Any advice on helping a clumsy walker?

So my family and I recently gained custody of my niece. Her mother wasn’t taking care of her as she should. My niece was constantly in their hospital for head injuries, and my sister just didn’t really care to take care of her. The state finally stepped in and took hold of my nice. Fast forward, and she’s living with us now. She’s 3yrs old—very sweet, but very high maintenance. My sister would constantly keep my niece in her car seat, highchair, pack, and play, etc. So she is a VERY clumsy walker. She looks like a little drunk person. I was wondering if any momma’s had any tips on how to help a clumsy walker? I just get so scared of her running into a wall or the tables and hurting herself, and I have two kids of my own to take care of as well, so trying to keep an eye on my two and make sure my niece isn’t going to run into everything gets very hard. But I’m not going to keep her confined to a small space anymore; she needs to play and walk around. My anxiety is just very high when she’s on her feet. Any advice would be helpful.


A baby helmet :slightly_smiling_face:
She sounds like she’s learning how to walk as a baby smaller than her would. I would honestly put a helmet on her and let her roam and strengthen her walking skills. But good on u for stepping in ! The world needs more people like you :two_hearts:


Purchase the safety stuff for tables, corner guards and stuff. I’m sure though with some freedom and practice she will be much more sturdy before you know it


Maybe see an occupational therapist she could have some developmental delays your not aware of … not being rude just better to be safe then sorry you never know


try and find a see if there’s a trampoline gym in your area or around your area so that those mats all over the place and get a helmet for her and then the other kid plays well?


See if you can get her physical therapy to help.


Has she had a physical?

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Ask her pediatrician to send her to Physical therapy to help strengthen her core and legs.

Have her ears checked


Have you had her ears checked . She may need tubes in her ears. May have fluid buildup

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Take her outside in the yard, roll, kick throw a ball. Let her run aroud in a safe environment. A handicapp park would work too


Check if she walks on her tippy toes yes and see if occupational therapy can help!

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Not sure where you live but in ohio there is a program that helps with child development. You should see if there is a similar program where you live. Help Me Grow

Has she seen an eye doctor? Her clumsy walking could be an underlying health condition that has gone undiagnosed. She also could have damaged her inner ear with a head injury.


If she had head injuries she likely is suffering brain injury. As someone else suggested, contact her physician and social workers about physical therapy ASAP.


Maybe PT and OT there maybe an issues why she is so clumsy! My son was almost 2 till he walked! Gets PT and OT still at school he is now 6!! He has balance issues and has had lots of ear issues!!

I would get her a trampoline with the handle to hold onto to strengthen her muscles.


She needs to see a pediatrician. She may have fluid in her ears that makes her wobbly and she needs to be evaluated developmentally. She may need physical and occupational therapies. Since she’s over three, the state won’t send early intervention to your house for free but she could receive therapies at a public school pre-K.


Have you had her eyes checked?

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An occupational therapist. At least an eval. I’m surprised they didn’t suggest that


I would say physical therapy and having her eyes checked.

Go to the extremes of baby proofing everything. The more practice she has with walking just may help her. I would speak with the pediatrician and let them be aware of the situation and keep them informed of any progress or if none. Try letting her run outside as much as possible. Anything really to strengthen her leg mucsles. And plenty of patience and love… shower her with confidence that she can do this. And pray.


I say try getting physical therapy. Also go to the park or let her loose in a yard

Take her to a doctor and request a physical therapy evaluation. And make sure she has really good shoes on. Maybe even a high top sneaker to help align her ankles. Or possibly a push toy so she can learn proper walking technique


have her evaluated for Physical therapy occupational therapy and ear nose and throat doctor maybe she has an inner ear problem

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Have you thought about having a chiropractor take a look at her?? Our oldest grandson was always falling when he started waking to the same side so we took him to a chiropractor and well one of his legs was longer than the other.

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I agree with most have her ears checked my son was like that but also has had ear infections from the time he was a couple of months old nothing was getting the fluids off his ears finally at 10 months old they put tubes in his ears and he started talking more and he started walking tubes were the best thing for him he is 20 now and has never had another ear infection definitely get the ears checked

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My middle daughter used to run into walls, miss steps, trip over nothing. Turns out she has no depth perception in her right eye. Glasses help but her right eye “basically doesn’t work at all” according to her so she does her best with her left. She was too little to tell us she couldn’t see when all this was happening initially.

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I agree with the above, regular doctor visit to get federal for ear nose and throat doctor, optamologist, and referal to a neurologist.

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She needs help - my son went thru the same thing. He needed inserts in his sneakers to stabilize his foot.

Physical and occupational therapy are really the best avenues

Physical therapy for sure. And I’d get her eyes checked too.

In the meantime, buy her a bicycle helmet to wear. It sounds silly but she’s had enough head trauma it seems.

