6 Month Old Won't Put Weight on legs...Suggestions???

Updated on December 06, 2015
J.B. asks from Pueblo, CO
7 answers

I recently took my 6 month old son to the doctor for his 6 month well baby check up. He was great in weight, length, head circumfrence, social development, but the doctor was not happy about one thing. If you hold him under his arms at his rib cage and try to get him to bear some weight on his legs and stand up, he refuses. It's like he's got speghettii legs. She is really concerned and said that if this does not improve in the next 6 weeks, we are going to have to do further testing and probably an MRI. My question to anyone out there is has this happened to you and what did you do to improve it? Do you know what she would be looking for in these tests?

He kicks his legs constantly and if you have him laying on your legs or another solid surface, he will push against it and push himself backwards. He spends time in an exersaucer on a lower level, hopefully to get him to push up and stand a bit, and also in a Jumparoo to encourage him to jump and build up strength in his legs. I hold him up several times a day to encourage him standing, but he just gets rubber legs. I don't know what else to do. Help, I'm worried thinking that something could be developmentally wrong with him or physically wrong. I hope that it's just laziness on his part, but in the back of my mind I worry that it could be more. Any suggestions or advise would be warmly welcomed. I don't want to have testing if it's just laziness.

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answers from Wichita Falls on

I went through something similar with my (now 20 month old) son. He missed several physical milestones starting at 6 months - not bearing weight, not sitting up well without support.. At 9 months old, he refused to bear weight on one leg, and the other was not much better. He still wasn't crawling off his belly (he still crawls like a marine)and wasn't sitting up without support. The only difference is I was the one who was worried, and the doctor said he wasn't worried unless he wasn't pulling up by 15 months old...

I bought it when he wasn't bearing weight at 6 months, but I was terrified that - by 15 months, my son would be so far behind or have some kind of permanent problems because of something that we could have fixed early - so here's what I did, and here's what I learned.

1. I took him to a pediatric orthopedist at Cook's children's hospital in Ft. Worth. They did an x-ray to check for hip dysplasia (ball not in, or not firmly in, the socket), and to check leg length. His hips were in, and his leg bones were, within 1/8", the same length. (A difference this small isn't considered an issue, because of errors of measurement.)

2. I took him to a chiropractor - regularly. I saw her while I was pregnant (I had significant hip pain because of my own late treated dysplasia), for hips, back, sleep, and later to help the baby turn from breech. She would do adjustments on his spine and hips with a small metal spring loaded activator. For the next few days, he bore weight on both legs (and on another note, he only had a BM after adjustments - about 2 hours after... chronic constipation was a problem we treated with RX laxative until we started going to the chiro twice a week).

3. I had him evaluated at 13 months by ECI. Because he was not sitting up well, still belly crawled, was not pulling up - etc, he qualified for services from an OT.

She gave me exercises to do with him:

A. Lay him on his back, put one hand around his femur and the other holding his knee bent, and GENTLY push his femur into his hip. (Each leg, about 3 minutes a leg, a few times a day - like when I changed his diaper).

B. Stand him up and 'jump' him on the floor - feet first, to create impact in his hips and knees.

C. Keep him out of the exersaucer. Every professional I consulted said that putting them into an exersaucer or walker before they are pulling up to stand on their own actually delays the development of the muscles in their hips, legs, and abdomen that let them do it themself. I didn't have a Johnny Jump up (no door frames to support it), so I don't know if they're an issue or not.

Stuff your doctor could be looking for in an MRI - in order of likelihood.

1. Reassurance that nothing is wrong - it's just laziness.

2. Hip dysplasia - where the ball of the femur does not go completely into the cup of the pelvis.

3. Any kind of malformation of the legs or feet that would cause pain on trying to stand.

4. Irritation in the joints of his knees or hips - there are several (VERY RARE) issues that can resemble baby arthritis.

5. Even more rare - signs of osteogenesis imperfecta, which basically can result in lots of small (and big) fractures from everyday activities.

6. Some kind of nerve problem - which is probably already ruled out because of the actions you already describe (kicking, pushing horizontally).

For what it's worth, my son missed the 15 month pulling up marker - and the pediatrician started talking about testing, which I had already started 7 months before. Jason started sitting independently at 16 months, bearing weight at 17 months, and walking about 2 weeks ago. Now he's like a rocket. Maybe it's all the intervention - maybe it's just when he was ready to do it.

