. Milestone Moments: PT Tips for 12-18 Months

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Milestones

As parents, you are anxious to see your child meet the milestones that you see other children meet, one of the most exciting to witness is walking! At 12-18 months, your child might be getting those steps in, but if they haven't yet, here some handy tips from a physical therapist to help your little one start moving.

 

  • You can encourage walking by using a push toy.

  • Put objects or toys outside of reach to make your child cruise, walk, or climb to retrieve them.

  • Check for tactile sensitivity if your child does not want to bear weight through his feet.

  • Do not overuse baby walkers or exercisers because they do not allow the baby to practice important skills independently.

  • Check for increased or decreased muscle tone. If your child has stiff or floppy limbs, you may want to discuss with your pediatrician.

  • Take notice of the position of your child’s legs and feet when standing. If you notice that their feet are turned in or out you may want to discuss with your pediatrician at your child’s next visit.

  • Encourage standing on one foot by playing games like popping bubbles with one foot or “marching” when walking.

  • Promote walking backwards by having your child pull a pull toy while stepping backwards.

  • If you have concerns about your child’s gross motor skills, request that your pediatrician refer you for a physical therapy evaluation.

To see these milestones in action, visit our Milestones Videos page.