All babies are different, some will sit by the time they are 4 months old, others will start sitting at 9 months. Don’t rush it, knowing what to look out for to help your baby learn how to sit is important.
Motor skills such as balance and being able to hold their neck up are some of these signs.
As a newborn, your baby should be spending time on their belly. This helps your baby strengthen their neck muscles. Strengthening the upper and lower back is next. Your baby will start to lift their head off the floor horizontally.
- Your newborn may not like being on their tummy but it’s important that your child spends time in this position. This is the only way your baby will strengthen their muscles for future milestones.
Support your baby with a c shaped below her armpits if you need to but ensure your baby gets plenty of tummy time.
Strengthening muscles for sitting
By about 3 to 4 months, your baby should be able to hold their own head up. Try sitting your child up in a supportive seat or you can use pillows to support your baby. Your baby will start getting stronger and be able to sit up for a few seconds. It’ll be wobbly at first, expect your baby to topple and tumble as they learn to balance. By the time your baby gets to 6 months old, they should be able to sit up on their own for a second or two.
Baby brain power plus muscles equals sitting.
Good trunk muscles help your baby with balance but they need more than muscles; you need brain power to work your muscles.
Help your baby by placing them in corners of chairs so they can feel what it’s like to sit up. You will need to support your child as they develop the mental ability to do it alone.
Keep your baby on something soft. As your baby starts to become aware he will become better at sitting.
Babies get easily distracted so keep your eyes on your baby just in case they lose their balance
What You Can Do
Put your baby on her back so you can slowly pull her up by her hands to a sitting position. Dr. Heyrman suggests the best way to learn: enticement. Baby loves looking at herself in mirrors already. Try placing one just a little too high for her to see into; this will encourage her to sit up. Another muscle-strengthening idea: Hold your baby under the arms so she can put her feet on the floor. Baby can’t stand alone yet, but holding her in that position helps gain more core strength.
Your baby’s arms will soon become very strong as they grab for everything. You will need to adjust your baby’s room once they can sit up alone.
Baby crib mobiles should be taken down or your baby will pull it down. Lower the mattress in the crib if possible so that the baby can’t get out, at least not yet.
Your baby may be sitting on their own but this doesn’t mean that they can sit facing forward in the car yet. Rapid deceleration injuries can occur easily in children. Use rear facing seats.
After sitting up, your baby will start crawling and continue strengthening their body.
Has your child started to sit on their own yet? How old were they?
First published at parents.com