Motor skills play a major role in a baby’s development as they allow the infant to move independently. Rolling, crawling, standing, walking, running, jumping, and climbing fall under this category. Among these, standing is considered an important achievement since it forms the foundation for other vital motor skills, such as walking and running.
So when do babies stand, and how do you help them? In this post, we tell you when your baby is ready to stand, when do babies stand, and ways to stimulate the achievement of this developmental milestone.
Is Your Baby Ready To Stand?
Getting ready to stand is a gradual process and involves the prior achievement of several motor skills. It means your baby will achieve different milestones, such as rolling and sitting, that will develop muscle strength and coordination required for standing.
- Four months: May roll from tummy to back
- Six months: Rolls from tummy to back and back to tummy, and sits without support
- Nine months: Gets into sitting position and starts crawling
Once your baby sits and begins to crawls, you can expect them to stand up as they grow older. Besides, there are other signs that may indicate that the baby is ready for standing.
- Scooting on the floor
- Bearing weight on legs when held upright
- Trying to pull to stand
- Showing interest in standing up and reaching out for objects
When Do Babies Usually Stand?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), babies learn to stand between the ages of eight and 12 months. The baby becomes completely independent at standing between the ages of 12 and 18 months (2).
The achievement of standing happens in phases. The following are the various standing-related milestones and the usual age range of achievement.
- 6 to 8 months: The baby can stand when held, but may not support their entire body weight on their feet, so you need to hold them. Most babies tend to bounce on their legs when held in the standing position.
- 9 to 11 months: The infant begins to pull to stand and even stand holding on to a support. The baby will also bear most of their body weight on their legs when held by a parent in a standing position.
- 12 to 17 months: It is the age when toddlerhood begins. The toddler will pull to stand and may cruise, that is, take a few steps while holding on to objects for support. Some toddlers may even take a few steps without holding on. However, the toddler may not stand or cruise for too long.
- 18 months: The toddler is now adept at standing and walking without support for a longer duration. Some toddlers may walk up a flight of stairs and run.
Each child is different and may achieve these milestones at a different age. Do not panic if your baby’s motor skills do not match up with their peers. Speak to a pediatrician if you have any doubts.
If the baby has a healthy growth and has achieved all of their previous developmental milestones, they will eventually attain the ability to stand. Nevertheless, it is good to know any signs of developmental delay.
Signs Of Delayed Development
Since the ability to stand requires the achievement of different motor skills, you need to check the delay of other motor skills, too. Below is the list of the possible red flags that may indicate developmental delay at different ages (3) (4).
|By 9 months|
|By 12 months|
|By 18 months|
If you notice any of the above-mentioned signs, do not hesitate to speak to a pediatrician. Early intervention could help in the timely diagnosis and treatment of any developmental delay.
How To Encourage Infants To Stand On Their Own?
Most babies achieve various motor skills through the course of their growth and may not require any help. Nevertheless, parents can exercise and stimulate a baby’s motor skills to help them develop better.
Below are a few tips that you may consider to encourage a baby to stand on their own.
- Tummy time: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies need tummy time to develop strong muscles (5). It lays the foundation for various motor skills. Newborns can play on their tummy for about five minutes multiple times a day. As the baby grows older, you can increase the amount of tummy time.
- Support standing: Once the baby is six months old, you can hold them upright in a standing position. Support the baby by placing your hands under their arms. Encourage the baby to bounce on their legs while their feet are on the ground. It makes for a good exercise for their leg muscles.
- Encourage pull to stand: A baby will pull to stand from the age of nine months. Place sturdy furniture and toys that can bear the baby’s weight and allow them to stand while taking support. Research shows that the baby is likely to stand without support for longer when given an attractive toy to hold as encouragement (6).
- Play games: You can try several games and activities that would require the baby to pull to stand or stand in one place without support. For instance, you may hold a toy at a height that would require them to stand and reach out for it.
- Support cruising: A 12-month-old will cruise, that is, walk with support. You can encourage cruising by holding the toddler’s hand and supporting them while they walk. Do keep the baby barefoot when cruising indoors since it will help the little one learn balancing and standing on their feet better.
Before trying any activity, make sure you baby-proof your house. Keep sharp and other dangerous objects away from the baby’s reach. Also, avoid placing heavy showpieces that may fall down when the baby pulls to stand while holding a piece of furniture. There are several toys that let a baby pull to stand. Make sure the toy can support the baby’s weight. Never use baby walkers since it may topple and cause accidents (7).
Standing is an essential motor skill, which lays the foundation for walking and running. Your baby will attain the skill through the natural course of their growth. You may try various activities to stimulate the achievement of various developmental milestones. Do not panic if your baby is slower at achieving milestones than their peers, and do not hesitate to discuss any doubts or concerns about your baby’s motor skills with a pediatrician.
2. Milestone Moments; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
3. Red Flags Early Identification Guide; Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service
4. Important Milestones: Your Baby By Nine Months; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
5. Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play; American Academy of Pediatrics
6. Laura J. Claxton, et al.; Newly Standing Infants Increase Postural Stability When Performing a Supra-Postural Task; NCBI
7. Baby Walkers: A Dangerous Choice; American Academy of Pediatrics