Child mortality rate was quite high, a common sickness that children would have today would be fatal back in that time frame. They would often photograph their loved ones in a life like position, by either propping them up in bed, holding them, and even leaning them against a post so they would appear to be standing.
Sometimes the deceased would have their eyes closed to make it appear as though they were sleeping… while other times the eyes would be forced open to make him or her look alive.
This photo shows you how it’s achieved… Notice what’s behind the chair
Below are the photos from the 19th and 20th century
Both children are deceased… If you take a close look at their feet you can see the stand behind them keeping them upright