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Reasons for Delayed Walking in Infants

author image Joshua McCarron
Joshua McCarron has been writing both online and offline since 1995. He has been employed as a copywriter since 2005 and in that position has written numerous blogs, online articles, websites, sales letters and news releases. McCarron graduated from York University in Toronto with a bachelor's degree in English.
Reasons for Delayed Walking in Infants
A couple walking with their toddler on the beach. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Children reach many different milestones in the first couple years of life, with one of the most memorable being the ability to walk. Most children gain the ability to walk independently between the ages of 11 and 15 months. If your child is not walking by 18 months, his progress is considered delayed. Delayed walking is often no cause for concern, but there is usually a reason that it happens.

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Delayed Motor Maturation

Some kids walk a little later than the norm, and the reason is due to a delay in motor skills maturity. In these cases, all other milestones are reached on time, and the motor skills are of normal quality, they’re just later than they should be. Be patient because the delay isn’t a result of any serious underlying problem.

Developmental Delays

In some cases, a child will show a delay in all motor skills, plus a delay in developmental areas. He may suffer from abnormalities in muscle tone and power and have dysmorphic features, or different body structure. Muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and Down’s syndrome are examples of developmental issues that may cause your child to walk later. In some cases of developmental delays, the child may not walk at all.


Sometimes, your baby’s natural temperament may cause her to walk later than you would have liked. In some cases, children who are easy going and content to just lie on their back and stare and entertain themselves may end up walking later. There is no problem or reason for concern, the baby just isn’t in a rush to go anywhere and is happy where she is. On the opposite end, babies with crabby dispositions often end up walking sooner.


Circumstances that are beyond the baby’s control may result in delayed walking. If a baby has been sick for a period of time, with a lot of lying down or hospital stays, she may walk late. With so much focus on medicines and getting well, the typical schedule is thrown off course. Also, a baby who is carried by her parents everywhere and not given the opportunity to be mobile may end up getting to her feet a little later.

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