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Everyone talks about baby’s first steps—but what about baby’s first stand? It may not be a motor skill with quite as much celebration, but hey, it’s still a pretty big deal!

baby_holding_onto_tableSo when does baby first start standing with support? Baby will begin standing by pulling on something to stand with support. Usually around 7-12 months baby will start pulling themselves up to stand. The object they pull on and use for support can be anything at their height that helps them feel steady, like a piece of furniture or someone’s hand.

When will baby stand on their own, without support? This can happen as early as 9 months, but for some babies this will happen around 12 months. And that’s ok! Every baby gets the hang of standing differently.

When standing on their own, baby will only stand for a few seconds at first, but their ability to stand on their own will get better. But don’t expect baby to start standing all the time—they may not actually stand on their own for more than a few seconds until they are about 13-15 months old.

Check out what else to expect from your baby. Follow their milestones here!

What does baby need to stand without support? They need to have strengthened legs, hips, and core muscles to stand on their own. These are the same muscles they use for rolling, sitting and crawling, and can be strengthened by keeping baby active and helping them to meet their motor milestones.

What do you do if baby falls? Remember, it is typical for baby to fall when they’re first learning to stand! For months, baby will only be able to stand for a second or two. So falling is expected.

Here are some safety tips while they’re learning to stand:

  • Walk and stand only on soft surfaces when they’re first getting the hang of things.
  • Avoid stairs.
  • Be within reach of baby.
  • Keep them away from hard or sharp objects.
  • Only walk and stand on the ground, rather than on higher surfaces like beds or couches.
  • Make sure any nearby furniture is weighted or attached to the floor/wall, in case baby tries to grab on while falling, or pulls themselves up using the furniture.

Unless there is a sign of injury or your baby needs help, it is ok to remain calm when they fall. If baby sees their parent staying calm, then they may not get upset either. Give baby a moment to gather themselves, and then get back to moving!

Remember, when baby starts standing and walking on their own, it’s time to baby proof! Check out these baby-proofing tips to keep your home safe.

How can you help baby to stand without support? Here are some tips:

  • Keep up with the Baby Games Calendar. These games keep baby moving and strengthening important muscles for that age.
  • Give baby small, lightweight toys they can hold in their hand while standing. This will help them feel they are “holding onto” something and they may be more willing to stay standing longer!
  • Move toys onto surfaces that encourage baby to try to move to a standing position during play. For example, if you move a toy onto the couch while baby is on the ground, they may want to pull themselves up to stand in order to play with the toy. This will help baby develop the strength and balance skills to stand without support.
  • Play with other babies their age or slightly older who are standing. They will see this behavior, and maybe want to try it too.
  • Focus on strengthening your child’s vestibular sense. This helps with balance and standing up straight. Ways to do this include rocking and swinging baby, carrying them in a variety of positions, and allowing them to safely try different motor movements, like climbing over pillows.