Many parents think that a child who is able to walk earlier than others is more "advanced" with regard to the development of motor skills, but a recent study featured on the Daily Mail debunks this belief, saying that it doesn't really matter when a child starts walking as long as he does so by approximately 18 months.

Whether a child develops control of his limbs at four or at nine months doesn't make any difference, researchers from the Zurich Children's Hospital say after working with 222 babies born between 1978 and 1993. Parents of the participants were asked to record movement milestones such as crawling, sitting up, and walking independently. The children were given check-ups seven times between ages one and two and were also regularly tested for "balance, coordination, and intelligence up to the age of 18."

Results showed that children began sitting up at the average age of six and a half months, and started walking at approximately 12 months.

Professor Mitch Blair of the Royal Collage of Paediatrics and Child Health says, "I regularly see parents who are concerned that their child is not yet walking, or learning to do so more slowly that their peers, and are worried about what that might mean for their development. The reassuring message is that the age at which children walk varies and there is no proven link between walking later and lower intelligence or poor coordination later in life." He also recommends asking for medical advice only if the child has not started walking by 18 months.


(Photo by rjacklin1975 via Flickr Creative Commons)

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