17 months and still not walking

I may have mentioned Frog’s reluctance in the moving department before. Perhaps it was my feigned indifference at her refusal to crawl until she was 12 months old. Or even, way back at the beginning of the year, her hesitance to sit up on her own. Whatever it was, the theme is a running one: my daughter will not shift.

Don’t get me wrong. She finally mastered the art of crawling about four months after all the other babies we know, and is now very good at it – speedy even. And she’s up on her feet every bloomin’ minute of the day. But she just won’t do it on her own.

I tell myself it doesn’t matter. I even write about it sometimes. I attempt this laid back approach, reassuring myself, “She’ll do it when she’s ready” and, “Lots of toddlers aren’t walking by 17 months”. But the closer we get to that big 1-7 (on the 27th November) the more I feel a little bit antsy about the whole thing.

Why isn’t she walking yet? Is there something wrong with her feet? Is it the talipeze back to haunt us again? (That’s a wonky foot, by the way, from when Frog was all scrunched up inside me in the womb.) Is there something wrong with her hips? Does it mean she’s not very bright? But she’s walking while holding hands – isn’t that a sign she’s OK? And so on, and so forth.

It doesn’t help when you see the other toddlers – running and jumping now. And those comments that are meant as a kind starter to a conversation but now just make me inwardly roll my eyes. “Still not walking then?!” etc etc.

And then there are the babies, six months younger than Frog, who are confidently striding up and down the park, with their parents looking pityingly at me, the mother of The Late Walker.

I realise this is all in my head of course. Yet again it’s that Competitive Mum I thought to have buried forever. That one that swore she’d never stress about a baby milestone ever again. And here I am, stressing.

I think the final tipping point was the other day. I was chatting to another mum while Frog played with her son. This lady’s son is ten months old, just.

The lady asked when Frog’s first birthday is going to be, and was surprised to hear it has been and gone already. Turned out she thought Frog was the same age as her son.

Looking at my reluctant walker, playing at her feet, this lady hadn’t seen a little girl. All she had seen was a little baby, crawling around on the floor. She didn’t hear when Frog pointed to a picture of a dog and said, “Woof”. She didn’t see her pick up a triangle and put it in the shape sorter, first time. She didn’t see Frog point to her nose when asked where it was. She didn’t hear her mutter, “Car” under her breath when a car drove past.

She missed every little detail that points to the fact Frog is, in fact, a toddler who doesn’t toddle. Not a baby at all.

"I may not be walking, but I'm a mean cup stacker."






Filed under Baby stuff, Development

29 responses to “17 months and still not walking

  1. My LO didn’t have any teeth till about 2 weeks ago and I was antsy about it. I kept telling people that it was because *I* hadn’t gone mine through till I was over 1 (which is true) but who the hell knows why they are still all taking their time. Bet Frog will just get up and do it one day with no fuss. Until then, enjoy the limited havoc! I can wait till mine does it 🙂

  2. Hi there, my LO was 16 mths befor she took to her feet, 17 mths befor she took her first solo steps and 18 mths old by the time she started walking confidently on her own. My LO has only just learnt to crawl and climb and she is 2 next mth. Some children are faster with one thing and slower at others either way your LO will get there in her own good time.


  3. How young they walk (or how old they are when they finally do) has nothing to do with intelligence. Sometimes it’s confidence. 17 months is at the upper end of normal, but it is still within normal range. It doesn’t hurt to mention it to your pediatrician at a checkup because early intervention is always better if something is wrong. But if she’s cruising, I wouldn’t worry too much.

  4. People are so, so very good at seeing what they want to see. I feel a bit guilty admitting this, but I messed around with how I presented facts in some of my earlier blog entries, and then would rephrase them throughout the day to see how adding more cues or removing them changed peoples’ responses.

    One of the most fascinating ones was one in which I mentioned my October birthday was months away, and then spoke a bit about why I’d brought it up. I got a bunch of happy birthday messages, which prompted me to toy around with varying levels of detail. Some folks locked on to “birthday” no matter what level of detail; most, though, did respond to level of detail. But for the skimmers, they saw the one word and thought they knew the whole.

    It’s definitely not just with blogs. It leaves me feeling a little gloomy sometimes, but I understand it’s a time-saving type of tool. But time is saved at the cost of true connection, I often feel . . .

  5. As the proud owner of a non walking eighteen month old I can reassure you that frog is a perfect Babyler,

    Bb may have done three steps but she is not doing it again and this week she learnt to crawl…….

