Baby Steps: The journey to walking
At first, babies barely move at all -- maybe a wiggle here and there. After a couple of months they start rolling over, then before you know it you are chasing a darting toddler everywhere you go. While every baby follows a unique schedule, you can generally expect your baby to start making his moves along a basic timeline. Here's what to expect:
At first, newborns can't lift their heads up without assistance. Between two and three and a half months, most babies will be able to lift up their heads while lying on their stomachs. "Tummy time" is important to help develop this skill. It might take another few weeks for your baby to be able to hold his head and neck upright on his own while sitting.
Is your baby trying to build his muscles? Actually, yes. He's working on being able to raise his head and chest and support himself on his arms or forearms. Look for this "push-up" behavior in the 3 to 4 month range.
On a Roll
Between 4 and 5 months, your baby should begin to roll over. Keep in mind that he may only roll in one direction at first until he masters rolling both ways.
I'll Just Sit Here By Myself
At five to six months, your baby will probably be able to sit with a little help, either by supporting himself with his hands in front of him or by getting leaned up against a cushion or pillow. Within another couple of months, he'll be sitting all by himself.
By around eight months, you'll probably find yourself running around after a surprisingly fast, newly mobile baby. He'll start crawling, either "commando style" by creeping along using his forearms, or up on his hands and knees. Keep in mind that some babies start crawling backwards, some babies move directly from the "commando" crawl to walking, and some babies are in such a hurry to start walking that they never crawl at all!
Time to Cruise
One day when he's between eight and 12 months old, your baby will pull himself up to standing using any available piece of furniture. At first, he'll just stand, but eventually he'll get bolder and use those tables and chairs as support as he "cruises" around the room.
In Good Standing
At first, he looks like he's going to fall - but 10 seconds pass and he's still standing all by himself -- no assistance necessary. This photo op should arrive between 10 to 14 months.
Let's Go For a Walk
Somewhere between nine and 17 months, your baby will be ready for his first steps. (Believe it or not, not all babies are walking by one year old. The average age for those first steps is actually 13 months!) Get that camera ready!