At about nine months, the infant tries to pull herself to a standing position. Just as for her sitting up, it is best not to substitute our actions for the child’s efforts. The joy of achievement in getting to a standing position rightfully belongs to the child. We can, however, help the child by making certain that there are items in her environment that she can use to pull up on: an ottoman, a couch or coffee table, and in her room a low toy shelf. You can also secure a bar or handrail on the wall. – Montessori From The Start.
I would have loved to have installed a Montessori Pull Up Bar for Althea but unfortunately we live in a rented apartment and we’re not allowed to put anything on the walls other than Picture frames. A few weeks ago she started using the handles on either side of the bath to pull herself up onto her knees but apart from that she wasn’t using anything else in her environment. We don’t have an awful lot of furniture, just one sofa that is currently a little high for her (she’s quite small for her age) and a TV cabinet, which again isn’t quite the right height and she can’t seem to get a grip of it.
I had noticed other children around the same age pulling themselves up on coffee tables (which we don’t have) and those plastic activity tables. I try hard to avoid plastic toys and products where I can a) because of the impact on the environment b) because of the recent claims of toxicity and c) because I believe that not only do other materials look much nicer, they also offer children a much more varied sensorial experience – plastics are often smoother and not as sensitive to temperature changes as other materials.
So I decided to do a little research and found THIS brilliant idea over on one of my favourite Montessori blogs The Kavanaugh Report. So off I went to IKEA to buy two ALESDA banana fibre footstools. At first I just used one stool, placing an activity/toy in the middle for her to reach for and within hours she was pushing her bottom up in the air. After a few days she started crawling onto the top of it so I added the second so that she can pull herself up to standing.