Hi, I’m a first time mom and I’m wondering what are some exercises or tips to help a 6.5 month old with sitting on their own. My husband and I practice sitting daily with our daughter by placing her in a sitting position and placing a toy in front her (we sit behind her). Sometimes she does well and can sit on her own for few a minutes but often she has trouble with balance and will lean too far to her right or left side to where she would fall if we weren’t there to catch her. She will also seem to refuse to sit often. When she does this, she will stretch out her legs and try to lean back into a laying position. We do put her in a fisher price sit me up occasionally for a few minutes at times during the day as well. As a first time mom, I am just wondering if there is anything we can do to help with this or should I give her more time to accomplish this on her own. I am slightly concerned about her meeting this milestone due her pediatrician stating that we need to work with her on this at her 6 month check up. All tips and advice are greatly appreciated.
Hey there! Welcome and thanks so much for this question!! I have some questions for you…
Does she like tummy time and does she spend a lot of time playing belly down on the floor?
Is she rolling yet?
When she’s on her back, can she bring her feet up and play with her toes?
If you sit her on your lap (straddling your legs) and you give her support at her hips, is she able to maintain her balance?
I’m just trying to get an idea of her motor development so far and if she has adequate postural strength and control.
Hi @JessMcDaniel! Firstly, while 6 months is the average age for a baby to start sitting, some babies may reach this milestone a few weeks later and assuming all other areas of development are on track, there’s no need to worry.
Babies also need to learn how to balance themselves in a sitting position, so it can be very normal for a baby to fall over when leaning too far in one direction because she has to learn how to activate her postural muscles to keep her balanced. Lots of floor time sitting with toys spread all around is a great way to let her practice!
Here is 2 posts I did to work on a baby’s core strength to help with sitting:
In this post you can see that a bit of guidance from your hands can help your baby learn to activate the necessary muscles:
Great suggestions from everybody above!
In addition washing basket play is always a bit of fun
Or playing “Humpty Dumpty” with bub on the edge of the bed with your hands supporting their waist helps them to develop their safety response and core muscles. They can fall to the side (go slow and wait for them to reach out to “catch” themselves” or forward or backward. As they get better, less support (lots of fun purposeful play!)
Hello @JessMcDaniel! I’m Shruti, a pediatric PT. I have to agree with everything mentioned here already! You can practice sitting with some support initially if she finds it challenging to sit for long periods of time. I also recommend that parents sit in front of them sometimes, you are her best motivator! Getting down on your tummy and supporting her at thigs/hips can facilitate sitting for her. She can reach for you, make silly sounds. I also always suggest working on transitions in and out of sitting as we want them to learn whats the appropriate way of getting out if sitting (hands first, not head first!). Also, like @tots-mary mentioned, floor skills are important for sitting. Links attached are to my IG posts that have some photos and videos.
- I would say that she tolerates tummy time. We do tummy time at least 5 times a day ranging from 10-20 minutes normally. We use a boppy often to help keep her from rolling over, but the past few days, she’s even been rolling and wiggling out of the poppy. She seems like she prefers being on her back.
- She is rolling and can roll from her back to stomach and vice versa.
- Yes, she loves to grab her toes and bring them to her mouth!
- She seems to be able to maintain her balance when doing this but is a little wobbly.
Thank you so much and for sharing those resources!
We will definitely try this! Thank you!
I’m happy to hear that you are giving her multiple opportunities to be on her belly. This belly down position is crucial to develop her core and back muscles, which will work together to allow her to have postural control when sitting.
It’s great that she is rolling as well as pulling her feet up to her mouth when she’s on her back- her abdominals are really firing in that position!
Keep prioritizing tummy time, even without the boppy, and also try the other activities suggested above. It seems like she’s on her way! Let us know how it goes!
Hi! There is so much great advice here! I found/find that working on helping your little one with transitions and getting into sitting and all the floor play helps with their sitting balance. I have a few blogs and videos with ideas that I will share here! Also lots of highlights in my instagram! Check out this blog and go to the sitting section! I recommend side sitting, 5 tips for getting into sitting, righting reactions, and the tips and tricks for independent sitting!
Thanks for the help everyone! We are already starting to see some improvement after implementing these strategies!
That’s amazing! Keep us posted