4 Ways To Support Your Pre-Walking Baby Who Can't Resist Pulling Up On Everything
Once a baby gets a taste of the power of pulling up to a standing position, there's no stopping them! They will look for opportunities to exercise this new-found skill all day long -- and sometimes even all night. (Learning to stand is a common cause for sleep regression!)
At this age, your baby also needs to touch everything, so they are extra motivated to creep, pull up, and begin surfing around different areas that will allow them to reach objects. Here are some safe ways to support your baby's new hobby: pulling up to a stand.
Toys That Help Baby Stand
Push toys, like a walker wagon, help your baby move independently and also strengthen the muscles they need for walking. Place a heavy object in the wagon so that it doesn't move. Ideas for weighting the wagon:
a pile of heavy books
a gallon-sized resealable bag filled with sand
a tote bag of pantry items, such as cans or dried rice
Place any of these things inside a zipper-close pillowcase to keep your baby's curious fingers safely away from the weight.
As your baby becomes a more confident walker, you can reduce the amount of weight in the wagon, and eventually remove it.
Purchase a Montessori Pull Up Bar
Designed specifically for this purpose, a solid wood bar that mounts on a wall (think of a ballet barre) at just the right level for your toddler invites pulling up on a safe object. Many Monti Kids families position the bar in front of a mirror so that their babies can see their entire bodies moving.
Related: Why Montessori Playrooms Have A Mirror
You can purchase a bar on Amazon or Etsy.
Or, make your own bar when your baby starts to pull up.
Visit a local hardware store to find a standard stair railing. Have it cut to size, and install horizontally. Here's what you need to know:
The bar should be 6' in length but can vary depending on the space available in your baby's play area.
Mount the bar about 18" from the floor.
Use banister brackets that will hold the bar about 2" from the wall.
Select Solid Playroom Furniture - Toddler Size
A low toy shelf, a foundation for any Montessori play area, is ideal for pulling up! It is safe and enables cruising the length of the shelf when he or she is ready. Placing toys on top of it will invite your baby to pull up to investigate.
A table in your play area can offer another surface for materials your baby will want to explore, plus it enables you to model taking toys out to work on them and then putting them away on the shelf.
When your baby is a little bit older, you can add chairs to the table for snacking and working with toys, but when your baby is anxious to pull up on everything, leave the chairs out of the way so that they can access the perimeter of the table.
Reposition a Piece of Furniture You Already Own
As our babies grow, it's important to reimagine the environments we offer them, clearing away infant toys and providing materials that challenge them at the right level. As your baby becomes interested in pulling up, consider moving an ottoman, hamper, or coffee table to a place where they can make use of it. (Place something heavy in a hamper to prevent tipping.)
The Montessori philosophy encourages us to prepare an environment that supports the baby's development. Being able to stand on two legs propels our children into a new phase of life in which they are able to 1) absorb new information from a different vantage point and 2) be in control of when they change positions. While some frustrations will come along with this transition, keep in mind that this is an exciting development and find enjoyment in watching your child reach this milestone.
Learn more about Montessori activities for toddlers