I know that BECAUSE I went undiagnosed for so long, I didn't walk until I was 3 and I still have almost chronic hip pain (which is vicious - it hurts to exercise, you gain weight, it hurts more). I participated in dance, cheerleading, gymnastics, and softball - but took Advil like it was candy from about 7.

Personally, I'd be glad my doctor is interested - have the test - and enjoy the peace of mind if it's just laziness... that way, if it's something more, you're well within the treatment window for just about anything - and your son will never know the difference when he wants to play soccer or football or WHATEVER at five years old (instead of still being in casts, pain, braces, and surgeries). :)




answers from Killeen on

J. I am a first time Mom & my son has just turn ONE Oct. 17th. He did not crawl until he was 8.5 months. Then around 11 months starting standing holding on to things. He has just now started walking. He still crawls alot though. My co workers son only army crawled & did not walk til he was 17 months. We are both nurses & children just develop at different levels. I don't think you need to worry about it. Our children are very healthy. Just don't worry. Your little one will do things at his own pace.




answers from Corpus Christi on

Devices meant to keep children from having to support their own weight, such as walkers, Exersaucers, and Jumperoos, have actually been shown to SLOW children's progress towards walking. They take balance out of the equation (and balance is the hardest thing for your child to learn), teach them impoper ways to stand (such as on their toes or with their knees bent halfway), and make the children lazy when it comes to supporting their full body weight.

Some kids will do fine with those products; others will experience problems like your sons and/or developmental delays.

Sounds like you need to get rid of those devices or use them only VERY sparingly. Work with your son on the floor or in your lap, and encourage him to hold himself up. Right now, he's waiting for the little seat to hold him upright.



answers from Killeen on

We had the same problem with our 18 month old right now. He was 7 weeks early, then he had cerebal palsy in his upper body when was born. He was behing on everything so the dr. referreled us to a specialist to help him with his development. I also have him in a program where ur child gets one on one help with specialist and they come to ur house and help ur child. It has worked wonders for our kids. Hang in there.



answers from San Antonio on

Hi J.. I had similar problems with my son. I had so similar a problem with my son and it's really funny to us now. If there is something medically wrong of course I'm sure you would want to know but honestly I wouldn't worry. My son was lazy about everything. He he the wobbliest legs. Didn't want to stand. Did the jumpy thing also we did the leg excercises and he would crawl everywhere. When he was about 8 months he would walk with our hands holding his hands. BOTH HANDS. but the moment we let go down he went and off he crawled. I think it was just quicker for him to get to where he wanted to be. by nine months he would walk only when he was leaning on something. We didn't push any more. He has always been the sweetest child and my doctor always told me he's healthy, leave him alone, he'll do it when he's ready. It was funny because one day he just took off. And it was like over night he was ready. I have to tell you that his entire life has been the same way ever since. He is nine now. When he potty trained I tried at 2. then at 2 and a half, yeah right.... he wasn't havin it! When he turned 3 he said 'momma I wanna big boy undies like daddy.' I said I i buy some really cool ones like daddy you have to go on the big boy potty. he said 'I know momma, I'm ready.' I promise you J., not pushing the potty training was the best thing I ever did. That day when he threw away his baby diapers and put on his big boy underwear he chose to be a big boy on his own and he didn't have not one accident ever. Our boys may be lazy but when thier ready they fly. My boy is nine now... I couldn't tell you how many times the same type of things happen. I'm sure your son will fly when he's ready. If it makes you feel better though, by all means get him tested. Good Luck and I hope you let me know how it goes.



answers from Corpus Christi on

Ask your Pediatrician if you could get a Physical Therapist to evaluated him...better sooner than later.




answers from San Francisco on

I wish you would give an update!
This sounds like us!
I noticed my baby as being more than just super content at age 3 months. My pediatrician trusts me and is helping us pursue referrals.
We have been sent to pediatric GI at Vanderbilt and tomorrow pediatric Neuro at Vanderbilt. We will also go to an ENT this week (he is forever sounding hoarse and want to double check).

He is cognitively doing great, his arms are moderate but his legs he wont use. Some say "it is just personality" but this is different. I started referred us to physical therapy at 5 months and they agree. He is behind and while he is making progress, he is not catching up. He wont even touch the floor it is like spaghetti noodles if you hold him over a table or something. He can move his legs, occasionally kicks, doesn't grab and play with his feet. It is like he forgets they are there. He can roll from belly to back but that is it. He hates his tummy time.

What happened with you?
PT is treating "low muscle tone" but that is a symptoms unless they cant find a cause and then it becomes the diagnosis.

Thanks for any info you have!

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