I think if anyone else asks me this question I may scream. It seems your baby's whole development is assessed on this one skill.
They may be the most intelligent, loving, funny and charming child you have ever met but if they can't walk yet, well that's it, bottom of the class.
It's crazy really why this one skill is considered the ultimate one to achieve. I guess because it it the most visual and the one which starts to distinguish a baby from a toddler – some kind of right of passage. For me, I just don't value the physical skills as highly as the mental.
The only reason I can see parents wanting to hurry on their babies to this stage is bragging rights, yet again. Because in reality, the difficulties of dealing with a walking child are phenomenal. Okay so it may save on aching arms having to carry them here, there, and everywhere. But I'm under no illusion that once my daughter is walking she will obediently follow me where ever I lead her like a puppy. When I tell her to go one way, she's going to be off in the opposite direction.
The pressure is so immense however, that even I find myself falling for it. To that all so 'important' question, “is she walking yet”, I hear myself replying, “oh yes whilst holding our hands, but it won't be long before she let's go, any time now, any time”, like I need to make excuses for my daughter.
I put this whole situation to my health visitor recently. I said should we be worried that's she's 14 months and not walking. I could have kissed her for her reply that there was absolutely no need to worry, she would simply do it in her own time. She even added that it generally was the babies who were not so well attended to who walked first as they quite literally had to go and seek things out for themselves.
So there you go. I have to say though, the day my daughter does start to walk will be one to celebrate, if only to quell those incessant questioners. “Walking, walking,” I'll say, “she's moonwalking”.