Many parents can't wait until their baby takes that first step, but for some infants, that moment comes later rather than sooner. The question "when do babies start walking?" does not have just one correct answer, as every child is an individual, who will develop at their own rate. However you can reasonably expect your child to begin walking at some point between the ages of 9 months and a year old. There is, however, no cause for concern if your child has reached the age of 12 months and still hasn't taken their first step as there are many perfectly healthy children who learn to walk at a much later stage - sometimes as late as 16 or 17 months.
Walking cannot happen until your baby has already developed sufficient muscle control. Therefore, your child must already be able to sit unsupported, roll over and possibly crawl before they are ready to stand on their own two feet. Your child must develop the skills and the confidence to pull themselves to their feet and stand on their own before being able to take a step unaided.
If your baby is developing strong enough muscles to be able to walk, you will soon see them using furniture to pull themselves upright. At around the same time, they will also be learning how to sit back down again unsupported. At around a year old, you may notice that your baby is starting to "cruise". This means that they are starting to move around the room by holding onto furniture for support. They may even be able to stand still without needing to hold on. When your baby is ready to start walking alone, they may be able to squat down and pick up a toy from a standing position or be able to take a few steps while holding onto your hands.
Teaching your child confidence and independence is the best way to encourage solo walking. That means that if your baby is struggling to do something themselves, such as sitting down, try showing them how it's done rather than simply picking them up and placing them on their bottom.
When you think your child is ready to walk alone, try sitting a few steps in front of them and holding out your arms so that they are encouraged to take a couple of independent steps towards you. There are also toys you can buy to encourage walking, such as push toys and toddle trucks. You should avoid buying your baby a baby walker as they may be dangerous and may prevent your child's leg muscles from proper development. You should also refrain from buying your baby shoes until they are walking outside on a regular basis as walking barefoot helps their coordination and balancing skills.
Remember that if your child was premature, they may learn to walk a little later than average, however if your baby has not learned to walk by the age of 18 months you should discuss it with your doctor.