How to Help a Baby to Learn to Sit Up
The changes that babies undergo during their growth are vital for their correct development. One such change is when a baby is ready to learn to sit up.
When the baby begins to sit up, at about three months of age, he does everything possible to be in that position. Learning to sit up without any help usually occurs after six months of age.
The change that enables a baby to sit up begins when his neck muscles become stronger and the baby becomes able to lift his head. Then, with the help of his parents or an adult, he tries to sit up, even though he falls down right away.
This process is a little slow. Parents should have patience and learn a little more about what is involved in learning to sit up. Here is all you need to know about it.
Learning to sit up
Sitting is one of the basic positions we have as human beings right from infancy. As we’ve said, it’s from six to nine months of age when the baby begins to have sufficient maturity to start learning this by himself.
It’s one of the most important processes in the development of the baby’s spine and posture. From now on, his hands are no longer his main support.
Sitting up means that children have been able to “beat” gravity for the first time. As a result, it’ll give them a new perspective of the world that surrounds them.
Their interaction with their surroundings will change, and they’ll start to become curious about what they see around them. In addition to that, they’ll start to develop their balancing skills.
How to know if a baby is ready to learn to sit up?
Each baby is different, and each one develops at a different pace. Although they should have acquired this capacity before nine months of age, they shouldn’t be forced to do it in any way, as this could cause an injury.
We can see that a baby is ready to sit up when, in a face-up position, he turns over on to his stomach. We can also see it when a baby tries to sit upright in his high chair.
Once babies are able to sit up on their own, you should be aware of their posture in order to avoid future damage to their spine and hip. When they’re sitting up, it’s a good idea to surround them with cushions or soft surfaces so that they can maintain a straight posture.
It’s important that you never force your baby to sit up, because you could cause an injury. This accomplishment must be achieved naturally and progressively, one step at a time, and not by rushing things.
The benefits of learning to sit up
This stage of a small child’s development has a positive impact on his life. These are its main advantages:
- Projecting a good body image.
- Providing security and greater comfort.
- Improving the baby’s perception and also his field of vision.
- Helping to improve his breathing.
- Taking symmetrical postures, which helps to predict muscle and bone deformities.
- Improving motor skills development.
- Allowing him to reach nearby objects better.
How to stimulate the baby to learn to sit up
Children need opportunities and stimuli to encourage them to carry out thousands of attempts to sit up, until they’re finally able to do it on their own.
Experts such as physiotherapist Laura Cruz Neila recommend some of these activities:
- Tickle your children to help them stretch a little. This will help to develop their muscles and the mobility of the hip and spine.
- Place them face down. In this way, they’ll try to turn themselves over. This is essential for the stimulation of the hip muscles.
- Place toys or objects around them. While they’re sitting, they’ll try to reach the objects with their arms and stretch their limbs in the process.
- Sit them on your lap. Hold their back and then release them for a few seconds to see if they manage to balance and sit upright.
While it’s true that at certain times or in certain situations they may be useful, experts discourage the use of items that keep the child sitting down for a long time and that limit their mobility.
If time goes on and your child isn’t able to sit up by himself, then it’s advisable to go and see a doctor. To rule out any spinal problems, it’s important for a pediatrician to check them over and, if necessary, to give suitable treatment.
Finally, remember that all babies have their own timetable for their development. However, in some exceptional cases, measures must be taken to correct or to treat any mobility issues the child may be experiencing.