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Learning to walk starts well before the first step. Here are the mobility milestones to expect from birth to age 5 – from crawling to running and jumping.
Learn more about your child's walking and physical development.
From the moment they're born, babies start developing the strength and skills they'll eventually need for walking.
In the first 2 months of life, if babies are held in a standing position on a hard surface, they'll reflexively move their legs in a stepping motion.
At 3 and 4 months, babies will raise their head and push up with their arms during tummy time. These mini push-ups build upper body strength important for walking.
At 5 months, babies held in a standing position will bounce up and down, which builds leg strength.
Learning to sit up, which usually happens at 6 to 9 months, helps babies develop balance and coordination.
So does learning to crawl, which babies typically do between 7 and 10 months. Some babies skip crawling entirely, which is just fine.
Around this time, babies can support themselves in a standing position by holding onto something. Soon after that they'll start cruising, or taking sliding steps while holding onto something for support.
Around 9 or 10 months, babies can pull themselves up to a standing position.
As they approach their first birthday, they'll likely be able to stand unsupported for a few seconds. And soon – often between 12 and 15 months – they'll be taking those exciting first steps.
While it's normal for a child not to be toddling by 15 months, if that's the case, you should mention it to your child's doctor.
By 16 to 18 months, many toddlers are dancing and can manage stairs with help. Some toddlers this age can walk backward.
And get ready: As children approach their second birthday, they'll begin to run. They can also kick a ball and jump from a low step to the floor.
Around age 3, kids can zip left and right when running and can jump off the ground, feet together.
By 4, they learn to hop on one foot and can go up and down stairs without holding onto anything.
By the time children reach 5, they've mastered it all: walking, running, jumping, hopping, and skipping.