Training standing in infants and toddlers

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Guide to task oriented assessment of standing with support 

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Training Guide
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Downloads: Assessment notes and checklist

Infants who won't put their feet down to stand 

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Training standing with support  

R 11m standing chest high support 1_1.jpgAt 12 months Roan is able to stand with hand support, but her balance is poor as she fails to make the adjustments needed to maintain balance when turning her head and reaching sideways for toys.  

Analysis of standing: Roan 16 months
 

R 14m standing with support 4.jpgAt 16 months Roan stands with hand support and reaches in different directions and is starting to step sideways. Careful observation highlights aspects of her control that need to be refined. 
Training standing 
Kneeling at a step as a first step

R 10m kneeling at block 1_1.jpgKneeling at a step provides an infant with the first experience of weightbearing on the LEs and supporting on the hands with the trunk in a relatively upright position. 

Getting an infant to take weight on the feet

max-leaning-forwards-bench-sitting_1.jpgOne way to get an infant to start taking weight on the feet is to practice sitting on a step and reaching forwards. 

Standing with waist high support

R 12m waist high support_1.jpgStanding with waist high support allows the infant to lean forwards and take some weight on the chest as well as the forearms and hand. 

In this position the infant has enough support to allow them to explore bending and extending the knees and shifting weight laterally and in an A-P direction.  

Standing with lateral support

Stand-between-blocks- 6_1.jpgIn order to provide Roan with a safe environment for practicing standing and reaching, I have positioned high density foam blocks on either side and behind her. 

Standing with hip high support

Roan 12m standing low block 1_1.jpgStanding at a hip high support surface allows the infant to practice standing with the weight on the feet and the hands.

 

Standing and pushing against posterior support 

M 12m standing chest high support 3_1.jpgImportance of paying attention to the relationship between the infant and the physical environment

Standing up from a low step

R 10m sit to stand 1.jpgStanding up from a low step strengthens the LE's, improves balance, and gives an infant a sense of accomplishment. 

Standing with caregiver support

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Standing with surround support 

R 11m triangle of boxes 3_0.jpgInfants who are late learning to stand with support often are slow to take responsibility for their own balance. 

Letting an infant stand in a triangle or square of boxes provides them with a safe environment that allows them to independently explore various options for maintaining their balance.

Encouraging stepping 

R 12m crusing 7_1.jpgOnce the infant is able to stand with support, the next task is to learn to take a step sideways, as a precursor to learning to cruise. 

Letting go and learning to balance 

New Movie (530).Movie_Snapshot_2.jpgOnce an infant has gained some confidence standing with hand support, they start to explore standing upright, with the CoM balanced over the feet and using an ankle strategy to maintain balance. 

Learning to bend the knees 

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Infants also need to learn to bend the knees and reach down to retrieve a toy from the floor. 

Improving balance and strengthening the trunk and LEs

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Activities to improve standing stability, balance and strengthen the trunk and extremities.