Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Babies' Firsts: When Babies Begin to Stand

A few weeks ago, we asked our readers to share information about when their babies learned to stand (click here to go to the original post). Specifically, we asked:
  • How old was your baby when he or she first tried to pull up to stand? 
  • What did you baby use to pull up on (for example, furniture, toys, etc)
  • How long did it take for him or her to stand alone, without holding onto something?

Today, for part 2 of this Babies’ Firsts topic, we want to share what the research shows about how and
when babies learn to stand!

As we've mentioned many times, babies develop and master new skills at different ages. The children of our staff at the Human Lactation Center illustrate this fact perfectly! My oldest daughter, Olivia, didn't stand until about 11 months, but my younger daughter, Charlotte, first stood at 6 ½ months. Jen G’s daughter Lily stood at around 9 months and our newest edition, Karolina’s son David first pulled to stand at 7 months.  

Our experience with our children perfectly represents what has been shown in the developmental research! Studies show that 50 percent of babies can pull themselves up to standing with support at 8 months and 90 percent of babies can by 10 months old. 

When learning to stand, your baby will need to use his arms to hold himself up on something and may be standing wide legged on his tip toes until he gets into the swing of things. During this time your baby will begin to use less arm support and may begin to shift his weight from side to side. He will need to get used to moving and controlling his body in this new position.  Soon he will be able to rotate his body around and use one arm for grabbing objects. He will also be able to reach down from a standing position to grab items off the floor.

By 13 months 90 percent of babies will be able to stand without support but still need to practice staying balanced. They will begin cruising around, that is holding on to furniture and moving sideways. Very soon after cruising, babies will begin taking unassisted steps.  They may still fall often, but don’t worry, their brains are hardwired to keep practicing until they get it right!

When your baby starts showing interest in pulling up to stand, it is very important to make sure he practices in a safe environment. Pulling up on things that move easily could be dangerous, so we encourage you to get down on his level and look for unexpected dangers. For example, when Charlotte started to pull up, she crawled over to her sister’s dollhouse and, before I could get over to her, she had tried to pull up on it. The plastic dollhouse was not sturdy enough to hold her weight and it scooted across the floor while she fell forward. Luckily, it scooted quickly so she did not hit her face on the pointed roof, but she could have easily gotten hurt. Small furniture, laundry baskets, and anything with wheels should be kept out of reach until your baby gets better at standing on his own.  At 14.5 months old, 90 percent of babies can independently squat from standing and shortly after they will be able to stand up directly from the floor without having to pull themselves up on something.

Pulling up to stand is a big milestone! If your baby is just learning to stand, Congratulations! Soon he’ll be running around you’ll be trying to catch up!


  1. My son just started to pull himself up a couple weeks ago - he is 10 months. I noticed he curls his toes under when he stands (doesn't do tip toes). Is that normal behavior as well? I have been trying to straighten his toes out when he stands hoping he'll get it right to aid his balance.

  2. Thank you for this post! My eight and a half month-old daughter is now pulling up on absolutely everything. I can no longer get her to sit for a bath, not even for a minute! It seems like no time at all has passed since she first rolled over. The days are passing very quickly now, and she is more and more eager to get moving. I am eagerly awaiting the moment she first stands on her own. It won't be long now.

  3. My son will be 6 months tomorrow (2/9/14) and he already does this.

  4. My son just turn 7 months and he already does this.

  5. My son is 11 months and has doesn't pull himself up to stand shud I be worried ? He is the youngest of 4

  6. To the previous commenter, if you are worried, discuss your baby's development with your pediatrician. Babies develop at their own pace, but the doctor will be able to give you more information.

  7. my dAughter stood up not holding on to anything at 6 months, now shes taking steps

  8. My Son is 11 1/2 months and EVERYTHING just clicked! He is crawling on all 4's pulling to stand and taking small steps along furniture! All babies are different and things happen at different times! As far as the 11 month old not pulling up..... I would NOT worry..... it will happen! But, if you feel worried, I would as k your doctor.... Like I said my son did all of this together like over night!

  9. Our little son just started doing this today and he is 5 1/2 months old. I'm a proud mama.. But wish he wasn't growing up so fast