How to Get Your Baby to Sit on Their Own
Your baby sitting up all on their own is an important motor milestone that typically occurs around 6 months, though some babies will develop this skill earlier and some a little later. The sitting milestone can be affected by other activities, such as... you guessed it - tummy time! It seems we are always pushing tummy time, and for good reason. This position helps your baby develop head control, and the neck and back muscles required for sitting up. Your baby achieving the skill of sitting up can also be affected by the amount of time they spend in those baby containers, i.e. car seats, strollers, swings, and jumper seats…you get the picture. So parents, please be aware of how much time your baby spends in these types of containers. Additionally, your baby’s personality may influence attaining this milestone. Is your baby active and wanting to explore or are they content to just observe what is going on around them?
In order to get your baby to sit up, you can easily begin as young as 3 months old when your baby has good head control by sitting them on your lap, or even at the end of the sofa. Vary your hand placement; initially on the chest and as their core gets stronger, you can move your hands down by their pelvis and hips.
Another way to encourage the development of strong neck and back muscles for sitting is at around 3-4 months old, place your baby on his back and holding his hands you can guide him, and pull your baby to a seated position. This will help your baby develop strong neck and back muscles, and encourage good posture. Additionally, this will also help your baby keep his head in alignment with his body.
Another way to help your baby into the sitting position is by having your baby sit on the floor in between your legs. In this position, they are safe and can learn to lean to the right and left by reaching for their favorite toy (preferably something from your Our First Year backpack). If they begin to lean too far, you can help them use their arms to push themselves back to sitting up straight again.
As your baby gains more strength and control (between 4-6 months) you can place your baby in a tripod or prop sitting position. Sitting on the floor, your baby props forward on her arms. Place toys in front of your baby on a pillow at eye level to encourage sitting up straighter (using core/trunk muscles) reaching for a toy. You can use throw pillows or a nursing pillow to help your baby hold this sitting position and reach for her favorite toy from the OFY backpack, of course.
Finally, your baby is sitting on his or her own, which provides a sturdy base of support for the new independent sitter. Please avoid that “W” sitting (there will be more of that discussion in another blog)! Your baby may tip to the right or left, though is now able to catch and support on one arm and return to sitting up in the middle again.
As your baby becomes more and more independent, encourage stretching, rotating, and reaching for toys that are your baby’s favorites to further develop the neck and back muscles.
The Our First Year backpack has great toys and activity cards to help you work on these sitting skills with your baby. Check it out….it's all in the bag!