    You and I both know if our Babylers wanted to walk they would as it stands they both seem to be focusing on developing their obstinate streak over their movement style.

    As for how she looks, she is beautiful, her woof is unmistakable much to BBs envy and she is perfectly developed if not advanced in every way.

    And trust me whilst she is crawling she is falling over less.


    • I’m all for the falling over less – less for the crooked back I’m developing though! BB is crawling now? Clever girl. Maybe they can have crawling races together next time…

  6. For every story of a 10 month old who is walking, there’s one about a 2 year old who only just started walking. And they all turn out the same: perfectly normal. Giggle Monster and Frog are the same age. He’s only been walking for a few weeks, but he hasn’t got a single word in his vocabulary, and he needs support with his shape sorter. It’s swings and roundabouts. They will all get there eventually. Eeek I think I used ‘swings and roundabouts’ the other day on your blog, looks like it’s not just my son who needs to expand his vocabulary! 😉

  7. I know exactly how you feel. My son was 18 months before he launched himself and then showed an extreme reluctance to get out of his pushchair. I’d make jokes about it to other mothers to hide my wmbarrassment and worry. Five years on he’s just walked six miles across the Malverns. And I didn’t walk until I was two. My parents feared I’d be propped up on my trolley of wooden bricks as I went down the aisle on my wedding day. But now I can get along quite nicely on me old pins.

    • Good to know I’m not alone – thank you! And I’m sure you have lovely pins, as does my daughter!

      • granny of the north

        Love this post…shows how different we are all but also how similar…but not all doing stuff at the same time eg me not getting a degree until aged 40! dont know when I walked though pretty messed up in a good way as a twinXX

  8. I know the antsy feeling and the guards we put up when around others parents. My son walked just before his first birthday, he mastered sitting, crawling, walking quite quickly but it’s his speech that has been late coming on. I have found that quite an issue although I know some are late bloomers and he is. I know he is bright he is just busy doing other things and his speech is coming on in leaps and bounds. You will probably find your little girl will be one of the first to be speaking! It’s swings and roundabouts! can understand why you would be wanting her to walk though. She will be off before you know it though x

  9. I can image your anxiety both my older children were late walkers. My youngest didn’t have any teeth until she was 13 months old. My youngest grandson didn’t say a word until he was 3 years old … but they did it and WELL

  10. Jane Clarke

    hi louise was late walking on her own but shifting around the furniture standing up at 100 MPH. What I did was stand her one step away from the settee then 2 steps then 3 and so on until she walked across the room. The light in her head suddenly turned on and hey presto she didnt stop. Its confidence.

    • And having the feet and balance. She will stand on her own against the wall, but doesn’t have the balance to stand on her own without holding onto anything. She’s too gangly and wobbly – just like her dad.

  11. H is not walking yet either, and although she has done a few steps, I think it will be a while before she walks properly. Frog will do it all in her own time. When they are all at school, no one has any idea who walked, talked etc first.

    F is also quite little isn’t she which might be why people think she is younger than she is? enjoy the babyish stage for a bit longer, I know I am. xxxxx

    • I know what you mean, it’s nice in lots of ways. But not so nice when she wants to get out of the buggy (constantly) and “walk” – which leaves me with a crooked back and a buggy half a mile away!

  12. Ah.. Molly, not like you to write a gloomy post 😦 but it’s as you say, lots of toddlers don’t toddle till later, my sister not until 19 months. My niece didn’t even sit till nine months! It’s because frog is clever. To frog walking is foolish, a mugs game. She knows that as soon as she goes bipolar style you’ll be getting her to do all kinds of stuff. Avoid,avoid,avoid!!

  13. granny of the north

    Hello I’m pretty sure I told you that GLN machine did not walk until 21 months and had a super bottom shuffle way of getting everything he wanted in super quick time. Various health visitors expressed concern about “non weight bearing” and other technical terms but all nonsense! One day he ran!! missed out all the toddling stage…got to the point and then did it. Still like that today as I;m sure you have found outXX

  14. Glamour

    But she’s walking while holding hands – isn’t that a sign she’s OK?
    you’re absolutely right – .. 🙂
    Exactly a doctor told me that’s, when I was worried why my baby does not walk (15 mnth), if the hand walk – so everything is OK. Will – is not going anywhere. Do not worry.
    My son crawled for a long time, then walked a long time with the chair across the room and under the wall:)) .. And now runs faster than all his peers.!
    Sorry for my english..

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