Tracking progress: up into standing, cruising, walking

If your infant is late learning to stand and walk it is useful to track his/her progress through the different stages and identify how far he or she has progressed along the developmental journey and identify steps that may need a little bit of extra work in order for your infant to move forwards. 

The different ages at which babies reach different milestones is taken the Alberta Infant Motor Scale, with one some tweaking to accommodate the slightly slower development of  preemies and babies with low muscle tone and hypermobility. 

I have also added a number of in-between stages that babies move through.  There are lots of skills a baby needs to develop between pulling up into standing and walking with confidence - and sometimes the late walker is working on these in-between skills and developing the strength and coordination needed for walking alone with good control.

If a baby is not yet walking by 17 months, there may well be issues with flexibility and strength that are stopping the child from moving forwards.  A consultation with a paediatric physiotherapist can be very helpful in working out where the difficulties lie and what to do about them. 


5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12    Standing with support  

The baby supports self on the legs when he is held in the standing position. he may bounce up and down by bending and straightening the legs.

Some babies do not stand with support - instead they lift the legs up in the air when held upright.

early supported standing.jpgR 10  asitting on air 2_1.jpg


 5 6 7 8  9 10 11 12   Stands on knees with support

The infant is able to move from sitting or the crawling position to kneeling upright with support.

kneeling with support  (1).jpg


8 9 10 11  12 13   Stands up from sitting on a low step  

The infant can pull herself up into standing when she sits on a low step.  This is easier than standing up from sitting on the floor.

stand up from step.jpg


8 9 10 11 12 13    Pulls up into standing from sitting or kneeling on the floor

The infant holds onto a low table or an adult and lifts self up into standing.

This often needs a lot of pulling and pushing on the arms before the baby learns to push up with the legs.

Infant 10m standing up 3.jpg


 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14   Infant is able to stand with support

At  first the infant needs both hands for support. Infant start to move sideways over feet

ball-grap.jpg


8 9 10 11 12 13 14   Infant stands supporting on one hand  

Infant is able to stand and lift one hand to reach for toys

Infant-10m-stand-reach-10.jpg


7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14    Infant stands, supports on one hands and twist the the trunk around  

The infant is learning to shift his weight over his feet in different directions. She has enough postural control now to allow him to move the trunk when he is standing.

W 8m stand and twist.jpg


 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14       Infant stands with support and reaches down to retrieve a toy

The infant is learning co control the bending and straightening action of the knees. this is important for strengthening the hip and knee muscles.

Infant-10m-stand-up 7.jpg


 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17  Steps between furniture


The infant is able to reach across gaps in the furniture and take a step. This re quires more organisation and better balance than moving along a solid piece of furniture.

Stepping across gap.jpg


  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17    Infant walks forwards with support  pushing a chair or trolley

The baby stands supporting himself with his hands on a chair or stool, pushes the chair and walks forwards.

This is different from walking holding a carer's hand - the infant  has to control his actions all by himself.

T 18m standing 8.jpg


 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16   Stands on own 

At first the infant's balance is precarious and he quickly falls over.  With practice he learns to balance and is able to move the arms and head without falling over.

Stand independently.jpg


10 11 12 13 14 15 16   Squats  down to retrieve toys  

The baby can stand and bend down to pick up a toy. This ability is important for developing strength in the legs.

W 16m standing up.jpg


10 11 12 13 14 15 16   Walks on own

Infant starts to walk with confidence - and uses walking instead of crawling to get around.

W 16m walking 4.jpg