Sitting Up: Your Baby's First Step Toward Independence
Sitting up is an exciting stage in your baby’s development. It’s among the first steps toward independence and means that other fun stages, like crawling, standing and, yes, even walking are right around the corner. Learn all about this important milestone, including the different stages of sitting, to help encourage your child’s sitting ability.
Sitting Up Age Range
Babies typically start the process of learning to sit up between 4 and 6 months. By around 7 months, most babies can sit up independently. Some babies, especially those born prematurely, may take a little bit longer to sit up on their own and may not be able to do so until about 9 months.
The Stages of Sitting Up
When your baby is initially learning to sit, she will most likely use the "tripod" position at first. This means she will sit with her arms out to help stabilize her torso. During this stage, she will have brief moments, usually a few seconds, of sitting without help. Eventually, as her core and back muscles get stronger, she will stop needing her arms and hands for support.
Once your baby masters sitting up unassisted and can maintain balance when doing so, she will learn how to get into the sitting position on her own from other positions, like crawling or lying down.
It’s important to know that during the sitting up learning process, your baby may topple over once in a while. That’s perfectly okay. The stronger her stomach muscles get, the less this will happen. Just stay close during this transition period to catch her when she falls.
Tips to Encourage Sitting Skill
Before your baby can master the skill of sitting up, he needs to have some other important motor skills under his belt. He should have developed some balance, as well as trunk/stomach muscles. And, most important, he should be able to hold his neck up unassisted. Lots of tummy time is the perfect way to help your baby master these skills.
Some other great tools for helping your child learn to sit up include a supportive chair, like a Bumbo seat, or a sitting prop such as a Boppy pillow. Items like these assist with great practice for the real thing.
Pediatricians also suggest helping your baby learn to sit up by placing him on his back and slowly pulling him up to a sitting position by the hands. This also helps the baby learn how to sit up from a lying down position.
When to Check With the Pediatrician
All babies are different, and some may master sitting up sooner than others. If your child still can’t sit unsupported by around 9 months, check in with your pediatrician, who will most likely be monitoring your baby’s development already. Pediatricians are an important resource, and if your baby needs a little extra help reaching this milestone, yours can steer you in the right direction.