Every parent can’t wait for their child to hit their milestones, and one of the most important achievements in their whole babyhood has to be learning to stand. But when do babies start standing? When can you expect your little one to reach this stage?
Being able to stand is a huge milestone that your child will hit on the way to taking their first step. It requires your baby to coordinate most of their major muscle groups simultaneously, and that’s no mean feat. Standing isn’t just fun for your little one, it’s great fun for you to watch too. Not onlt that, but it also helps your son or daughter to strengthen their muscles so they can get out and explore the world!
Here, we take a closer look at when you can expect your little one to begin standing and how you can encourage them to get up on their own two feet.
- When Should I Expect My Baby to Stand for the First Time?
- How Does My Baby Learn to Stand?
- Which Milestones Indicate That My Baby Will Soon Stand Independently?
- Babyproofing Your Home for a Standing Baby
- How Can I Encourage My Baby to Stand?
- What Can I Do to Motivate My Baby to Stand?
- My Baby’s Standing Too Early – Is That a Problem?
- My Baby Isn’t Standing – Should I Be Worried?
- What Comes Next?
When Should I Expect My Baby to Stand for the First Time?
Usually, most babies begin to pull themselves up to standing between the age of 9 months and 12 months. However, this could occur as early as 6 or 7 months, depending on your child’s development, so it’s important to be prepared early. Remember that your baby will begin to use anything around to pull themself up, from your legs to your sofa. That’s why you need to take care to make sure your home has been properly baby-proofed. Other babies may not get to their feet for the first time until they are close to a year old, so there’s nothing to panic about if your little one is rapidly approaching their first birthday and hasn’t stood independently yet. As long as your baby is hitting their other milestones and is showing an interest in getting to their feet, there’s no need for concern.
How Does My Baby Learn to Stand?
Your baby will not be able to stand until they has developed the necessary postural control to do so. This is something that happens gradually through their early life, beginning with learning how to lift up their head as a newborn, through sitting and standing later, and finally leading to them being able to walk independently. Your little one will need to learn how to bear their weight fully on their feet and legs, and will have to develop the strength and muscle tone required to develop the gross motor skills required to move their entire body simultaneously.
Which Milestones Indicate That My Baby Will Soon Stand Independently?
From the age of around 3 to 5 months, your baby should begin to be able to bear a little weight on their legs, but only for short periods. At this stage, they will still need your help to hold themselves upright. By around 6 months, your child should be able to support the majority of their weight themselves with their legs, and will need less assistance to stay upright. You will, however, need to carry on holding onto your child to ensure they stay balanced. Around this time, your baby should be able to maintain their standing position with assistance for around five seconds. They may also start bouncing on their feet.
At some point between 6 and 11 months, your baby should start to hold onto furniture that is at their height to help give them support as they try to stand independently. At first, they may need a little help to pull themselves to their feet, but soon they will be able to manage on their own. It won’t be long before your baby begins experimenting with their balance and will begin to be able to stand independently if they release hold on their support.
Between 11 and 13 months, your baby should be able to stand independently for around 3 seconds, often with a wide stance and their arms raised to maintain balance. Between 11 and 14 months, they should have sufficient balance to stand independently for 10 seconds, while using their hands at the same time with a more relaxed gait. Once your baby reaches 14 to 16 months, your baby should begin to be able to bend over and stand back up again without losing their balance.
Babyproofing Your Home for a Standing Baby
You’ve probably already carried out some baby-proofing around your home as your little one is almost certainly crawling or shuffling around the floor farily early in their development. But there are a few more considerations to keep in mind to make sure your home is prepared for a standing, walking baby.
It’s now the right time to take the crib mattress down to the lowest height possible. If your baby pulls themself up on the crib rail, it’s just a short step from there to possibly falling over the edge. Take a look around your home for any potentially dangerous items that your baby may be tempted to cling to and potentially tip over. Entertainment systems, lamps, small tables and bookcases could all represent a hazard to your little one, so finding a way to brace them into position is vital. If there is no way to safely secure these objects, you may want to simply remove them from the space to ensure that they don’t fall on your baby’s head.
There are a few other precautions you should take at this point to ensure that your home is safe once your little one can explore independently. Make sure that any poisonous substances such as cleaning fluids or medicines have been moved out of low cabinets that your child could easily reach. You should also check that you’ve fitted socket protectors on all your power outlets just in case your baby touches them and gets a shock. Add some corner protectors to your low tables and other similar pieces of furniture, too, just in case your baby bumps into them while cruising.
