Babies undergo different developmental phases in the first year of their lives. And, parents are always excited to see their babies achieving different developmental milestones.
Every child starts sitting and walking at their own pace. There is no rush. If your first child has started sitting early, it doesn't mean your second one will follow the same time and schedule.
But there is a range of times when a child should start sitting, and any delay in that time is alarming for parents.
This article will help you deeply understand when babies start to sit and how you can help them practice sitting.
Sitting is an infant’s major developmental milestone that your baby must achieve on time. Usually, infants undergo different developmental stages before reaching to sit independently. For example, they start doing tummy time for longer and sit with support for an extended period.
Sitting can not be taken for granted as there are other significant growth stages for a baby which must be covered after that. For example, crawling, walking, and later running and jumping.
The age when babies start sitting is different for all children. Some babies start sitting on their own early, while others require much practice and time.
However, around three to five months, your baby has reasonable head control, and they can sit with the help of some support.
According to CDC report, most babies start sitting around six to nine months. Before that, they use their hands outward to hold themselves for support. They have complete head control at this age, so unassisted sitting becomes easy for them. Moreover, their muscles and their balance between sitting without falling are becoming strong.
Your baby can sit with assistance at around three to five months. However, they can fall if you leave them to sit on their own. It is because, at three months or even four months, your infant's upper body is not strong enough to bear their mass.
Preemies start sitting in between 6 to 9 months. If your baby is born premature, you can expect them to be sitting a little later (1-2 month) than normal.
There are some signs that you can observe in your infants to figure out whether they are ready to sit or not. You can observe those signs and make sure that your baby is all set to be in a sitting position.
- The baby starts to hold their neck.
- Your little one has excellent head control.
- They start controlling their body movements.
- Most babies show interest in sitting and it is a clear indication that they are ready to sit. For example, they move their necks upward when they see you.
- Infants starting to sit for a shorter time without support. It shows that they require a little sitting practice before sitting.
An Infant's sitting journey is all about sitting with support first and then without support. Parents can play their part in helping their infants to practice sitting. You can assist your infants in sitting independently by following the tips below.
Tummy time is playtime for babies, when babies lay on their bellies. It is vital for newborns and infants because it strengthens their head and neck muscles. You can introduce tummy time to your infant by lying them belly-down on your chest for a few minutes. For infants, just clear the floor, put your baby belly-down on the floor and surround them with toys. Or, you can use the water play mat for a happy tummy time.
When you see your little one has a complete hold on their head, you can start practicing sitting by putting them on your lap. Let your baby sit on your lap for about five minutes, then gradually extend the duration. This way, they will not get tired, and it will help them align their upper body muscles. Sometimes babies do not have complete hold of their necks and head; it is normal. Examine your baby and provide all support they need from you.
Baby seaters are specifically made for the purpose of helping infants to sit independently. With a baby seater, your baby will not hurt their head as it give them complete support to their spines.
You can use pillows and help them to sit. Take four pillows and put them around your infant. This way, your baby will sit for longer and later start sitting without support or assistance.
You can help your baby to sit independently by giving them a sitting position while your hands are on their back for support. It is helpful as it will develop their body muscles and make them strong. This will encourage them to sit upright.
Giving floor time will help your little ones make use of their muscles. They can move freely, roll over and later develop full control on their bodies and start sitting independently.
After sitting, there comes crawling. You can expect crawling anywhere between eight to nine months.
It is because when your baby sits they master the coordination of their upper body muscles with lower body muscles. Moreover, they know how to balance their bodies. When your baby sits, they can grasp things, and sometimes they move forward and backward too, which as a result prepares them for crawling. Helping children learn to sit is vital because other major and essential phases come after sitting.
Your baby will start sitting before turning one. Every child is unique, and they reach their developmental growth at various times. Some babies sit at around 6 months while some take time and start sitting at 9 months.
Both cases are expected. But parents need to help babies practice sitting to achieve it on time. When your baby starts sitting, you can expect crawling to happen anytime after sitting. It is essential to check that your baby is reaching his milestones on time. You must consult your baby's doctor if you see any delayed signs in their growth.