Falls are to be expected when your baby is learning to stand:
Independent standing develops from around 10 months of age and at first its very brief and your baby will often stand by themselves by accident and fall often! Falling helps them to develop their balance and you will notice that they will start to put their hands out to save themselves but whilst they’re learning standing on soft surfaces will help to soften their fall.
Playing in standing at different surfaces should be encouraged. By playing at different heights your baby has to learn to use their muscles to keep them upright rather than leaning into the support. As your baby becomes more confident in standing you can get them to stand at less stable surfaces such as standing holding your knee, this will challenge their balance and get them used to having less support. Playing in standing in front of mirrors, glass doors or the fridge are all great ways of developing balance in standing as the surfaces are flat and your baby can’t lean their tummy into them, please just ensure that the surface is secure and won’t tip.
Encourage them to reach up, down and to the side to get new toys or pop bubbles, this is helping them to shift their weight to the left and right. Play games where your baby has to turn their body away from the surface to look behind them or to the side. And encourage them to move in and out of standing frequently so they have to squat down and up, this is the equivalent of a gym session for your baby!
But most of all make sure you are your baby’s biggest cheerleader, standing is hard work and scary so make it fun and exciting by giving them lots of encouragement, smiling, clapping and singing! If you’re baby gets stuck in standing help them down by placing your hands on their hips and showing them how to bend down from the floor, try not to just pick them up out of standing.
We are sure our tips will help your baby will be a standing superstar in no time! If your baby is still struggling with standing at surfaces after 12 months old it may be worthwhile seeking advice from your GP or asking for a referral to a paediatric physiotherapist.