Encourage Standing: Best Natural Toys to Help Baby Stand

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If you are a parent, you may want to provide your baby with toys to help baby stand. The first 12 months of babyhood are a remarkable time of exploration and discovery.

Encouraging your little one to stand and take those first steps is an exciting milestone in their development. To support them on this journey, selecting the right toys to help baby stand can be a fun activity for both you and your baby.

In this article, I list the best natural toys designed to help your baby stand independently while enhancing their motor skills, coordination, and overall growth, and preparing them for walking.

Why Standing Matters: Developmental Milestones

Before diving into the toys world, let’s briefly understand why standing is a crucial milestone. Standing marks a transition from a seated position to an upright one, supporting the development of core muscles, leg strength, and balance.

As babies work on achieving this milestone, they not only strengthen their physical foundation but also build the skills necessary for future steps—literally and metaphorically.

Babies require purposeful activities that enhance their new skills. For instance, tummy time is beneficial for strengthening their neck muscles, while rolling over aids in developing core muscles. In order to learn to roll, sit and eventually stand and walk, you want to encourage tummy time as much as possible in the early months. 

Around 6 months of age (there is a lot of variety), your baby will learn a plethora of new skills, such as rolling in both directions and sitting unassisted. Soon enough, they will be pulling up to a standing position and be a learning walker!

I do want to preface this article by stating that you absolutely do not need any gear to help your baby learn to stand. However, if you opt to support your baby’s development with appropriate toys and want to offer them more fun activities along the way, below are my favorite toys to support that.

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Age-Appropriate Choices: Matching Toys with Developmental Stages

When selecting walking toys, it’s essential to consider your baby’s age and developmental stage. For younger babies who are just beginning to pull themselves up, opt for sturdy tables or push walkers with easy-grip handles.

As they grow older and more confident, you can introduce toys with additional features that challenge their cognitive and motor skills. 

As your baby reaches the age of standing and walking, not all toys will help them with these milestones. You should look for toys that allow your child to move freely and at their own pace. We want to avoid toys that confine babies, which can actually inhibit baby’s development.

When looking for toys that help baby stand, toys that capture baby’s attention rather than have them focus on their position are a great option.

My favorite toys encourage baby to freely shift their weight and fully load their weight into their legs while engaging in play. By engaging the baby’s upper body, we can prevent them to lean forward too much while keeping the trunk muscles activated.

The toys below all follow the do-no-harm principle, meaning toys that have been shown to inhibit biological child development, such as jumpers or strap-in infant walkers, have not been included in this post.

Safety First: Choosing the Right Toys

When selecting toys to help your baby stand, safety should be a top priority. Opt for toys made from non-toxic, natural materials, and ensure that they are free from choking hazards. Avoid toys with small parts that can detach, as babies tend to explore objects with their mouths.

The first time your baby will stand up will probably be by pulling up on the coffee table! That’s absolutely fine and age-appropriate as babies love to interact with the real world around them. Just make sure there are no hazardous items on the table your baby could get their hands on. 

As baby grows, you might want to give them new things to explore such as a variety of toys. Sidenote: Don’t forget about ample outdoor time too. Nature will always be our favorite “baby activity center”.

Versatile Toys to Help Baby Stand

Versatile toys, like play tables or activity mats, offer a range of play modes that adapt to your baby’s changing needs. These toys provide ample opportunities for floor play, seated exploration, and standing activities, making them excellent choices for different stages of development.

Toys that offer a variety of textures and surfaces provide sensory stimulation, enhancing your baby’s overall experience. Babies naturally explore the world through touch, and toys with different textures can captivate baby’s attention and contribute to their sensory development.

Attention: Skip the infant walkers 

A wheeled infant or baby walker is a tool for infants who are learning to walk, typically between the ages of 6 and 15 months. It’s like having their own miniature vehicle. The walker includes a seat for the infant to sit in, a table, and a broad base with four wheels. The infant can touch the ground with their feet and use their legs to move around. 

It’s understandable to have questions about baby walkers and their safety. Unfortunately, the answer is no, they are not safe for your little one. It’s worth noting that baby walkers with seats have already been banned in Canada, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has also recommended a ban on them. As you consider options for your child’s mobility, it’s crucial to prioritize their safety and well-being above all else.

It’s essential to understand that a push-toy baby walker, which is a toy that a standing infant can hold on to and push forward, is not the same as a wheeled infant walker.

Standing Toys with Interactive Elements

Walking toys that come with interactive features can make the standing experience even more enjoyable for your baby. These interactive components engage your baby’s senses, enhance their hand-eye coordination, and offer hours of entertainment and learning.

Shop Standing Toys

children's art easel

From Standing to Taking the first steps: Push Walkers

One of the best toys to encourage standing is the push walker. These are a classic toy with a sturdy structure and wheels. They provide the stability your baby needs to pull themselves up and stand while challenging them to balance their bodies. Push walkers as excellent tools to support your baby’s gross motor skills development. As they push the toy and take tiny steps, their leg muscles grow stronger, helping them progress towards taking their first independent steps and promoting hip development and an upright posture.

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From Push Toys to Pull Toys

Pull toys complement the standing journey by encouraging your baby to explore the world as a step up from push toys. Pulling a toy behind them helps strengthen their fine motor skills and hand muscles while fostering a sense of independence and accomplishment. As they engage in play, they unknowingly develop essential skills that lay the groundwork for their future steps, such as independent standing and walking. They are also very affordable and easy to store!

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Enjoy Watching Your Baby Grow

In your baby’s life, every moment is a chance to learn, explore, and grow. The right toys can make this journey even more meaningful by offering a safe and engaging way to encourage standing and walking. With a wide variety of options available, from push walkers to interactive play tables, you have a world of possibilities at your fingertips.

By choosing the best developmental toys, you provide your baby with the tools they need to navigate their unique journey towards standing, walking, and embracing the world around them.

Have you used any of the toys? Let me know in the comments below!

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About The Author

Julia Billings

Hi, I'm Julia! I am a working mother, professional life & leadership coach, international HR expert, and motherhood advocate. Upon becoming a mom, I quit my coveted United Nations career to pursue more flexibility and freedom so I could be able to combine professional aspirations with how I wanted to show up as a mother. In my work as a coach, consultant and facilitator, I help other moms make similar bold decisions in their careers.

My approach integrates my 7 years of experience as international career & leadership development professional, my personal journey as a mother and my proficiency as a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) holding an M.Ed.

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