When Do Babies Usually Start to Stand?

A woman with grandson learning to stand holding on to things
When did your baby learn to stand?. Blend Images - Roberto Westbrook/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Pulling up and standing are fun, exciting milestones for babies and parents alike. These important skills help babies develop their arm and leg muscles and give them a whole new, upright view of the world. Plus, standing is the prelude to cruising and walking, which means your baby will soon become a lot more mobile.

According to the Denver II Developmental Assessment milestone's chart, infants can usually begin to:

  • Stand, holding on to things between 6 1/2 to 8 1/2 months
  • Pull to a standing position between 8 to 10 months
  • Stand for about 2 seconds between 9 to 11 1/2 months
  • Stand alone between 10 1/2 to 14 months

Standing and Pulling Up

It's important to note that not all infants will reach these milestones during the above time frames. The milestone chart simply tells us when 25% to 90% of infants first performed these skills.

This means that at least 10% of toddlers could take a little longer to reach these milestones, while others may stand or pull up sooner. With time, the majority of babies will eventually meet these milestones. Most of those that come to the skills a bit later will perform them by a few weeks or a month or two after the typical range.

It's perfectly normal for babies to arrive at these (and other) milestones at their own schedule—as long as standing and pulling up come by about 18 months.

Related Milestones

Other important things to know about these milestones include that:

  • Most younger infants are able to stand up with support and bear some weight on their legs between 2 and 4 1/2 months. This is an expected and safe developmental stage that will progress to pulling up independently and won't cause them to have bow-legs.
  • Most toddlers can walk backward between 13 and 17 months.
  • Most toddlers begin running and walking up steps at 14 months.
  • Toddlers with undiagnosed developmental hip dysplasia can probably stand and will likely learn to walk with a limp or waddling gait. If you notice these behaviors, consult your child's physician.

Most babies start cruising by age 1—soon after learning to stand and pull up. Walking is more variable, with a few infants taking their first steps before 9 months and others waiting until around 20 months or later.

When Not to Worry

It's common for parents to worry if their baby doesn't meet every milestone on schedule but it's not a reason to panic. Performing these skills later than normal does not necessarily indicate any developmental or longterm problems.

Additionally, remember that it's normal for babies who were born prematurely to reach milestones later than their full-term peers.

Most often your baby will simply learn these skills a little later but the skills will come. This is particularly likely if your child has met other developmental milestones a little later than usual but did eventually catch up.

It's important to recognize that reaching milestones isn't something that can be pushed on a baby or that needs to be taught. Babies learn these skills instinctually, which means parents do not need to anything to help their child along, other than routine infant care and allowing for opportunities to try out their emerging skills.

For example, a child needs access to something to pull up on (such as the railing of a crib) in order to try out this skill. Additionally, be sure to give your child room to move in a safe, child-proofed space. Other than that, all parents need to do is wait, watch, and then cheer when their little one eventually shows off their standing and pulling up prowess.

What to Watch For

Try not to be overly stressed if a milestone is late. That said, trust your instincts. If you have a sense that something might not be right with your baby's development, communicate your concerns to your child's doctor.

An underlying issue is more likely when a delay in standing or pulling up is accompanied by other missing milestones. For example, it may be cause for concern if your baby also doesn't yet:

  • Bear some weight on their legs
  • Roll over
  • Sit up (by 9 months)
  • Babble
  • Laugh
  • Respond to games, such a patty cake or peekaboo
  • Respond to their environment
  • Seek your attention through their actions

Additionally, there is a greater chance that your child has a developmental delay if their body seems very stiff, with tight muscles.

Developmental Delays

While it is expected that milestones may come a bit earlier or later than average, extended delays aren't normal and may be cause for concern. Sometimes this (or other) milestones don't arrive weeks or even a few months after the typical timing.

When this happens, it's called a developmental delay. Your child's pediatrician will assess their progress toward these milestones at their well visits. If your child's skills are outside of the norm, your doctor will evaluate whether or not there are other medical concerns at play.

Some medical conditions that might cause a delay in standing or walking include:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Congenital orthopedic problems
  • Down syndrome
  • Muscular dystrophy

By 18 months, your pediatrician should make sure that your toddler can sit, stand, and walk independently.

Talk to your pediatricians or consider a referral to early childhood intervention (ECI) or a developmental specialist if you have concerns that your baby isn't standing on time or is a late walker.

A Word From Verywell

Only first steps beat the excitement of watching your child hit the pre-walking milestones of pulling up and standing. It can certainly be stressful if your baby is late to reach these milestones but aim to lean toward patience, while giving your child the space to develop these new skills. Most babies will eventually master pulling up and standing—even if it takes them a bit longer to get there.

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