The 11 Worst Mistakes Walker Rookies Make—and How to Avoid Them


Some of us have a penchant for being a little clumsy. That explains why we spend so much time in the waiting room at our doctor's office. But when you're learning to walk, it can feel like an eternity before you're finally mobile and not relying on others for assistance.

If you need help with your walking but don't know where to start, this post is for you! Our 11 biggest mistakes that toddlers make when they first learn how to walk and how to avoid them.

1. Pushing off with their knees

When you're just starting to take your first steps, you'll push off with your knees. This is perfectly normal and just part of the process! However, it's important to know that using your knees when you walk can cause you to trip or fall when walking on hard surfaces like concrete.

2. Lifting their knee up too high

Because toddlers are so new to walking, they tend to lift their knee up too high when they walk. They do this because it feels more natural for them at the time. To avoid tripping or stumbling when walking, be sure not to lift your knee any higher than hip height.

3. Taking tiny steps

If you're just starting to walk, it's important that you're doing so slowly and with solid footing. Instead of taking big steps, make small ones and place your foot down carefully on the ground before moving forward. You can also take baby steps if needed, but make sure your balance is controlled at all times!

4. Limping

While some toddlers may limp when they first begin walking, it's important to make sure your child isn't doing this. Limping can be a sign of a bigger issue, so if your child is limping while walking then you should schedule an appointment with the doctor right away!

5. Taking uneven steps or not putting equal weight on each foot

When you're learning to walk, it's common for you to put more weight on your dominant side. If you're not used to walking yet, it can feel awkward to place all of your weight onto one foot or take an uneven step.

However, you may need to make sure your child is taking equal weight on each of their legs. If you find they're not putting equal weight on each leg when they walk, you can place a toy or a book between them and the leg that has less weight on it.

It's natural for children to have a dominant side, but it's important that they have full control over both of their legs so be sure to help them develop this if needed!

6. Standing up as soon as they can balance on one foot

While some toddlers will be able to balance on one foot right away after starting to walk, this is not something that is typical. If your child can balance on one foot but start walking immediately, they may be pushing themselves too hard and hurting themselves. If this is the case, it's important to give them a break from these new habits and not force them to walk too soon.

7. Not using both hands when stomping

While it can be fun to stomp from time to time, toddlers do need to use both hands when they're doing this. Unless your child is a professional dancer or a circus clown, they shouldn't be doing this with just one hand!

8. Turning their face away from the direction they're going

If you want to make sure your toddler doesn't get hurt when learning to walk, it's important that they keep their eyes on the direction they're going. This will help them stay on a straight path and not bump into anything!

9. Holding onto furniture for support

When your toddler is first learning how to walk, it's normal for some of them to hold onto furniture or other objects for support. While this is okay, you should try to get your child to move on from this habit after they're more confident in their walking skills.

10. Moving their arms frantically

Some toddlers will flap their arms or move them quickly while they walk. While this isn't something that will cause them any harm, it's important to make sure your child can walk without moving their arms like this! If you notice your toddler doing this while walking, it's best to calm them down and get them to control their arms. Otherwise, they could trip over their own feet!

11. Walking on their toes

Although some toddlers like to walk on their toes, it's important to make sure your child isn't doing this. It can be okay to walk on your tippy-toes every once in a while for fun, but always make sure your child is walking on their heels when they're learning to walk!

If you notice your toddler trying to walk on their toes, you can make sure they do this by stepping up onto a staircase or other raised surface.

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