Using A Stander

What is a stander?

A stander is a device that is used for children who are unable to or delayed in their ability to stand. Two examples are shown below.

stander1stander wall

Why use a stander?

There are several important reasons to use a stander for children who are delayed in their ability to stand and walk.

joint

  1. Hip joint development: The long bone in the thigh has a smooth round end that attaches to the hip like a ball in a socket. Standing and taking weight through the feet help this joint to form normally. Children who do not spend enough time standing on their feet can develop hip problems as they grow older.
  2. Bone strength: One of the ways the bones build and maintain strength is through standing for prolonged periods of time.
  3. Muscle strength: Assisted standing helps build strength in the legs.
  4. Muscle length: Standing is one of the best ways to get a slow steady stretch in the back of the calf and thigh and over the front of the hip.

How do I position my child in the stander?

  • It is preferable to put shoes on the child first to give support to their feet and ankles.
  • Make sure the child's toes are facing forward and their heels are flat on the board. If your child has very tight calves and cannot get their heels flat without a lot of discomfort, you can place a small pad underneath his heel to bring him up on his toes just a little bit.
  • Make sure the ankles, knees and hips are in a line.
  • Standing in front of the child while he is in the stander and having him focus his attention forward will help keep the head and body in alignment.

How long should I keep my child in the stander?

For best results, the stander should be used daily for at least 60 minutes. Two, thirty minute sessions may be more comfortable for the child.

What if my child cries when I put him in the stander?

  • You may need to start with shorter time frames and work up to the full 60 minutes.
  • Try to make using the stander a pleasant experience.
  • Use the stander when the child is rested and generally in a good mood.
  • Provide lots of attention while the child is in the stander.
  • Perhaps allow the child to watch his favorite video while standing or let him play with his favorite toy.

If my child stands when I hold him, can I do this instead of using the stander?

It is an excellent idea to have the child practice standing while on your lap or playing on the floor, but if the child is unable to bear much weight through the feet or stand for more than a couple of seconds, the stander is needed to achieve all the benefits mentioned.