Do you have an early intervention program? Call your pediatrician to get information -


A baby Walker? if you’re in the USA you can buy them …

Other than getting a full checkup just to make sure her ears and eyes are ok, I would just get one of the push toys that you give babies that are learning to walk. She may just not have the coordination or built up enough leg strength since she didn’t use her legs often.
Fisher-price Laugh And Learn Smart Stages Learn With Puppy Walker : Target


Lots if playground time with swinging and spinning and hanging upside down. That’s how proprioception is built

Are her feet aligned, meaning is she pigeon toed, if she is try putting her shoes on the wrong feet. My son was, was falling, running into things, had to have stitches 3 times. Doctor told me to put shoes on wrong feet, within 3 months he was walking normal.

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See if her Doctor will order physical and Occupational therapy.

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Get her checked by her doctor first and maybe into a little gym or some type of dance class will help with balance and coordination.

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She probably needs OT
Occupational therapy


After you have a doctor’ ck her out foe ear or brain infection.
I would GET a walker tall enough for her and let her use it for 15 min 4x a day to strengthen her legs .


She will catch on to walking, she is just use to being stuck were she can’t move so she has to Learn to walk and move around give it some time she will catch on. By the way your a great person to take care of your sister’s child!Good luck to you!


She needs OT from what you described it sounds like she’s not learned how to use her legs properly .and those muscles are very weak . Ot will help her gain strength and to walk properly . I’ve sadly seen this before in a small child who never learned to walk or use their bottom half I’ve their body . It was a long time in OT to help them along … but are now a normal healthy little person .


I think walking is something they kinda figure out on their own, but I agree with everyone else. I reccomend taking her in to be evaluated.


See if you can get her into mommy and me yoga. It will help strengthen her body.

Get her eyes and ears checked. Otherwise just support her learning to walk finally with like a lil Walker


Get her a helmet and occupational therapy will help…since shes through foster care they should be offering her services

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I’d start by taking her to a Dr & mentioning it. By the sounds of it she needs PT. But I’d get everything checked pressure in the ears can cause “clumsy walking”, poor vision & probable a slue of other things. But since she was confined most of her life she probably hasn’t built up the muscle tone to walk.


If she’s had head injuries it could be brain damage. She needs medical evaluation.


it sounds like you need to be referred to a neurologist Maybe


There is some great advice on here! :grin: also though, a friend of mine used knee and elbow pads and a bike helmet for when she walked, just in case. Hope that helps! Good luck! :blush: xw

I would definitely have her evaluated by a developmental pediatrician to find out just what her needs are and how far behind she may be to get her services to help her catch up. As for the walking, you could probably get her a walker to help keep her from falling.

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Poor kid :triumph: I hope your sister gets fixed and jailed!

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Pediatrician first to make sure she’s ok. And baby proof the house like you would a baby learning to walk she will be ok just make sure she’s crawling or something safe around stairs but she’s like a baby learning to walk not a 3 year old that’s running so be patient

She definitely needs some OT & PT to build up her muscles.

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I would take her to her pediatrician. Have her ears checked.


My oldest was clumsy when learning how to walk so my stepdad bought him this, even my youngest used it a few times. Maybe. You can try using a walk and play, it might help her balance as she walks.

Be very careful if she has had head injuries it may interfere with her walking!!

Yes check her ears maybe that can be causing the imbalancing

Get a full check-up from her pediatrician first. If nothing is physically wrong let her play outside in the grass. A fall won’t be so bad there and the more she moves around the more confident she will become.

It could be that she’s just behind in her development. Or it could be something more like DCD. Maybe something to look into.

Just remove anything with sharp corners like you would for a child learning to walk. She’ll catch up but she’s going to have to go through the different stages. You could also get her involved with PT or some type of early intervention. Try to give her as much physical activity as you possibly can so she can have the opportunity to catch up, it’s about all you can do

Get her checked over by a neurologist and encourage her to walk in a heated pool. That will strengthen her legs.

Treat her clumsy walking as a baby who is taking there first steps. Therefore you have to be with her at all time and watch that she doesn’t bump into things. Baby proof furniture to avoid serious injuries. Also I helped my son walk by wrapping a towel around him and I would hold the ends, this made my son confident while I didn’t have to bend or hunch after him

Kids learn fast now she has your children to teach her but get checked over to be on the safe side and good on you for taking her in give her plenty of love

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Unfortunately if she is healthy it’ll just take time to build muscles up to hold balance that’s so sad I’m sorry to hear this and good for u for looking out for her and caring for her the more u let her walk places the faster she will walk better just like a toddler learning to walk

She needs pt and ot at this point and an MRI to rule things out.

Pediatrician first and request referalls for PT and OT. Have the pediatrician request health records and preform their own tests;CT scan, etc. Child proofing and even taking her to an indoor play yard where the majority of items are foam but still lots of space to roam.

She definitely needs a medical evaluation. It could be muscular or neurological.

Head injuries could be the cause.

She might need an eye exam too. She could be having trouble with depth perception.

You might want to have her eyes checked out she might be gone blind this is what my granddaughter was happening to her and we found out that was her problem so be safe I get it done.

