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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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.
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.
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.
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!
Push walkers acctually delay walking. The child is not balancing on their own and instead of spening time crawling, which helps develope balance in a natural way, they are soending time relying on a push toy, wagon, or walker. The best way to encourage walking is to give your child lots of tummy time. Do not help them sit up, let them figure it out when they are ready and have developed enough muscle. There is a kot of info out there regarding how damaging these baby props are to natural developement. .
I have a 13 month old daughter who has been sitting perfectly since approximately 6 months, but she refuses to crawl, walk, or even stand either at furniture or with my support.
She recently had her 1 year review with the health visitor who has advised me that this is nothing to worry about as long as she is developing appropriately in other ways (i.e., weight gain, height, etc.) and that I should give her until 18 months to find her feet as she can not be referred for any tests etc. until then.
I have had this health visitor with my older 5 children so am completely happy with her advice, and think you should speak to your health visitor too who will most probably say the same providing there are no other concerns.
Please don't allow other parents opinions or other children's development to cloud you into thinking your child should be doing certain things at a certain age, they are all different and will do it in their own time!
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.
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.
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.
So now I can answer for my daughter who is 14 months old and can walk a few steps before losing balance. What we did for her to encourage her was to buy her a baby stroller with a baby dolly. As early as 7 months I would say, she could stand by holding onto that without danger of falling (because this stroller does not roll as a real stroller) and push that all the way across the (hardwood) floor even though she was not close to walking. She did not try to stand up otherwise to include holding onto couches or chairs, but that allowed her to gain the sensation and the motivation for walking which was to come much later.
Does your daughter go to daycare or an Early childhood centre? Usually they have soft, "shapes" that you can push together to create a mini obstacle course for climbing/crawling over. Those can help as it helps build upper body strength and encourage a toddler to stand. You could also try putting interesting items on a sofa, to encourage them to climb onto it.
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.