Does letting children stand early cause stunting and dwarfism?

The desire for a child to stand early and whether it causes stunted growth is a common concern among parents. As parents, everyone eagerly anticipates witnessing their child’s developmental milestones: rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing, walking, and running. Nevertheless, some tend to push their children to achieve these milestones prematurely, notably encouraging early standing. Does early standing cause stunted growth and what potential harm might it entail? Let’s explore this topic in the following article by Grow Taller Plan.

Early Standing in Children

Children generally hit developmental milestones as follows:

– 6-10 months: Most babies can pull themselves up to a standing position by holding onto objects.

– 7-13 months: Children start to grasp and move their bodies, with some even taking steps when supported by adults.

– 11-14 months: By this age range, most children can walk independently.

Therefore, encouraging a child to stand before 6 months is considered early. At this stage, a child’s bone structure is still fragile and unable to support the entire body weight adequately. This practice can negatively impact the child’s health and overall development.

Does letting children stand early cause stunting and dwarfism?
Does letting children stand early cause stunting and dwarfism?

Is Encouraging Early Standing Beneficial?

Driven by the eagerness to witness their child stand and walk, many parents initiate standing exercises when their child is merely 3-4 months old. However, this is strongly discouraged.

Encouraging a child to stand prematurely can affect bone structure. At this stage, a child’s bones are still weak and not ready to endure standing or walking movements. Parents should only encourage standing when the child displays readiness.

Should Children Practice Walking Early?

Based on the average developmental milestones, children typically begin walking between 10-12 months. Encouraging a child to walk before 7-8 months is excessively early. During this time, the child is still adapting to crawling and scooting. Their bone structure is not strong enough for standing or walking. Premature walking exercises might deform bones, leading to conditions like bow legs, affecting aesthetics.

Does Early Standing Cause Stunted Growth?

One perilous consequence of prompting early standing in children is its potential negative impact on height development. This means that early standing may lead to stunted growth. Early standing affects bone development, especially in the leg bones.

A common issue from early standing is bowed legs, where the ankles touch while the knees point outward. Since the bones deviate outward, the overall length of the leg bones gets affected, limiting the child’s height development.

Encouraging early standing in children can have detrimental effects on their bone development and potentially stunt their growth, particularly in terms of their height. It’s crucial for parents to allow natural milestones to occur at the appropriate stages to ensure the child’s healthy development.

What Should Parents Do to Help Children Stand Early?

Assisting a child in learning to stand requires substantial support from parents and family members. The process involves:

– Initially, parents can hold the child’s armpits with both hands to provide support. This helps the child feel secure and allows their feet to gain traction to stand up.

– Subsequently, guide the child to hold onto the edge of a bed, chair, or wall to stand up.

– Use toys that the child enjoys as a “bait” to encourage them to stand up to reach for their favorite plaything.

However, while assisting a child in standing, it’s crucial to consider the following:

– Avoid making the child stand for too long. Even though the child can stand, their bones are still fragile, and their legs can easily become fatigued. The duration a child stands varies based on their capability. Parents shouldn’t compare their child’s progress to others and refrain from making the child stand for extended periods.

– Before encouraging a child to stand, parents should assess their readiness. A method to check a child’s standing ability is by lifting the child to a standing position for about 2-3 seconds to observe if their legs can support them on the floor.

– Ensure safety measures during the standing practice by placing protective items around and avoiding areas with sharp edges or protruding objects.

Height Enhancement Methods for Children Parents Should Know

To enhance a child’s height rapidly, parents can consider the following approaches:

Nutritional Investment

Building a nutritious and diverse diet plan for the child is a significant step in height enhancement. Including a variety of vegetables, meats, fish, eggs, supplementing with milk, and dairy products between meals every 1-2 hours is vital.

Encourage Physical Activity

Depending on the child’s age, parents can employ different methods to encourage physical activity. For children under 1 year old, activities to enhance height mainly involve crawling, scooting, and walking, limiting excessive carrying of the child. For older children between 5-10 years, parents can encourage participation in sports based on their interests: swimming, soccer, running, cycling, yoga, etc.

Ensure Adequate Sleep

Adequate sleep is crucial for a child’s health and natural height growth. Daily, children need 10-16 hours of sleep depending on their age. For children under 1 year old, parents should follow the child’s sleep needs. For older children, it’s essential to establish a consistent sleep schedule. Avoid letting the child stay up past 10 PM regularly as it can adversely affect height development.


Daily sun exposure reduces the risk of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is essential for optimal calcium absorption in bones, promoting bone density and health. Just 15-20 minutes of daily sun exposure allows the child’s skin to synthesize sufficient vitamin D.

Supplement with Functional Foods

For children aged 2 and above, parents may consider supplementary functional foods to support height growth. These foods contain beneficial ingredients to stimulate effective and faster physical growth.

Avoid hastiness in the early years of a child’s life. Parents should observe their child’s development and intervene only if the child shows signs of slower progress compared to average milestones. The information provided details whether encouraging early standing in children leads to stunted growth and its associated drawbacks. This insight serves as an important alert, aiding parents to be more cautious in the process of caring for and nurturing their children.


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