While there is no reason to be concerned if your baby is not walking before 18 months, there are some factors that delay walking. These include preterm birth, babies born with birth injuries, genetic conditions, autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), or syndromes such as fetal alcohol syndrome, HIV, or other immunological conditions. There are also some factors at play you may not have considered yet – and what you can do about them:


1. GENETIC MAKE-UP


Based on the interplay between their height, weight, and physique, some children are just built to develop more rapidly than others. Others have low muscle tone or struggle to master their bodies and seem to be in a constant battle with gravity!


WHAT TO DO

“If you consider your baby to be floppy, lazy, or stuck in a stage, consult your pediatrician and ask for a referral to a neurodevelopmental therapist and occupational therapist,” says occupational therapist Jane Bainbridge.


2. EAR INFECTIONS


Fluid in the middle ear can play havoc with the internal apparatus of the ear affecting a baby’s vestibular sense and affecting balance. This can cause dizziness and vertigo, causing him to feel very insecure and reluctant to walk.


WHAT TO DO

Consult your pediatrician or an ear, nose, and throat specialist.

3. CHILDREN WITH SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDERS (SPD)


Tactile sensitivity may manifest in a baby being unable to tolerate the feeling of texture under his feet and refusing to put his feet down. Moving over textured surfaces and walking becomes very difficult to master.


WHAT TO DO

Consultation with a sensory integration-trained occupational therapist will help identify your baby’s sensory profile and help guide you to create an environment and activities which will promote sensory regulation.


4. VISUAL DEFICITS


For low-vision children, moving into the unknown is threatening.


WHAT TO DO

Consult with your pediatrician and ophthalmologist and seek the appropriate channels for visual aids and therapy.

Categorized in: