Major Developmental Milestones in your Baby’s First Year: Part 6 – Standing

It’s time for your baby to get up off the floor and see the world from a higher point-of-view.  Standing, cruising and walking are the next major developmental milestones in your baby’s first year that we’ll be exploring over the next two days.

Your baby has probably been bearing weight on her legs since she was just a few months old.  By the time your baby is 6 months old she will likely be able to bear most of her own weigh on her legs but will still need you to keep her balanced.  In the following months she will begin pulling up on furniture and anything else that can assist her on her mission to explore the world.   Standing independently may not happen until closer to 9 months and that will be for only a few seconds.  Typically babies can stand on their own without support for longer than three seconds sometime around their first birthday.

Major Developmental Milestones in your Baby’s First Year:  Part 6 – StandingOne of the best ways to promote standing is to take the focus (and pressure) off of your baby and activate them through motivation.  Stop talking about standing and instead encourage your baby to discover new things.  This means you’ll need exciting new things for your baby to want to do.

First, start moving your baby’s favorite toys to higher play spaces.  Put them on a cardboard box, plastic table or on top of stacked couch cushions.  In order to play with them, your baby will have to practice pulling up.  Also get out and explore new places.  There are many exciting things to see in nature and your baby can view them all the better by puling up on railings, fences and play equipment.  Seeing something for the first time may be just the encouragement your bay needs.

Also invest in toys that will interest your baby in standing.  An activity table with removable legs is perhaps the best place to start because it can progressively grow with your baby.  First take the legs off and let your baby play with the table during tummy time and with assisted sitting.  Add two legs and lay the table at a diagonal for side play and more sitting.  Then add all the legs back so your baby will have to stand to enjoy the toy.  Easels, train tables, water tables, play kitchens, baby basketball hoops and car ramps are excellent choices and ones that your infant will enjoy for many years to come.  Get creative and make your own elevated play toys using boxes, laundry baskets and toy bins.

Excitement, encouragement and confidence are all necessary for your baby to begin standing and eventually walking.  Let older children and peers be role models to your baby so she sees that she too could stand like them.  When she makes strides towards standing, be your baby’s biggest cheerleader.  The more she knows mommy believes in her the more confident she will be.

Tomorrow we’ll be rounding out our series on major developmental milestones in your baby’s first year with walking.  See you then!

Sources:  Mama OT and Dinosaur Physical Therapy