Your baby’s first year is full of milestones – and we have covered many of these in our previous blogs. However, one milestone that we don’t think about as much is when do babies sit up? Sitting up on their own allows your baby to explore a whole new world of exploration and playing.
They will no longer need to rely on your actions to be able to look around and reach for things. As well as this, mealtimes will become much easier now that they can support themselves. Like all milestones, they don’t happen at the exact same time for every baby. Your little one could be sitting up on their own as early as 6 months old. Whereas someone else’s baby may not be able to do this until they are 7 to 9 months old.
It’s important to be patient with your baby as rushing them into sitting up on their own can have an impact on their development and can cause health related issues with their neck and spine. This doesn’t mean you can use some helpful tips to help them along though – just as long as you allow them to do their own thing in their own time.
In this blog we will explore the signs of your baby sitting up on their own as well as small things you can do to help them with this. We will also touch on the safety of sitting up to ensure your baby is kept safe whilst they support themselves. Keep reading if you want to find out more!
The top sign to look out for if you think your baby is ready to sit up on their own is their head control. If they are able to hold up their head on their own without it flopping to one side or swaying – this indicates that their neck and spinal cord is able to control movements and provide stability. If your baby or little one still struggles to hold their head on their own, it’s probably not the right time to start thinking about them sitting up yet.
Another sign is your baby pushing themselves up when lying face down. For a baby, this movement takes a lot of strength. Therefore, if they can do it with ease, it usually means their neck and spine is developing normally and they are near to sitting up.
Whilst they do these movements, they may move into the sitting up position on their own. For the first few ties that they do this, it’s important that you are there to support them in case they fall back or to the side. The position is something that they need to get used to so may not be able to do it straight away.
It’s likely that your baby will be able to hold themselves in a seated position before they can actually push themselves into the position itself. Do not worry about this, they will gradually learn how to get themselves into the position. It’s just important that you are there to monitor them in the case that they roll into something or fall over.
When giving your baby help, it’s important to only assist but not to force them into a position they can’t hold themselves in yet. By giving them help, you’re helping them to increase their strength to be able to sit up on their own in future.
Some things you can do to help your baby include:
Doing these things doesn’t mean that your baby will be sitting up right away, but it does mean that they will be able to get stronger and learn how to do things themselves. Sitting up can take a few trial and errors, don’t be surprised if it takes a little while for them to get the hang of it.
Tummy time can be really important for your baby as it helps them strengthen their neck muscles – something that’s really important when it comes to sitting up on their own. When your baby is put onto their tummy, they will naturally stimulate their neck muscles and try to hold their head up.
If you find your baby doesn’t like tummy time, only do it for a couple of minutes a day. Over time, they will get used to the feeling and it will become much more natural to them. You can also use a mirror on the floor so that when they lay down, they can see their face which will keep them distracted.
We outlined a few things earlier which you can do to safely help your baby sit upright. These include sitting on the floor with your baby using your body to support them as well as monitoring them when they are on the floor on their own. As your baby becomes more confident, you can also use pillows on the floor to pad out the area so that you know they are safe.
However, it’s not just being safe for when your baby is learning to sit upright. Once they know how to do this, it won’t be long until your baby start becoming much more mobile. This is where you may start thinking about baby-proofing your home to make it as safe as possible. Things you can do include:
These things can protect your baby from getting into any trouble or causing themselves harm. It’s important to take safety incredibly serious in your home as this is where your baby will be spending the majority of their time.
The majority of babies don’t sit up on their own till they are 7 to 9 months old. If your child is over 9 months old and they are still not sitting up on their own, you should contact a nurse or doctor for their advice. It may just be because your baby is taking a little longer to learn, but it can also be down to gross motor skill delay.
If your doctor or nurse is worried that your baby has motor delay, other signs that you can look out for include:
Avoid self-diagnosing your child with motor delay, the may just be taking a little longer to get the hang of it. If you are worried, go and see a doctor to get their professional advice on the situation.
Going back to the start of this blog, we spoke about how many milestones your baby would reach in the first year of their lives. It doesn’t stop at sitting up on their own. Next up, you have standing, crawling, climbing and walking to look forward to!