“How would you describe the walking pattern? A typical definition is that it is forward movement achieved by the legs in which one foot is in continuous contact with the ground. The age at which children begin to walk depends on the maturation of the nervous system and balance mechanisms and strength of the muscles, especially in the lower limbs and back. Children who have more developed neuro-muscular coordination acquire the motor development milestones of sitting, crawling and cruising and can walk before children who were less advanced at the same age. Other factors such as physique and weight influence the age at which children first start walking, which ranges from nine months to 18 months. Being able to walk shows [-p.154] that a child has begun to control his or her body and limbs while moving.
At the initial level of walking poor balance causes infants to be unsteady and to fall easily. To compensate for this infants usually walk with their legs wide apart and hold their arms out sideways, a little like a tightrope walker. They also appear to be very rigid, their movements are jerky and irregular, they sway sideways, have heavy flat foot contact with the ground and they bend their knees up high as they step.” (153-154)
Ref: Carolyn O’Brien (1994) ‘Motor development and learning in children’ pp.146+ in The Early Years; development, learning and teaching, Eds Gillian Boulton-Lewis and Di Catherwood. The Australian Council for Educational Research: Victoria, Australia.