered diagnosing her with cerebral palsy. I’m writing this sitting outside of her ballet class now. Tomorrow she’s got soccer and running. Perfectly fine. My wife was worried. I always said she just had other interests. Which she did.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:25 AM on May 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Mine was flagged for early intervention but ended up walking before the first appointment. I can tell you what they had us do, so that you can do it while you're waiting: take them to more playgrounds and play-spaces where they can hold onto things of different heights, crawl up and down stairs, through tunnels, etc. We lived in an apartment in an elevator building so it was possible our kid was getting less experience than other kids with different heights and uneven ground as strength-building components. Our kid was also interested in different stuff, so sometimes going to a new playground or activity place was the excitement he needed to try things that he wouldn't have tried at home where he was more interested in books and puzzles.
posted by xo at 6:51 AM on May 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

For what it is worth, my mother raised a bunch of kids, and she said we all "talked by one and walked by two"...

This was back in the 60s, so the landscape was much different, early intervention was rare.

Whatever you are told, take with a grain of salt. A specialist cannot predict the future. My niece was slow to talk, her parents were told she had serious deficits (probably accurate based on some chart of "typical" milestones) and would always struggle with language (Pretty presumptuous). This was understandably upsetting. The kid received early intervention, which likely helped or at least sped her acquisition of language. She is an adult now, all is fine, did well academically and took other languages in high school.
posted by rhonzo at 6:57 AM on May 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

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