My step daughter (3) wasnt as bad as this and didnt have the head injuries but she had a hard time walking. She fell all the time and couldnt walk half way down the block. Her grandma confinded her to strollers when they went anywhere and she had a small space in the house she could roam around in. We just had to give her more space to roam. Took her outside and for walks. In your case though I would suggest a pedatrition and occupational therapist. Find out if she is delayed and suffering from a brain injury. They can also give you more advice on ways to help her.

seriously get her a helmet for when shes walking and I bet the county would help you out with physical therapy and such…Start at her Doctor for advice on what she needs and how to get it. <3

…this story reminds me of when my daughter was 2…she had the biggest feet for a 2 year old like wore a size 9/10 in kids shoes…

She was learning to run…we had a coffee table that had rounded corners. She tripped over her big feet and busted her cheek on the corner…as a mom yall know this happened in slow motion and I went through the if I had moved faster I would have caught her…(but we ain’t the flash.) She had the most spectacular blue/purple bruise I swear it looked like this child had been in a barfight…i was afraid to take her out in public until it had healed a little I didn’t want people thinking I was running a fight club for toddlers lmao

go have mri done and have neurologist read the results

Ypu could try a walker for toddlers

You just have to let her go. She’s not going to do anything other than bruise herself. And if she hurts herself, well it’s life and that’s what doctors are made for.

Don’t become like her mother by keeping her off her feet. Let her learn


Is there a medical condition that makes her so clumsy? Yes , I would just let her be free to learn how to balance. Sounds like she wasnt given the chance by her mom. Thank you for helping her

Get her ears checked but she probably needs chiropractic care esp since she was injured a lot. She could have a subluxation. My step son was the clumsiest kid i had ever seen, even at 7. Turned out his neck curved forward 8 degrees and we got it fixed and he isnt clumsy anymore!!

Not a mom. But see if you can get her evaluated by a doctor who can request physical therapy. My friend’s grandson wasn’t walking at 17 months. He needed tubes in his ears. They think it’s because his ears were always blocked that he didn’t have a good sense of balance. He’s stand just fine, but couldn’t or wouldn’t walk. My friend and her daughter had kids at the same time and my friends son who is 3 weeks younger then his uncle walked at a typical age. The grandson is going to PT to help with walking.
Sounds like your niece could use a bit of physical therapy to work on balance and strength. She’s 3 so she’s still young.

I’d let her run and play as much as possible and go to lots of parks with big open spaces to practice running. Maybe join a children’s gym like MyGym if she needs additional help. You could always get a PT evaluation if you think she isn’t progressing like she should.

Bare foot is best…keep her bare foot…no socks even…and know she will fall…many times…as all kids do…her maternal figured just delayed her progress through toddlerism…


Take her to the doc to document it. I had to with my youngest. They grow out of it. Work on gross and fine motor skills be being outside and letting her fall

I’d double check with the doctor to see if it’s just delayed because of lack of practice, or delayed because of something physically or mentally wrong. They might offer services to help her along and get her caught up

I just want to say, bless you for taking in this sweet child. Just love her. She will flourish.

Give it time. Add padding to sharp corners

Just let her go they adjust fast

Some kids are just naturally clumsy! My daughter is 2 and is very clumsy, always walking into doors, doorways, falling over thin air! She’s covered in bruises from it. I was also a very clumsy child and still am as an adult also covered in bruises :rofl:

My son was like that. Looked like a little drunk baby lol. He had severe ear issues so it got better some. He’s still clumsy tho.

Sounds like she could benefit from some PT/OT


She needs to just keep walking around, eventually she will get it. Kids fall, it happens. Just make sure nothing is around that she can seriously hurt herself.

Run, play and maybe look into some toddler Velcro weights to help strengthen her legs.

If she had enough head injuries. This needs to be ruled out as a cause. I have a step son that suffered TBI at 2. Was not caught until he was 7 ish. He is way behind and has extreme behavior issues. It’s always best to be safe than sorry. Also since you obtained her through court issues look into kinship care supports.


Do you have a local pool (YMCA or park district) water workouts are wonderful. Helps with dogs, disabled and injured. Plus it may be fun for her at 3.


Gymnastics helped my son

My advice is to get a lot of walk behind toys to get her used to walking and keeping her occupied… also she needs to see a good doctor and make sure she’s not done any permanent damage like a TBI. One last thing… you refer to the kids as my 2 and her… you might be the only soft place she’s had or will have if the neglectful sister gets her back especially. Love her like your own for whatever time she’s got. Don’t let her feel differently or lesser if you can help it…

I don’t have any advice but I wanted to comment to say you’re doing the best job raising your niece, whatever happens she is so lucky to have you when her mother wasn’t capable. Well done you and I hope your anxiety settles soon xx

Have her eyes been checked? Rule out medical causes. Take her to the park…let her practice on the grass. Maybe a children’s gym. But really she’s got to fall in order to learn.


Get her eyes checked my daughter was clumsy come to find out my daughter is visually impaired