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Not Standing Yet

Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Worries Big & Little > Not Standing Yet


  • 10-month-old won't stand or put weight on his legs
  • see also: Worried about Developmental Milestones

    10-month-old won't stand or put weight on his legs

    March 2004

    My 10 month old is a bit lazy. He doesn't much like to put any weight on his legs. I know he can do it because he enjoys bouncing around in his doorway jumper and his excersaucer but the minute I try to hold him up with my hands, those legs go limp. We had a checkup with the pediatrician who says he's definitely got the strength to do it, we just need to encourage it more. He suggested a child-sized shopping cart for him to push around, but if he's not standing, I don't see how that will be helpful. Anyone else have a ''lazy-baby''? Any suggestions on how to encourage him to stand/put weight on his legs? (By the way, he's not yet crawling either, but I don't much care about that. He can sit up unassisted without any problem) Thanks Lazy Baby's Mommy


    When I wanted to encourage my daughter to stand, I provided her with a ''play table'' and placed her toys on top of it. The table was actually a sturdy, low night stand with smooth edges and it worked perfectly. I avoided those flimsy ''kid tables'' because if it fell over I knew she'd shy away from standing at it. Also, getting one of those cute mini-couches (you know, the kind that fold out into a bed) changed her life in that it was the only thing she would cruise on. Later I got her a Leap Frog music play table, which she loved but it was never as sturdy as the night stand. MEG
    I have a similar issue, but for different reasons. My son is 17 months old and has something called Moebius sequence which low muscle tone is associated. He is just recently crawling and will stand, but has been laying around so long I think he realizes it is much easier to sit or lay on his back! I have found that the Leap Frog activity table is a good way to encourage play time while standing. I sit with my leg out behind him to create a bench so to speak. When he is tired he can sit on my thigh and then has to pull himself backup to standing to play. You can get the table at Target or probably on line too. It is made by ''Leap Frog'' and I think it is simply called and activity table. It is sturdy enough that they can hold on to it with out tipping it over. Good luck! Stephanie
    The best encouragement I can think of is having your baby see other babies doing it. My daughter could stand & was an expert crawler, by contrast her cousin (same age) could not crawl at all, she could stand and even ''run'' from one parent to the other. By the end of a 3 day visit, her cousin started crawling and my daughter got braver about walking. They pick so much up from each other - even good stuff. :) Lois
    Only activities I'd recommend are not keeping him in a bouncy seat or swing too much, but letting him ''loose.'' He'll get it. Babies aren't lazy - that characteristic is developed much later in life. If he's a big baby, he could easily not be ready to stand yet. His disinclination to motor around is more likely a sign that he is absorbing his world through other senses first - taking in a lot of data about sights and sounds from his ears and eyes. He might be very smart! Lastly, I've heard it is best to crawl first, anyway, for some developmental reason (though I know of many kids who never crawled and are great both physically and mentally). anon
    First as a parent of a 15mos old boy who started walking at 13mos. pushing one of those toys, I would be careful not to label your child as lazy. The window for children to stand up on their own is big, anywhere from 7 mos to 11 mos. My son is tall and has a body type that moves slowly, while others in my moms group have wiry quick body types. If you are concerned that there is something structurally delaying his standing you may want to seek a bodyworker who does cranial sacral work on kids OR a Osteopathic Dr. Give him a little more space. My son is now 15mos and just started cruising on his own! luna
    Most likely he'll stand when he's ready to. If you are worried, you can request an evaluation from the Regional Center of the East Bay, who is mandated to provide (or pay for) early intervention services (ie physical therapy) for kids under three. They are SLOW however, so making a request doesn't mean anything will happen for awhile. Bonnie
    I'm not sure if any baby could be fairly labelled as lazy.I wouold suggest your baby is simply not ready to stand. Especially as he is not crawling. Crawling is the very first step toward standing and walking. Among many other things, it strengthens the legs to enable standing. To understand more about baby's physical dveleopment and milestones , American Association of Pedatrics puts out a book about child development from birth to 5 years. Good Luck baby
    I believe babies do things---crawl, walk, eat solids, wean, talk---when they're ready. Just because your child has the leg strength to stand doesn't mean he's ready to. If he were, you wouldn't be able to stop him. You say you don't mind that he's not crawling yet. What's your rush with the standing? Each child has their own timetable. I say relax and take your cues from him. DL
    Hi -- my daughter was the exact same way -- hated putting her weight on her legs. Not only did she stand late, she walked late as well (18 mos). At 16 months we took her to physical therapy, and one of the first things the therapist told us to do was to get rid of the exersaucer and the doorway jumper. Although strong legs are good, there are different sets of muscles in the legs, and your baby needs to develop the right set in order to stand and walk. Apparently, things like the excersaucer don't work on the set of muscles needed for standing and walking -- and are somehow bad developmentally for those gross motor skills (I can't remember why -- sorry!). The therapist gave us a bunch of handouts with ideas for encouraging standing -- they all involved play and toys -- for example, you can lean your baby against the back of a couch (with the baby's stomach against the couch back cushions and his feet on the bottom couch cushions) and let him play with a toy that is on top of the back of the couch. The baby gets so distracted by the toy that he starts to stand without realizing it. We also used to put toys on an ottoman and lean our baby against it. We also bought a shopping cart and a walker, and although they didn't do much for my baby initially, they were great after she had gotten the desire, but not the ability, to stand. We also worked with her quite a bit -- it was a LOT of work -- encouraging her to stand to get something she wanted. I have since had a second child, and he loves to stand -- has been putting weight on his legs since he was just a few months old. So please know that it's not something you are doing wrong. Some babies like it, and some babies don't. Feel free to email me if you want more information. I might even be able to track down those handouts for you. amyd
    As you have heard many times, the age range of ''normal'' development is quite wide, so your baby may just be a little later than average in gross motor development. While some babies never crawl (or do so only after walking), they do find other ways to get around - scooting on their stomach or back, rolling around, or (my son's favorite) scooting on their butt. If your child isn't yet trying to move around independently, that may be of more concern than ''lazy'' legs. Although babies often enjoy the jolly jumper, it really does not strengthen legs or lead to earlier standing or walking. Even if he is not supporting his own weight yet, he should be able to kick actively, and his legs should not feel floppy when he is lying on his stomach. Just keep your eye on it. R.K.
    I took a wonderful class called Baby Moves with Birthe Kaarsholm (845-0911) where we learned about how babies start to move. I think that 10 months is awfully early for walking. I would be more concerned that he is not crawling. Perhaps he is spending too much time in the bouncer and exersaucer which eliminates his need to do much work on his own. Try putting him on the floor and allowing him to move on his own. There is a natural progression that starts with rolling, moves through crawling, pulling to standing, and cruising that ends with walking. I have seen it with my two daughters. Also, if your doctor thinks that your baby is fine, maybe he just needs a little more time. Joan
    You could try using a short cardboard box, slidable ottoman or upside down milk crate for him to push around. He might push from his knees first and latter stand. You could try putting a toy on top of it to ecourage him to reach up. You could also model the behavior yourself. Alternatively, you could just encourage the standing part by getting one of those stationary small activity tables for him. A Mom
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