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Oh my! You are gathered together to see the new baby in the family and someone holds the little one upright. The baby proceeds to take “steps” and everyone is declaring that the baby is trying to walk. Subsequently everyone assumes the baby will be an early walker.

Let’s clear this up!

First, what you are seeing is a normal infant reflex that should be present in all infants at around 1 to 3 months. When the baby gets older, her or she will lose this reflex and just bear weight on his or her feet.

No ability to bear weight or with a rigid posture and head arching back are red flags that should be evaluated.

Once the baby gets old enough to pull into standing, the stepping reflex should reappear to assist the child to start crawling and eventually take steps.

There are many reflexes that are normally present. Some are abnormal if they stay too long. I have outlined some of the major reflexes and their normal and abnormal presentations in my book:

Early Intervention: Birth to 12 Months

Available: HERE