How Can I Encourage My Baby to Stand?
Although your baby will stand in their own time, there are a few things you can try to encourage them to find their own feet.
Free-range playtime is one of the best ways to persuade your little one to try new things. If your baby has lots of time playing freely on your floor, they’ll be able to get more exercise for their hips and legs. The stronger those muscles become, the more capable they’ll be of supporting their weight once they try to stand.
Putting your baby on your lap with their feet balancing on your legs is a good way to encourage standing. Bouncing your little one up and down helps to strengthen the leg muscles so that they can stand on their own. The stairs can also be a useful tool to teach your little one how to push themself up. Since stairs are often at the right level for your baby to grab, they’re a good choice for developing the skill of pushing to stand up. Make sure you always supervise your baby near stairs, though—you don’t want your baby to fall.
Another way to help your little one to discover the joys of standing up independently is to put some toys on the sofa then position your baby beside it so they can grab the cushions to pull themself up to standing and grab those all-important toys! If you try this activity, be careful not to choose a piece of furniture that could be tipped over by accident—this is why a sofa is a better choice than a chair. This game will reward your little one’s curiosity and simultaneously offer practice at reaching, pulling up and grasping—all very useful skills to master. If your little one is scooting on the ground or crawling, you could space out their toys along your sofa so they can move along, pulling themself up to grab each one, one at a time.
Playtime in a crib from six months of age is another good way to encourage standing. Your little one will naturally learn how to use its railings to hold their balance, which will lead to supported standing then cruising.
Once your baby is capable of standing independently, you might want to think about introducing push toys. These can help your little one to learn how to begin to walk, but avoid buying a walker. Although baby walkers might seem to be an effective way to teach your little one how to stand, in fact they may delay their development. This is because walkers teach your baby the wrong standing position, pushing their weight forwards instead of focusing it on their feet and legs. Your baby will need to relearn how to position their weight before they’ll be able to stand independently effectively. Also, walkers have been proven to be hazardous, since a newly-mobile baby can end up falling down the stairs or reaching items they weren’t able to reach previously.
What Can I Do to Motivate My Baby to Stand?
As we’ve already said, all babies hit their milestones at different times. However, there are a few things you can do to help motivate your little one to start exploring their own abilities and environment. Setting up playdates, for example, with relatives or friends who also have babies of around the same age can be very helpful. By playing alongside other babies, your little one will see new behaviors to imitate, which may give them the encouragement they need to get on their own two feet.
Of course, the best encouragement you can give your little one is to show them how wonderful you think they are. Smiling and clapping helps to boost your baby’s confidence, and helps to persuade them to try more new things. All babies will fall down sometimes when they’re learning to stand, and that can be frustrating, but if you show them how to bend their knees and help them to feel encouraged, they’re more likely to keep trying.
My Baby’s Standing Too Early – Is That a Problem?
Some babies develop more quickly than others and may begin trying to stand from 6 months of age! Many parents worry that their early stander might become bow-legged, but there’s typically no cause for concern. Lots of children have a bow-legged posture during their early years, but they usually outgrow it. Practicing standing correctly will strengthen your little one’s legs and correct any bow-legged tendencies.
My Baby Isn’t Standing – Should I Be Worried?
All babies learn at their own rate, so if yours is behind schedule and not quite standing yet, don’t be too worried. Rushing your little one through those early developmental milestones won’t benefit them. It could actually deny your son or daughter important opportunities to discover, grow and learn. Carry on encouraging them to experiment and learn, and they’ll probably get there when they’re ready. That being said, if your child reaches his first birthday and hasn’t shown any signs of trying to stand, you should speak to your pediatrician to make sure there isn’t any cause for concern.
What Comes Next?
Once your baby can stand, they are well on their way to walking, running and climbing, so make sure your home is a safe place for them to explore! Now your baby is on both feet, the next step is for them to begin walking while holding your hands or pieces of furniture. After some time practicing, finally they’ll be walking unaided.
Make sure that there are barriers to help guard against bumps and scrapes on ledges or sharp corners, as well as a stairgate to prevent falls. Make sure that no papers, slippery magazines or open books are left on the floor that your baby could trip or slip on, and make sure your baby wears slippers and skid-proof socks to avoid accidents.
Your little one’s journey from lying to sitting, from sitting to crawling, and then to standing and walking is a truly magical part of your little one’s first year. If you take the correct precautions and give your baby enough encouragement, you can play a vital role in helping your son or daughter learn the joy of discovering their own feet!