Independent standing milestones for children 0-12 months

6 July, 2020
In the last 2 weeks we have had a number of our little people at TFK achieve independent standing. Such a lovely thing to see as a baby has the confidence and skills to let go and stand alone. Initially they can only stand, but very quickly they can hold a toy, play, and reach while maintaining their balance in standing. The ability to stand alone is important for both motor and social/cognitive development.
To develop independent standing, babies require the ability to maintain their balance and posture against gravity while standing just on their 2 little feet – this is called static balance.

The systems that work together to allow this to happen are:

All three systems need to work together to allow the baby to easily maintain an upright position stably and automatically.

Motor development needed to stand independently requires:

Cognitive/Social Development

For babies to stand independently they need the desire to be upright to solve problems (e.g. how to use furniture to get up to get a toy out of reach). They also need the confidence to take a risk and plan how to achieve the position. This comes together with the development of their motor and sensory skills.

Motor development of standing 0-12 months

Why independent standing is important:

Once a baby can stand alone and balance (static balance) they are then able to develop the ability to shift their weight in standing and develop the ability to walk independently. The development of standing involves both motor and sensory systems working together to provide a stable base for play with 2 hands in an upright position.

Ways to help develop independent standing:

climbing7 (1)

Things that may affect or delay the development of independent standing:

When to ask for help

Babies all develop motor skills at different times and often in different order but there are some things to look for.

Ways to keep your baby safe in learning to stand

standing2 (1)

Independent standing is a major milestone in a baby’s gross motor development. Allow play while upright with toys with 2 hands from the floor in preparation to carrying objects in walking. It is a complex skill dependent on both the motor and sensory systems. If you have any concerns, contact your GP, paediatrician, or paediatric physiotherapist.

Keep safe, happy, and well,


By Debbie Evans

Executive Director

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