Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

November 18, 2016

Help Your Baby Stand with these tips from physical therapy


Is your 14-16 month-old unable to stand alone? According to the Denver Developmental Screening Test- 2nd Edition: 

  • 25% of babies stand alone by 11 months
  • 50% by 11.5 months 
  • 90% by 13.5 months

After mastering sitting and crawling, most babies move onto to standing.  In order for your baby to stand alone, they must have sufficient muscle strength present in the legs, hips and core. If you have noticed your baby struggling with other milestones such as rolling, sitting, and crawling, your baby may not have properly strengthened these muscles over time.


  • Put your baby in your lap with his/her feet on your legs. For more support, face your baby towards you leaning against your chest. For less support, face your baby away from you. Help your baby rock side to side or bounce up and down while supporting their upper trunk.
  • Look for opportunities for your child to play with children who are just slightly more developmentally advanced than your child. Watching other children as they figure out how to stand can encourage your child to try as well.
  • Help your baby crawl up stairs to strengthen their leg muscles.
  • If your baby avoids all contact between their feet and the floor, place them in a sitting or supine position. While in this position, gently pound their feet on the   floor so that they can get used to the feeling. You can also massage their feet using lotion or powder.
  • Lay your baby on their back. Grab their feet and gently jostle your baby by pulling and pushing them through their legs to get some ‚Äúweight bearing‚Äù through their legs while laying down.  
  • Place your baby on a medicine ball lying on their stomach. Gently roll the ball backwards till their feet touch the floor and they are in a standing position. Repeat this sequence several times.

Typical child development follows a predictable pattern. Still, it takes time for babies to develop the necessary skills and muscle strength needed to perform gross motor tasks, such as standing. Certain babies simply take longer progressing through these milestones, especially babies born prematurely. If you are still concerned about your baby‚Äôs development, here are some early warning signs that should not be ignored:


  • Not rolling by 7 months of age
  • Not pushing up on straight arms, lifting head and shoulders, by 8 months of age
  • Not sitting independently by 10 months of age
  • Not crawling 10 months of age
  • Not pulling to stand by 12 months of age
  • Not standing alone by 14 months 
  • Not using both sides of body equally
  • Not standing when supported by 9 months or later


Contact our office to schedule a free phone consultation with a physical therapist.  Learn more about pediatric physical therapy here.