The first few months of life with your baby is a time full of firsts – first laughs, smiles, rolls. You may be starting to wonder when things are going to start getting really exciting. A baby that can sit up and interact and play with you is definitely exciting.
When will they sit?
As with most of the more significant milestones, there’s a pretty broad range. There’s also a couple of things that your baby needs to figure out before they can sit. The most important thing is to get their head and neck control sorted. They’ll also need to learn to roll. From here they’ll probably move to a phase called tripod sitting, where they hold their weight forward on their arms.
Generally speaking, you won’t really expect to see too much independent sitting until around the seven-to-ten-month mark. It’s always a good idea to pop a few cushions or pillows around them for the first couple of weeks too as they can tend to be a bit wobbly!
How can I help?
In the early days, practise tummy time, tummy time and more tummy time. This is the key to getting their head and neck control sorted so that they can move on to the more exciting stuff.
You can prop a baby up to sit from a really young age but this doesn’t really aid the process in any way, even though it probably does make for some very cute photos.
Once you feel that they’re starting to get the strength that they may need to sit up, you can try short spells of letting them sit on the ground between your legs or on your lap. It’s all going to be very trial and error for a while and the more opportunities you can safely give them to explore how their bodies work, the stronger they will become.
What about baby seats?
You may have noticed floor seats, like the Bumbo, floating around for a while now. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using these occasionally, but paediatricians don’t recommend excessive use of these kinds of aids.
The issue is that, because they do such a good job of holding bub in place, they’re not really learning to use any of the muscles, or balance skills they need for the real deal. If you’ve been using one every now and then to give your baby a different perspective on the world, don’t worry. Just try to keep the time they’re sitting in the seat short, and make sure you’re still focusing on all the other important things like tummy time.
When should I worry if my baby isn’t sitting?
If your bub has reached the nine-month mark and still isn’t sitting independently, it is definitely worth having a chat with your preferred medical provider.
Try not to stress too much though, these little humans have their own pace of doing things, and before you know it, you’ll have a crazy crawler who’s into everything!
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