Baby Milestone Sitting: When Do Babies Start to Sit & Positions

When Do Babies Start Sitting?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Gunjan Baweja (Paediatrician)
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As a parent, you will want to know if your baby’s development is on the right track or not. You tend to meticulously keep track of each milestone of your baby. Once your baby becomes an expert in rolling over and holding his head up, you will want to know when he will achieve the next milestone, i.e., sitting up. When does a baby start sitting up? Let’s find out!

Video: When Do Babies Start Sitting? (Plus Ways You Can Help)

At What Age Babies Start Sitting Up?

Babies learn to sit between the ages of four and seven months. This stage gives the baby a new perspective of the world. By the time they turn 8 months old, they will be able to sit without support for a short span of time. When your baby starts sitting up, you should provide support to his back. There are chances that he may lose his balance and hit his head on the floor.

Ideally, babies should start sitting up by 35 months with additional support. By around six months, the baby should be able to sit unassisted as he would have developed enough muscular strength of the back and neck muscles to be able to do so. But there are cases where the baby will not be able to sit without help until the age of 9 months. This generally happens when the baby spends too much time lying down in the crib.

Signs Your Baby Is Ready to Sit

By around 4 months, your baby should be able to hold the head steady, while propped up with support. This is because his neck muscles will be strong enough to do so. A good way to help him improve his neck and head control is by making a game of helping him to sit upright when he is in reclining position. This can be done by holding his hands firmly and slowly helping him up. More fun can be added to this by making funny sounds or faces!

Signs Your Baby Is Ready to Sit

How Does a Baby Learn to Sit and Maintain Balance?

As soon as your baby learns to hold the head steady, it is a good idea to encourage him to sit up. When it comes to sitting, the development of head control is vital. Head control means holding the head centred when lying on the back. This can be developed only by giving more floor time to your baby. Keeping your little one in the baby gear for too long will hamper his ability to gain head control. This is mainly because of the semi-reclined position of most baby gears.

Unlike adults, babies use their hands, feet, and bottom for sitting. Such body awareness can be developed by giving more tummy time. Early tummy time will train your baby to use his hands as weight-bearing surfaces.

During this period you may notice that your baby will wobble. When a baby wobbles, new sensory information is sent to your baby’s brain from his different senses. It may be hard to let your child fall. But wobbling encourages a baby to make tiny adjustments using his hands, head positions, etc. In order to prevent your baby from falling and hurting himself, place him in padded mats or create a safe zone using pillows and blankets.

How Does a Baby Learn to Sit and Maintain Balance?

How Can You Help Your Baby to Sit Up Independently?

As a parent to a six-month-old baby, you will think of many ways to teach your child to sit up. To teach him to sit up, help your baby develop the precursor skills for sitting upright. This involves strengthening some specific muscles.

When your baby is capable of holding his head well, you can encourage by propping him up in a sitting position in a stroller, an infant seat, or your lap. Using a stroller is also very good as it will create an interest in your baby for sitting.

What Are the Required Precursor Skills to Make Your Baby Sit Up?

Here is how you can help your baby to sit up:

  • Holding the baby upright with support – When you hold a two-month-old baby upright at your shoulder, the baby tries to control the head position by making use of neck muscles. When holding the baby on the lap, first try to support the upper body, and then gradually move towards the hips.
  • Give your baby tummy time – Tummy time play is an excellent way of developing the back and neck muscles which are key in helping to sit up straight. Pushing forward to prop up on arms is also a great exercise to develop muscular strength.
  • On-the-back playtime: Lying on the back and playing, kicking, etc. helps to tone up the flexor muscles.
  • Rolling – This is a great way to develop his muscles of the trunk.

Required Precursor Skills to Make Your Baby-Sit?

Another common question asked by parents is ‘how to encourage a baby to sit up?’ By developing games out of the above-mentioned activities, your baby could well be on the way to sitting up on his own.

Positions to Help Your Baby Sit Up

Once your baby demonstrates adequate ability to hold his head upright and shows the precursor skills, you could use the following positions to help him sit up independently:

  • Sitting on your lap – This is acquired ideally at the age of 3-6 months. Move your hand’s grip on the baby’s torso when he sits on your lap. Start from the upper part and slowly progress towards the hips.
  • By 4 and 5 months, you can make your babysit on the floor between your legs. This is an easy way to let the baby explore sitting while feeling reassured that he is safely sandwiched between your legs.
  • In the above age group, a bumbo chair can prove quite helpful. By placing toys on the tray table, he may lean to grab and play with the toys, so sitting up becomes a necessary skill for them. It is important to create the need for babies to develop skills like these.
  • The tip of a laundry basket or box can serve as an alternative to the bumbo chair. But care should be taken to provide adequate support and attention when doing this.
  • Surround your baby with pillows – Pillows provide a freely available padded surrounding to practice sitting. Care should be taken that the pillows do not slide away easily. A boppy pillow is a commercially available alternative to using head pillows.
  • Tripod sitting position – This is the babysitting position when the baby sits using his arms vertically on either side as support. A cushion or pillow may be used in front to keep toys on his eye level to encourage him to sit up.

What Can You Do If Your Baby Doesn’t Sit Up?

If your baby is unable to sit upright with support by the end of nine months, please consult your doctor. Keep in mind that babies develop differently. Learning to hold the head steady and sitting up straight is key to achieving more complex future milestones like standing and walking.

What’s Next After Your Baby Starts Sitting Up?

Once your baby starts sitting confidently, he may begin to lunge his body forward and balance on hands and knees. The baby can also start crawling between the age of 7 and 10 months. Remember that your child will be extremely curious at this stage so childproofing your home is very important.

Also Read:  When do Babies Start Standing?

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