We’ve grown up with many ideas about when a baby should do certain things—lift his head by this month, eat solids by that month, and walk by the time he is a year old. While some gross motor skills milestones are right on the mark—i.e. almost all babies can lift their heads between two to four months old—the range of ages when it’s considered normal to begin walking is broader, specifically—anywhere between nine to fifteen months of age. Some toddlers start walking even later than that, and grow up to be just fine.
It could be that your child is just on the slow side of normal, and is taking his time to catch up. There are activities you can do to develop your child’s gross motor skills (see box); but in the meantime, as long as your toddler is cruising around the room, holding onto furniture, or pulling himself up—in short, as long as he is moving on his own—you don’t have to worry.
If you are really worried that he may have poor muscle tone, your pediatrician may arrange for tests to confirm this. The good news is that physical therapy works very well when started at an early age, and many children eventually catch up.