Sitting independently is a major milestone for your child - and as with all milestones, the right time to sit is not one-size-fits-all. Children typically start to sit by themselves around six months, but some will achieve this a little earlier or later. Whenever it's time to sit, here are some tips for building muscles, skills, and confidence:
1. Making sure baby has a lot of tummy time will help prepare her for sitting independently. Tummy times strengthens the muscles in the shoulders, back, and neck, which is a necessary step for sitting up. Let baby play face down on the floor and encourage her to look up with a favorite toy. This will help develop head control.
2. Once your baby is able to hold his head up on his own, you can help him sit with a supportive chair such as a Bumbo. You can also use C-shaped pillows, such as the popular Boppy, to help prop him up. NOTE: Not all physical therapists recommend the Bumbo chair, as many parents misuse the device. Baby should never be in Bumbo unsupervised or for extended periods of time. Bumbo is also not a substitute for tummy time!
3. Teach baby what sitting up is all about. Sit on the floor and prop your baby between your legs or place her in the corner of the couch to help her gain neuromuscular balance.
4. Keep in mind that your little one can be easily distracted and lose his balance at this age. Be sure to keep close at all times, so you can help balance a wobbly baby.