Once your baby can easily hold their head upright and move it around as you support their boot, they’re ready to start practising sitting up on their own.
Experts say the best way for babies to practice sitting is to put them on a firm padded surface like a play mat or a carpet. Baby seats are convenient, but they don’t allow your baby to experience how their body weight shifts when they tip over.
At this stage, even if they enjoy sitting up, your baby should still be mostly horizontal on the floor. Continue giving them plenty of time on their tummy and back to strengthen their stomach, arm, back, and neck muscles.
Sometime between 5 and 8 months, most babies start to sit up independently.
Here’s how you can help your new little sitter:
- Sit on the floor with your baby between your legs, their back against your belly. In the earliest stages, they may sit with their hands on the floor in front of them to steady their body, or lean back against you.
- Once your baby is sitting up straighter, you can surround them with soft pillows or put them in an open plastic laundry basket with pillows for support (be sure to supervise).
- Wobbling and tipping over onto a soft surface is actually good for your baby! They’re tuning in to their inner sense of balance.
- Your baby may not be able to tolerate sitting for long periods; their cues will let you know when they want to stop.
Once your baby is sitting up consistently without using their hands for support, have them practice reaching for toys. Your baby is improving their balance and coordination as they use their hands to reach and play from a seated position.
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