3 Options For A Young Child Who Isn't Walking

Do you have a young child who shows no signs of walking? Taking a first step is a big moment in a child and a parent's life, so you've probably been anticipating the big day. However, if your child still isn't walking and it seems like most other children his or her age are doing so, you may want to ask yourself why. There could be a serious reason behind the delay. Or you may need to take different tactics in how you are working with your child. It also may be possible that your child is simply a late bloomer when it comes to walking. Try the following options to understand why your child isn't walking:

Help them be more self-reliant. If your child isn't walking, ask yourself how often your child is in situations in which they may need to try and walk. If you carry them frequently or if they have constant access to a walker, the issue may just be that they don't have much incentive to try to walk. For example, many parents may feel that a walker is beneficial because it gives them walking practice. However, your child may look at the walker as his or her support system and may not feel any need to walk without the walker.

Try giving your child more time without the walker. If he or she would like to go to a different room of the house, resist the urge to carry him or her. Put them in situations in which they must make their way on their own. If they're simply a late bloomer, this approach may accelerate their development.

See a child neurologist. If you think the issue may be more than just late development, you may want to talk to your pediatrician or even a pediatric neurologist. There could be brain development issues that are causing the delayed development. This could especially be a good option if you've noticed other delays in development. For example, if he or she isn't communicating verbally or with hand signals or if he or she hasn't developed much in the way of fine motor skills, you may want to investigate their brain development with a professional.

Get pediatric physical therapy. One great way to accelerate development is to sign your child up for pediatric physical therapy. Walking requires the control and use of muscles throughout the body. A pediatric physical therapist will put your child through a series of games and exercises to help them build up strength and learn how to control these muscles. You'll likely want to look for a therapist who specializes in children your child's age. He or she will know how to focus in on your child's challenges and will know how to keep your child entertained and engaged throughout the session.

For more information, contact a pediatric physical therapist in your area. They can help you decide whether your physical therapy is right for your child.