When your baby is around four to seven months old, he’s ready to see the world around her from a new angle … sitting up!
When do babies sit up?
Your baby learning to sit up is an exciting developmental milestone.
He will have been gradually building up the muscles in his head, neck and shoulders from birth. And as he gets stronger – and is able to support his head – he will start sitting up.
What are the stages of sitting up?
Your baby may be able to lift his head briefly when he’s placed on his stomach. He might also be able to hold his head steady for a few seconds when you support him in an upright position.
He should be able to lift his head for a little while when lying on his stomach. He might also be able to lift his upper chest for a short while, again while lying on his tummy. This is a sign of growing strength in his head, neck and shoulder muscles.
Your baby is getting stronger! By now he should be able to hold his head steady for a few moments when you support him in a sitting position. He might also do mini push-ups with his arms when lying on his tummy. And, in what is a key developmental stage before being able to sit up, he might make his first attempts at rolling over.
By now your baby could well be on the move, happily rolling over by himself. He might also start practicing sitting up, by pushing forward in his bouncy chair or on your lap, or pulling himself up on his cot bars.
Gaining an exciting new perspective on the world – from a seated position – is getting closer for your baby! By now he might be able to sit up if well supported by cushions … or even on his own. Make sure you stay nearby as he’ll still be quite wobbly and may need you to catch him if he topples sideways.
In a sign of his ever-developing muscles, he may also be able to push up with his arms, lift up his back, neck and head and have a good look round while lying on his tummy.
Your baby is likely to be able to sit up well, either supported by cushions or – for some babies – unaided. And this means he’s now learning his motor skills of reaching for objects, usually with both hands, and grasping them.
Not only that, he might even be starting to get into a crawling position, or have begun to try crawling or bottom shuffling.
By now he can probably sit up by himself, unsupported. As his back muscles strengthen and his balance improves, he’ll start being able to sit perfectly upright.
And now he’s reached this developmental milestone, he could well be on to the next … trying to pull himself up to a standing position!
He’ll be a pro at sitting up by himself … and very much enjoying seeing the world around him!
How can I help my baby sit up?
There are lots of ways you can help your baby learn to sit up.
Gently pull him into a seating position. You can help him learn the motion for sitting up by very gently holding his hands and pulling him up into a seating position. Then gently lower him down again onto his back. He’ll love the back and forth motion. However, only do this when he is able to support his head.
Give him lots of floor time. Being on the floor rather than in a bouncer is a great way of helping your baby develop new skills. He’ll eventually learn to roll, sit up and crawl so encourage this by placing him on a mat or on the carpet as often as you can. He’ll let you know when he’s tired and had enough!
Give him lots of tummy time. This is a key way your baby can develop strength in his head, neck and shoulder muscles. He needs this strength to be able to sit up. Place him gently on his tummy but never leave him unsupervised. Depending on his age, he may be happy to be on his stomach for a few seconds or a few minutes.
Encourage him to look up. When he’s lying on his tummy, hold toys above him so he uses his head, neck and shoulder muscles to look up at them. You can also stand above him and pull funny faces and make noises – anything to attract his attention and encourage him to do a mini push-up.
Let him lean against you. Place your baby on your lap and let him lean his head and back against your chest. He’ll love his upright position!
Help him balance. You can do this by gently moving his legs into a V-shape. This will help him balance. However, never leave him unsupervised as he’s likely to topple sideways.
What’s the next developmental milestone after sitting up?
Now your baby is sitting up by himself – and able to see all the exciting things around him just waiting to be explored – there’ll be no stopping him!