Do Twins Learn to Walk Later?
If you’re a parent of twins, of course, you’d be excited to see your little ones begin growing and achieving milestones, especially walking! However, you may have heard of how twins walk later in life compared to other babies, so it leaves you wondering, “do twins learn to walk later?”
I’m sure many parents would be worried about their little ones taking more time to walk than usual. So if you’d like to learn more about twins’ development stages and how it compares to other children, read on!
The Typical Stages of Walking
Before we get into the topic of twins walking in the later part of life, let’s first tackle the typical stages of walking for all babies.
Babies don’t just walk immediately; they go through different stages and master developmental milestones. They will learn to walk gradually as they grow bigger and their legs becoming stronger. After all, newborns are born with weak muscles, so they can’t support their full weight yet until they’ve grown.
This is a basic timeline of what your little ones go through:
- At 6 months old, they begin sitting up and use their muscles in their trunks, staying upright.
- At around 10 months, they begin pulling up to a stand.
- The age would vary as they begin to cruise, making his way around the room and using any furniture as support.
- After learning to cruise, they will then begin to learn how to walk, practicing how to lift one foot and balance the other.
Babies reach these walking milestones at different times, it’s no competition, nor is there a set time. The average age would be between 9-15 months, typically once your little one hits the 1-year-old milestone. However, take note that these milestones are only a guide, and if you’d like to know more about your babies’ individual development, talk with their pediatrician.
Do Twins Learn to Walk Later?
Twins may or may not learn to walk later than other babies. Twins are usually born earlier and smaller compared to single babies, so they might accomplish milestones a bit later.
That said, usually, being born as twins doesn’t play a major factor as to when they begin walking. In fact, a study shows that singletons may actually take a bit more time learning to walk independently compared to twins! So the answer here is a bit mixed.
To add to this, sometimes, one twin may walk faster than the other! However, this is totally fine.
Why does it happen, though?
Because all babies are unique. And given the fact that it can take between 9-15 months to learn to walk, that’s a wide range. So one twin can walk at 10 months while the other begins to walk a few months after that, which is still completely okay.
Besides this, the individual personalities of babies can also play a factor. The more “adventurous and curious” twin wanting to explore his feet, while a quiet twin would watch and observe, taking time before he begins walking.
Your twins’ sizes may also play a role, especially if one is bigger than the other at birth and as they grow older. Bigger babies tend to walk later as they require more strength to get upright compared to smaller babies.
But even if one twin walks earlier or later than the other, it’s no grounds for concern as long as they both learn within the normal range. You should also remember that babies who bottom-shuffle would walk later compared to babies who crawl, so that’s one more factor to consider.
It’s all about giving them the time, as walking will involve balance and confidence. They won’t only have to learn about standing up on their own, but also learn how to coordinate their steps without falling, taking time, strength, self-esteem, and effort.
When Should I Worry?
Usually, there’s no need to worry about your twins not learning to walk until they reach 15 months. For twins (and even singletons, triplets, and other babies) born before their due date, the milestones would be age-adjusted until up to two years old.
For example, if your twins are born at 34 weeks, then add another 6 weeks or so to their walking milestone timeline. Monitor your babies’ signs of progress individually, discussing their development with their pediatrician regularly. A medical professional will be able to keep track of their developmental milestones as individuals and see if everything is going well, rather than to compare their progress with other babies.
If ever your babies have already reached 18 months old and aren’t standing alone or walking yet, then it’s best to discuss this with their doctor. Otherwise, don’t be stressed over the fact they haven’t begun walking yet! Let them enjoy and explore their surroundings, their time will come.
Furthermore, you can take a look at your babies’ legs, particularly the feet. If their feet are flexible and can be gently pulled to a straight position, this is fine. But if the feet feel rigid, it’s best to have them checked. If your little one hasn’t been wriggling their legs and is flopping in your arms or not putting their feet down when placing them in a standing position, it’s time to have him checked.
It’s important to talk with their pediatrician about their progress in walking. Sometimes, delayed walking may be caused by foot or leg problems, including rickets, developmental hip dysplasia, or conditions affecting muscle tones such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy. Their doctor will check if your babies may be limping or if their legs look uneven or weak.
Would you like to learn more about the stages of walking for babies? Check out this informative video:
What You Can Do
Some babies just need more patience until such time that they can learn to walk. Here are some tips you can follow to encourage them to learn to walk:
- You can help your little ones take the first steps by getting on the floor and holding their hands as they are standing, guiding them across the floor. This is a simple exercise that can teach babies to lift their legs, moving across the room. It can also help babies develop stronger muscles and improve their balance.
- Give your baby appropriate floor time for them to explore and become mobile, which helps them walk independently. Let your little ones scoot, crawl, and even pull up as much as they can, rather than constantly hold or carry them when at home.
- You can bribe them with toys! Sit on the floor and let your little ones pull up with a study chair, then sit a few feet away with their favorite toy, seeing if they would take a step to get to the toy. Make sure their path is clear to prevent them from being distracted.
- Baby walkers might delay walking in babies and may cause injuries. Instead, use a push toy but make sure that they are supervised to prevent them from tipping over.
- During playtime, let your little ones play in various positions and levels, like crawling or kneeling over cushions. This will allow them to develop their ability to shift their weight, along with improving balance, coordination, confidence, and strength. These are all needed as they become independent walkers!
- You don’t need to always be the one to help them walk! Allow your child to do it on their own and give them space, giving them the necessary tumbles throughout their exploring so they can learn how to walk. Just be sure everything is baby-proofed and that you are nearby in case of any accidents.
- Also, avoid using shoes for your baby, as it would be more difficult for them to walk! Shoes are best used for the outdoors, but babies would learn to walk quicker when at home, barefoot.
- As your little ones learn to walk, be sure that there is a safe environment in your home, removing safety hazards. Remove rugs that can trip your babies, install safety gates, and removing sharp furniture.
Wrapping It Up
Twins aren’t any different than babies in terms of their development, even in walking. While there are twins born early, this is only a small factor that may or may not affect when they will walk. There are other factors to consider, but just continue to nurture and care for your little ones, and they will begin to walk successfully!
I hope that this article answered your question, “do twins learn to walk later?” Now that you’re familiar with the answer, you can learn even more about the baby’s development and other milestones!
Do you have questions or want to share your personal stories about yourself and your little ones? Share them in the comments section below, I’d love to hear what you have to think!