Baby Steps

Once your baby learns how to pull herself up to stand, she’ll be excited to discover what else is out there in the big world, which means taking a big step forward. Your baby’s first steps might happen within a few days or a few months when she first learns to stand.

Pulling up to stand and then taking the next step to walk is a significant milestone in your baby’s life! At around 9 to 12 months, babies begin to pull themselves up to stand. They’ll use anything they can get their hands on to help them with this. Standing does not come until much later for some babies, and gentle encouragement may be required. Instead of being concerned about delayed standing, provide a variety of enjoyable, safe, and supportive opportunities to practice. Eventually, they’ll figure it out, and there’ll be no stopping them.

Your baby’s legs, hips, and core muscles must be strong enough for them to stand and walk. Rolling, sitting, and crawling will provide this strength, so encourage these activities as much as possible.

Here are some tips on how you can encourage your child to stand and walk: 

1. Start early

When held upright, most babies will begin to support themselves on their legs around four to five months. They will also try to bend their knees and bounce up and down slightly. This early-stage standing activity gets your baby used to standing on their feet and can start building muscle in the legs and hips.

2. Encourage cruising

Once your baby is familiar with pulling themselves to stand, they will start to cruise along with the furniture. Toys placed just out of reach can encourage this activity. Long-distance cruising improves your baby’s standing stamina and strengthens the hip and thigh muscles.

3. Keep them barefoot

Babies rely on their sense of touch to guide them, and they can adjust their standing balance as needed by feeling the ground. Different surfaces necessitate different joint, muscle, and posture usage. It hinders this learning process when your baby can’t think through their shoes.

4. Encourage squatting

Squatting is a crucial skill for your baby to learn because it will help them stand independently. Place toys at their feet when supported by a sofa and encourage them to squat and pick them up. The up-and-down motion will help you develop solid hips and thighs.

5. Keep toys on chairs and reachable tables

Picking up your baby’s toys from the ground and placing them on a reachable surface will encourage them to get up and move around. Offer assistance by placing your hands on their hips or a hand under their bottom if they’re having trouble pulling themselves up.

6. Encourage exploring

Floortime is essential for development, and the more time your baby has to freely explore their environment, the more likely they are to discover and do so at their own pace.

7. Play with others

Babies are easily influenced by others and learn best by observing them. If you schedule a lot of playdates with other babies and toddlers, they’ll soon be pushing themselves to keep up. Your baby may begin to pull to stand if they see other babies doing so.

8. Cheer them on

Encouragement is the most powerful motivator, whether you’re a child or an adult. Everyone enjoys being applauded and clapped, so use this technique to encourage more people to stand. Encourage them in a big way, so they realize how great it is to be able to stand.

Also, remember to childproof everything. Protect your baby’s head by padding areas that could hurt to bump into. Prevent slips and trips. You should also move all movable objects away from your baby and replace them with sturdy, non-movable items that they can pull upon. If they pull themselves up only to have a chair fall on top of them, they may be scared and decide not to try again.

Encouraging your baby to stand is more than teaching them a new physical milestone. One thing’s for sure: your toddler will eventually learn how to walk but on her timetable, not yours. You can lend her a helping hand, but rather than focusing on the finish line, embrace all the baby steps along the way.