*This post is in partnership with buybuy BABY , a company that both Elle and I love. As always, all opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting brands that make GCG possible!



Today’s post is all about getting your toddler to walk. Elle was a late walker and I wanted to share a bit about the strategies and tools we used in order to help her start walking. You just assume every child will walk and want to walk, but when Elle was reaching 16 months and didn’t even look close to getting there, we thought we would give her a little push.

They said the average kid walks between 9-18 months, which is a HUGE range. Some kids pick it up on their own easily, while others need some help. Elle began walking around the 17.5 month mark so she was obviously on the later side of things.

Before I share what we did, I want to talk about two things that probably delayed our daughter’s walking. The first one was that she became a knee walker. What is a knee walker you ask? Well, it’s when your toddler walks around on their knees instead of their feet. If you follow me on Insta Stories, then you probably saw Elle doing this.

Elle started knee walking around 12 months and continued for about 5 months. She became really fast doing this and therefore found a great way to get around with her hands free. We thought perhaps she thought that she was actually walking and invested in a lot of black leggings since her pants were always being dragged around on the floor. Luckily we are finally past this stage and it’s safe to say that Elle is no longer a knee walker. If your child is in fact a knee walker, don’t worry because I promise you that one day your child will walk!

Another issue we had was something called “w sitting”. You can read more about it here and If you kid is doing this then try to stop it now. Being a first time mom, I had no idea what this was and now feel bad that I let Elle sit like that for so long. It’s really bad for the development of the hips and can cause hip dysplasia later in life. We now try to correct Elle every time we see her sitting like this, but it’s hard when someone becomes so comfortable sitting a certain way.

After addressing these two obstacles, we talked to our doctor and he provided us with some ideas on how to get Elle walking. If you too are in my boat then hopefully the tips below will help.  These are all the things we did:


Our doctor encourage us to contact early intervention. Every state has it and the easiest way to find out about it is to ask your pediatrician. If you live in Illinois, you can get more information about it here. It’s a very slow process in Chicago so I recommend contacting them as soon as you can. It took about a month to set everything up between the scheduling, evaluation, paperwork, etc. so the sooner the better.

Elle now sees a Physical Therapist and Occupational Therapist once a week. They both come to our home and help her strengthen her motor skills through games and playing. Both saw improvement immediately and we probably won’t need them much longer because of how well she is doing.


Our physical therapist encouraged us to get shoes with good arch support. Some brands she recommended include New Balance and Saucony. You read a lot about how kids need to learn how to walk barefoot, but sometimes that extra arch support in a shoe can really give them the the extra assistance they need in order to walk.


If you live in Chicago then I highly recommend the pre-walking class at Bubbles Academy. I truly feel like this class taught Elle how to walk and I wish I had enrolled her in it sooner. They also have a pre-crawlers class too if you have a younger baby and are worried that they aren’t crawling. The classes at Bubbles are kind of on the expensive side, but I heard they’re cheaper if you do drop-in through Pearachute.

If you don’t live in Chicago, then ask around and check online to see if there is some sort of walking class available in your area. I was able to learn so many exercises to help Elle and each week we saw a vast improvement. Before we started this class (which was at 16 months) Elle couldn’t even stand up and balance on her own and a month and a half later (6 classes), she was walking!

Some of the exercises we practiced in class included giving a lot of support throughout the hips with your hands, using a scarf or towel under the arms for extra support, distracting your child by having them chase after stuffed animals and bubbles within an arms reach, supporting your toddler from behind with your knees to pushing them from behind in a walking motion, and so many more.


Encourage your child to practice as much as possible. Through the walking class at Bubbles Academy we were able to learn different exercises {described above} to do at home. Also, if you are like us and live in a condo, then you might not have a lot of space to work with. We began using our hallway a lot, which was carpeted compared to all the hardwood floors in our home. This gave Elle a large straight space to walk down and it was softer for when she fell. Also, if the weather is warm, you can try practicing outside on soft grass.


There are a few toys we bought that really helped Elle in her walking journey and I wanted to share all of them with you below:


    We were huge fans of this walker and even talked about it in this post when sharing Elle’s favorite toys as a one year old. We started using it around 6 months old and still even use it today. Elle loves scooting it around as well as pushing all the buttons that light up and make noise. It plays songs, makes animal noises, and even has a removable telephone for making phone calls.


    This is another walker that was recommended by our teacher at Bubbles Academy. She liked the idea that it was more of a push toy and less of a “walker”. It really helped Elle with her balance and I love the colorful design. She enjoys playing with the blocks as well as putting other toys in it and pushing them around.


    Balls were really helpful in the walking process for us. We use them both with our physical therapist as well as in our walking class. They help with balance and assist in getting your toddler to move. buybuy Baby has a great variety of options that you can view here. Also I noticed that when Elle was holding small toys, balls, etc. in her hands, she was able to balance better and walk straighter and longer.


    These were other great distractions. My walking teacher recommended “new” stuffed animals so it was a happy surprise and your toddler would have to chase after it. You would place the stuffed animal a bit above them within arms reach and they would walk towards it. You also could have your toddler hold onto the stuffed animal for support and slowly drag them forward. See all of buybuy Baby’s stuffed animal selection here.


    I’ve heard amazing things about this YBike. If I didn’t already own 2 walkers then I would for sure invest in one.  It’s suppose to encourage motor skills, balance, and coordination and I’ve heard it’s the best present for a non-walking one year old!


    Bubbles were another fun toy to use. Obviously all kids LOVE bubbles and they’re a great way to get your toddler moving. They get easily distracted by the excitement of bubbles and don’t even realize that they are walking. We love these wands and these bubble guns {which we previously talked about in this post}. I’ve also see these bubble machines used a lot on some of the classes we attend.

1. VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker // 2. Bubble Wands // 3. Bubble Machine
4. Bubble Guns // 5. Assorted Balls // 6. Textured Balls // 7. Rubber Ball
8. Wooden Walker With Blocks // 9. Teddy Bear {see more here} // 10. YBike


Now that Elle is walking, it’s hard to take pictures of her since she is always on the move! Below are a few photos I was able to snap of her using all of her favorite buybuy Baby toys:

1. VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker // 2. Bubble Wands // 3. Bubble Machine
4. Bubble Guns // 5. Assorted Balls // 6. Textured Balls // 7. Rubber Ball
8. Wooden Walker With Blocks // 9. Teddy Bear {see more here} // 10. YBike


So there you have it. A few tips and toys to use to help your toddler learn to walk. I realize I’m not a doctor and just a first time mom, but what we did above really helped our daughter immensely.

I got told a lot that every child will walk on their own terms and at their own pace. I also learned in my walking class that a lot of times it isn’t always physical, but instead emotional. Some kids are more scared of falling and need extra time and support. Lastly, if you have some other ideas on how you got your own child to walk, please let me know and I can add them to the list!


*This post is in partnership with buybuy BABY , a company that both Elle and I love. As always, all opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting brands that make GCG possible!