Tips and Tricks- Learning to Stand Up from the Floor

It’s an exciting moment when my patients stand up from the floor for the first time by themselves.  When toddlers can finally stand up from the floor by themselves, that means they no longer have to crawl to a couch/table/chair to stand up, which means, no more crawling! 😀

baby standing up from floor

There was a documentary type film released in 2009 by Focus Features Films called Babies, that followed 4 babies around the world until they were about 1 year old, and the big moments shown for each baby was the moment they finally stood up by themselves, which were exciting moments.  Here’s a preview of the film, which I recommend to watch to get a glimpse at the first year of development in different parts of the world.  The film has no lines or narration so you get to just watch and enjoy.

Ok so back to learning how to stand up from the floor.  In my experience teaching kids how to walk, I’ve seen a fair mix of kids learning to walk first and then learning how to stand up from the floor, but a good amount are able to stand up from the floor well before they start taking steps.  So if your kiddo is in the first group that can take steps but has to crawl somewhere to stand up.

I follow the same guidelines I use to help progress infants to crawling, where I “bring the floor up” to make the task a little easier.

Instead of immediately making my patients go from pulling up to stand to standing up from the floor, I start to lower the height of the support surface that they’re pulling up to stand on.

  • So I go from pulling to stand at a couch to—>
  • pulling to stand at a couch WITHOUT the couch cushions to —>

pulling to stand using a couch cushion on the floor, or pulling to stand using a step stool on the floor to—>

  • squatting and standing using a folded blanket on the floor to—>
  • standing up without using anything at all

To continue improving working on standing up from the floor, I plan activities that work on picking up objects from the floor.

  • I start first by picking up larger lighter objects such as large inflatable balls like a beach ball
  • I progress to picking up smaller balls that require kids to squat deeper to pick them up from the floor
  • I then progress to smaller objects that require more specific grasps to pick from the floor so my patients have to spend more time in a squatting position to pick them up.
  • Some small items I use: checkers from connect 4, bean bags (they’re a little heavier than a regular ball and require a tighter grip to pick up)

child picking up ball

Categories: Tips and Tricks Tuesdays

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1 reply

  1. Hi Natalie,

    Excellent post! Thanks! I especially like that tactic of gradually lowering the support – I can see how that would make the baby more confident. When Adam was learning to stand he got too used to adults helping him up, so he would kind of rely on that. Now its alright, he gets up by himself easily – I guess this is just one of those countless things I learned about babies after really needed it. I came across your article just recently while researching a blog post of my own where I go through all the developmental milestones related to standing, and then pair them with appropriate activities according to where in his or her development the child is. Part of a project I am working on to give a little back from all that I am learning – I included some ideas from your article, hope you like what I wrote – let me know.


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