Your little precious one is progressing through his developmental milestones quickly these days and you may feel like you can’t keep up with all of it. Over the first few months, he’s gone from a little sleeping bundle into an interacting, moving individual. During the second half of his first year he will really be going into full swing, including learning how to bear his own weight on those chubby little legs.
The majority of babies will be able to bear their own weight by the time they are 7 months old. Don’t try to force a baby to bear his own weight too early on; he lacks the muscle tone and skill to do so without support. If you have any concerns about your child’s age and developmental milestones, talk to your pediatrician.
Being able to bear his own weight is an important precursor to standing and walking. He will need to develop these gross motor skills and gain strength in his leg muscles to be able to do so.
What You Can Do
If you want to encourage your child’s muscle development and coordination at this stage, there are a few things you can do to help. You can hold him under his armpits, letting his feet touch the floor and allowing most of his weight to be distributed to his legs and feet. He’ll be sort of floppy and wiggly, so don’t let go. He may want to bounce a few times while held in this position, which is totally normal. You can also help him into the sitting position while holding his hands and then slowly help him rise to his feet. Let him stand for a few seconds and slowly lower him down. You may notice that his toes curl up or he is curious about the floor while practicing these skills. This is part of exploring his body, new sensations and his environment. These are all part of the learning package.
Things to Keep In Mind
Don’t hold a high expectation that your child is going to be able to hold his own weight too early, too quickly or that he'll just jump up and start walking. These skills take time to develop and many factors contribute to your child’s success. Be patient and help him practice a bit at a time. Before you know it, he’ll be off and running. Be prepared and start baby-proofing your home.