Sitting up takes practice, patience, and ample opportunities for your baby to make it happen. Here’s a couple tips to help them along the way:
- Try different propped sitting positions to help them gain trunk control. Just make sure they have good head and neck control first.
- Sitting on your lap
- Sitting on the floor between your legs
- Sitting on the floor with back support
- Sitting on the floor with a Boppy pillow
- Tripod sitting – prop baby forward on their arms
- Ring sitting – baby’s legs are wide apart with feet together, making a “ring,” providing a wide base of support
- Use a box or laundry basket
Place your seated baby in the corner of a box or laundry basket. Then, challenge their posture by gently pulling it or tipping it side to side.
- Go vertical (or overhead)
Place toys/objects at or above your baby’s eye level. This encourages them to use their trunk muscles to gain an upright position as they reach. You can use an activity gym, hang toys on the sides of their play pen, or place window clings or suction toys on a wall mirror or window.
- Gradually Reduce Support
As your baby gets stronger, they will need less and less support to remain steady. If they do need a bit of assistance, place your hands as low as you can on their torso without them falling over. The lower the hand placement, the more they have to work to maintain balance.
- Baby workout
A little physical fitness never hurt anyone, even little ones. Any movement your baby makes activates their muscles, building strength and body awareness. Try these exercises out to help strengthen their core to sit upright. Note: Don’t overdo these as you’re only trying to build functional strength for your baby, nothing more.
- Baby Sit-ups to work on lower back and abdominal muscles. Place your baby on your legs facing you. Hold their arms and gently pull them up and roll them down. Make sure they have good head and neck control to do this.
- Roll Overs to engage back and oblique muscles. By the time your baby will try to sit, they may already be successful in rolling over in one direction.
- Bicycles to strengthen the lower back. With your baby lying on their back, gently raise their legs up and slowly start moving them as though they’re peddling a bike.
- Assisted Squats to work out their back, abs, and thighs. Place baby in a seated position. Hold their hands and gently lift them up to a standing position.
- Hold the position
Around 9 months, your baby should be able to get into a sitting position independently. As they are sitting, place their favorite toys within arm’s reach so that can get them. You can also play a nice little game of rolling the ball back and forth to each other.
Last but not least, be patient with these baby skills. All the skills and muscles they develop learning how to sit pave the way toward achieving the next milestones ahead: crawling and walking.