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My 13 month daughter has no interest in standing or even putting weight on her feet. We're concerned if she doesn't start trying to stand she won't start walking.

Is there anything I can do to encourage her to stand and strengthen her legs?

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Although I agree with "not worrying" I want to say that I think it is important to create challenges for you child so he/she develops on all levels. Standing is one such. Encourage it, help her "train". On everything. :-) –  Lennart Regebro Aug 12 '11 at 14:19
    
I know this thread is old, but my pediatrician said that a baby in their practice who is not pulling up and cruising by 12 months would be sent for evaluation by a physical therapist to rule out any physical causes. –  justkt Jan 2 '13 at 16:49
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9 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Put some toys on a sofa and maybe she will try to reach them from the floor, encouraging her to pull herself up. Or try to teach her to get off sofa or bed feet first.

Having said that, I wouldn't worry about her not trying to stand up yet. Every kid has their own pace.

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Spent quite a lot of yesterday with toys on the sofa and she's already trying to pull up more. –  Richard Miskin Aug 7 '11 at 8:59
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While a 13 month old may not be ready to stand or walk, they should be sitting and crawling. Crawling provides weight bearing through the upper legs and hips. Not crawling sometimes leads to later difficulties with sensory issues and some research has also shown later difficulty with reading/writing/visual convergence.

There are several possible reasons for a child to be non-weight bearing. Hypotonia or low tone makes it harder for a child to move against gravity. Also, some children who do not get enough tummy time do not develop the core strength that is needed. Some children do not learn to walk until around age 16-18 months though this falls into the lower limits of the typical range.

Here are some simple activities to encourage weight bearing. To help with strengthening gently bounce your daughter on a large exercise ball. Hold her low on her hips and shift her weight side to side and back to front while she is bouncing. This requires her to work core muscles to "right" her body in space. Place her on a smaller ball on her tummy and roll it forward and backward. Encourage her to place her hands on the floor and then roll it back on her feet or knees and encourage her to bear weight in each position. Place her in a hand-knee position over your leg and encourage her to play while bearing weight and reaching. Use a small box or tray table and place her in a kneeling position with her bottom sitting on the back of her heels (make sure her bottom does not drop between her feet). Entice her to come up to tall kneel to play with toys or reach for things. Sit her on a small stool or box so that her feet touch the floor in a flat position, hold her hands and practice coming from sit to stand and back to sit. Using singing, mirrors, toys and bubbles are all motivating devices.

An evaluation by a physical therapist may be warranted to give you peace of mind.

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She is perhaps just not ready to stand yet. children develop at different rates, for instance I did not walk until I was 18 months old. It takes longer in some children for the neural structures which control balance and coordination to develop. I presume she is sitting and crawling? If so, it is probably just a matter of time and waiting for development to proceed. If she is not sitting and crawling then you might want to arrange for her to see a developmental therapist.

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You might want to try a push-along walking toy or an activity table. Standing to play with water or sand will encourage her.

Avoid any sit-in-walkers because there have been problems with them. Young children are at risk of achilles tendon damage; all children are at greater risk of accidents.

http://www.healthychildren.org/english/safety-prevention/at-home/Pages/Baby-Walkers-A-Dangerous-Choice.aspx

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Don't rush it. She'll stand when she wants to, unless you've some reason to think that there are physiological reasons, just let her be.

We have a cot/crib with bars on and ours love standing on the floor and trying to get to toys on their bedding, they can see inside and there are bars to hold on to.

But I don't think that there's any particular reason to rush them; walking at a very early age isn't going to guarantee an Olympic running medal - but it will mean that you're chasing after them sooner than you might otherwise do!

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Both of our daughters have loved their Jolly Jumper. It's very fun for them to bounce up and down, and they get used to being upright and using their legs from a very early age.

I don't know about the size of your daughter and if it is still appropriate for her (my first stopped at a little over a year) but it might be worth consideration.

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My son went from crawling to standing and walking later, that is like 15 months. What did it for him was playing around other kids of a similar age who had learned to walk. Apparently he wanted to walk so that he could play with his little playgroup. We tried holding his hands while standing and walking, we tried having him hold the edge of objects such as the sofa and low tables and all kinds of things, but in the end we didn't convince him to give up crawling to stand and walk he convinced himself.

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I read from Parenting.com's Learning to Walk - http://www.parenting.com/article/learning-to-walk article that the range for baby's to start walking can be around 9 to 18 months. Some babies can already start walking when they reach their first birthday but there are some babies who takes some time before they can walk. Interestingly there are even some babies who never crawls and go straight from standing from walking. Every baby differs in their levels of progress. As long as you see that your baby is trying to roll around, climb stairs using hands, or tries to crab walking, these are positive signs that he can walk sooner. There are also some suggestions written in the article on how you can encourage your child to walk.

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I am having trouble with my 14 moth old daughter as well. She crawls very well and got that 'down pat' when she was 10 months. She does very well walking around the coffee table as long as she is holding on to it (she does pretty well with only one hand) as well as a Winnie the Pooh push train that she loves and will go from one room to another as long as she is holding on to it. my mom did buy a pair of shoes that are designed to help with balance while they learn. They seem to be doing well but i would also like to get her to stand barefooted as well. I have heard of a few things that parents have done to help their children as well.

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Hey Anna, its so nice that you are encouraging the OP here, but can you include some of those things you've heard of in order to turn this encouragement into an answer? Welcome to the site. –  balanced mama Nov 27 '12 at 22:48
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