My daughter is 10 months old. She does not crawl (she hates tummy time), but she loves to stand as long as someone puts her in the standing position and she has something to hold onto. I'd like to help her learn to pull herself up into standing position, but don't want to force her. What can I do to motivate her to pull herself up?
Around 5 months, I took all of my little one's toys and put them on a low-height-couch (I took off the cushions). Then I'd sit with her in front of the couch, and help her stand up. She'd lose balance and fall down (no worries, I was right behind her, and caught her) but then she'd want to get up. She'd try and push herself up (from my lap) or look for my hands to assist her in getting up. Eventually, she mastered pulling herself up, without my assistance, quite well :). The standing and playing with her toys strengthened her legs fairly well (we think). I slowly started increasing the height of the couch (blankets, putting the cushions back on) and moving her toys around the couch so she'd cruise (walk holding on to the couch) on the couch.
She also absolutely hated tummy time. So I'd sit on a recliner/put myself in a reclined position and just hold her (face down). She'd then lift her head to see around her (essentially tummy time on YOU) and that helped strengthened her neck.
Now, at almost 9 months, she is a little cheetah when she crawls and pulls herself up against walls...cabinets...tables...my knees...everything...
Note, ours had a keen interest in walking/standing and had fairly strong legs. If yours isn't able to hold her own weight, I wouldn't recommend trying this. Every child, ultimately, is different.
Mine doesn't like tummy time either. I've had the most success getting her to pull herself up by having her grab my fingers as I pull her up. I do this every chance I get, and it seems to be working on her subconscious, that is she will sit up and stand up on her own more often.
I started out kind of holding her wrists as I did pulled her up when were playing around. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Now sometimes she'll hold onto my fingers if I put them in her hand and she'll follow them up under her own power....although maybe she "thinks" I'm still doing all the work. :)
Work their muscles!
Before my niece was standing, after diaper changes while she was on her back, we'd hold her hands and have her do some work in pulling herself up. Of course we would help her but allowing her to try first helped develop her core muscles.
We had her stand on our lap once we noticed she liked standing and straightening/tensing her legs. We taught my niece how to stand on her own by standing her up by her pack-and-play. She would hang on to the side rails of it for support. She got used to hanging on with one hand and figuring out how to balance herself.
To pull herself up, we put her toy links on the outside of the pack-and-play. We put one of her toys at the end which was a very spherical bee (just to make it stand out more). She used the links as rope to pull herself up. We would point at the rope and put her hand on it to help guide her how to use it.
I imagine babies, due to their curious nature, like being motivated to stand up so you aren't forcing her. I usually hear of parents who prefer delaying motivation because a mobile child is more work and they want a few more months of "peace".
I did a similar thing as Rhea...although we made it personal and had my son grab my finger and pull himself up. It took awhile but he got a good grip and after some time learned to pull himself up. Sometimes I'd make mock exercise grunts just to get a reaction out of him, it worked and before he was 1 year old he was pulling himself up on anything he could.