Tips for Talking to Your Pediatrician: My Child Is Not Walking

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 11:09 | Erika Herzer, PT, DPT, CBIS, PCS
Tips for Talking to Your Pediatrician: My Child Is Not Walking

Walking is a major milestone that parents and caregivers often anticipate around their infant’s first birthday. A delay in being able to walk without help can sometimes cause stress or concern for families. Bringing up your concerns to your pediatrician is a helpful first step in making sure that your child gets the help and services they may need. 

Consider these tips to help prepare for talking to your pediatrician: 

Take videos of your child.
You may have a limited amount of time with your health-care provider, and physician exam rooms are often small, both of which can cloud the picture of what your child is able to do. Having a video of your child attempting to walk will give the physician key information they need to help determine the best treatment for your child (if any is needed). If your child is not attempting to walk, take video of them during the week prior to your appointment sitting, rolling, playing or crawling.

Create a list of your child’s milestones.
Most infants:
•    Start rolling from their backs to their bellies by five to six months of age
•    Sit independently at six months
•    Crawl around eight months
•    Pull themselves up to standing around nine months and take side steps while holding onto furniture shortly after.

Letting your physician know at what age your child hits these major milestones will be helpful information for him or her to figure out why walking has not yet started. 

Understand that motivation is key.
Some infants have a delay in walking simply because they are not motivated to do so right at their first birthday, or because crawling is fast and effective for them. Let your physician know if your baby seems to have interest in walking and attempt to do so but can not, or if they do not typically try to pull up to stand and walk. 

Track your child’s food intake.
Let your physician know what your child is eating on a daily basis or if any eating habits have changed. It is important that your child is eating and drinking enough to provide the high amount of energy required for walking. 

Know that you have a choice when it comes to therapy providers.
Physical therapy may be recommended by your physician to help your child walk without help. Since infants are much different than adults, choosing a pediatric physical therapist is key. Your physician may recommend Early Intervention services (provided in your home) or outpatient therapy (provided in an outpatient setting). Depending on how many days per week therapy is recommended by your physician a combination of both Early Intervention and outpatient therapy may be helpful. Ultimately, you have a choice when it comes to selecting your child’s pediatric physical therapy provider.

To learn more about pediatric physical therapy or to schedule an evaluation for your child, call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422) or fill out the form at the bottom of this page.