24 answers

Baby Won't Put Weight on Legs

My son will be six-months-old this weekend. He still won't put weight on his legs when I hold him up to have him "stand." He holds his legs up in the air when I hold him up with my hands under his arms/around his chest. He's been this way since he was born. My first son could put weight on his legs when he was a couple of weeks old, and by this age he was bouncing on my lap on his legs. Did anyone else have a child do this and their child turned out just fine?

Here's a little history...my baby was 10 pounds 10 ounces when he was born. He was born vaginally, and he had shoulder distocia. The doctor pulled pretty hard on his head/neck to get him out. He had to go to the chiropractor three times to have his neck adjusted. He can move his arms and legs just fine. He kicks his feet and can bring them up to his hands and face. He just won't put weight on them. Am I just worrying too much?

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So What Happened?™

Hi, everyone. Thanks so much for your responses and advice!! Everyone is just wonderful!
My son is now 8 months old. He was evaluated by his pediatrician at his check-up and by Help Me Grow. His doctor said that he will be fine. He says that he has low muscle tone in his legs, but that it is just the way he is. He doesn't think it is from a birth injury. He thinks he will just be a little slower to crawl and walk than my first son was. The Help Me Grow evaluators said he was behind in a lot of stuff like sitting up, self feeding, supporting himself some with his legs, holding himself up at tummy time. But, his doctor explained the evaluation sheet to me that Help Me Grow did, and he said that he is just fine. They were "failing" him at something that the average child wasn't even ready to do. So, I'm not sure why they were doing that!

Anyway, he is now putting some weight on his legs when I try and get him to stand on my lap. He also uses them more when he is in his exersaucer. So, he is getting stronger all the time! I'm so glad! Also, he's huge! He is now in 18-month clothes, he weighs around 20 pounds, and he is almost 28 inches long! What a moose!! :)

Featured Answers

Worrying too much!!! There are ways to work the legs muscles WITHOUT weight bearing. Bicycle them, push gently on his feet and try to get him to push back (weight bearing), open and close (more of the hip stabilizers). DO NOT COMPARE ONE CHILD TO ANOTHER! Some kids just take longer.

You can always take him to his pediatrician and have a medical problem ruled out. The exersaucer idea is great! My son didn't even sit up until he was 6 or 7 months old and was always very wobbly. His exersaucer and his jumpster (the contraption you can hang on a doorframe) helped him out tremendously!

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I would be concerned. It may be nothing but much better to be safe than sorry. He should be at least putting resistance to you standing him up on your lap, I mean where his legs can push off of you.
My daughter went to a preschool that dealt with mostly physical or developmental delays, and they would be concerned about low muscle tone.
Look into it now before it goes any farther.

Yes, you are worrying too much. Everyone develops at his/her own pace, and it is useless to compare them, even siblings. Relax and enjoy your baby!


Yes, you're worrying too much, I have much experience in this area and really 6 months is when people are just starting to put their babies in jumper chairs, etc. It's literally not too safe to be expecting him to be putting too much pressure on those legs, it's not healthy. You're overly concerned, but that's ok, you're normal and obviously a great parent! I applaud you for asking this!

Have a wonderful day,

M. G.

No, you're not worrying too much. I work for the local Health Dept. in a program for moms & babies. We do routine developmental screens and putting weight on legs is one of the things we look at around 6 months. (Maybe earlier-- I do a different job now and I rarely do the screens, but I do remember that that particular item was at 3 or 6 months.)

I recommend that you talk with your pediatrician and request a development screen. (I recommend the Denver Development Screen, it is pretty thorough, well-tested, and most doctors & nurses know how to complete it.)

If you are in Indiana, I also suggest that you look into First Steps. That is the organization that helps identify and treat early developmental delays. Most can be corrected with just a few months of therapy. Services are covered by most insurances & Medicaid and First Steps will not turn a child away because of a family's inability to pay. They do home visits and work around the family's schedule. I love their program!! Your doctor should have their phone number.

Yes, worrying is sometimes a good thing, but try not to stress too much over this. I have seen lots of babies with similar issues and all of them recovered and were caught up with their peers within 1- 1 1/2 years.

I've never heard of this and i would be worried to, BUT what does he do if say you put him in a walker or saucer? will he put his legs down? could be that he just thinks it's fun to keep them up, or he just hasn't gotten it figured out yet that legs have a purpose other than to play with and chew on. i wouldn't panic at this point he is also very young and the worst possible thing you can do is comapre children on stuff like this, even your own. ask your doc the next time you happen to be there, untill then keep letting him try and try not to worry to much.


Get you son to an othopedic specialist immediately. There is something going on with his legs and you need to find out very, very soon. Don't let it continue because he is young enough to correct it before it becomes a permanent condition. I pray that all goes well.

Nana (J. N)

He is pretty young. I'd give it some time

I was a practicing pediatric physical therapist up until 3 years ago. My suggestion is for you to get him evaluated by a pediatric physical therapist. If you live in the Cleveland area you would contact Help-Me-Grow to get this process started. It is no charge to you and could be well worth it! Especially if he is a big boy, you don't want to be carrying him forever! Anyway it can't hurt to have him looked at and they may have some great suggestions.

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