When will the baby sit?
When babies can sit up independently, they will have a whole new perspective on the world around them. Once the baby’s back and neck muscles are strong enough to stay upright and he understands how to place his legs so he doesn’t fall, it’s only a matter of time before he continues to learn to crawl, stand and walk.
Most babies can sit alone in 4~7 months. Around this time, he could master the movements of turning over and raising his head. About 90% of babies can sit for several minutes without support at 8 months. But even babies who learn to sit will eventually fall down, usually because they are not interested in sitting down.
How do babies learn to sit?
Almost from the first day of the baby’s life, you can hold him up, but the real ability to sit up independently is only achieved when he can control his head. From about the fourth month, the baby’s neck and head muscles begin to grow stronger quickly, and he can lift his head when he is lying on his stomach.
Next, the baby will slowly learn how to use his arms to prop up his body and lift his chest off the ground, which is sort of like doing a small push-up. By five months, the baby may be able to sit on his back for a while without any support, but you should still stand by his side so that you can hold him up and put a pillow (or cushion) around him in case he falls.
Soon the baby can figure out how to lean forward while sitting and balance with one or both hands. By seven months, the baby is likely to be able to sit on his own without having to prop up (which frees him to do other things), and he can learn to twist his body while sitting to get what he wants. At this stage, your baby may even learn to sit up with your arms on your knees. By the time he is 8 months old, he will probably be able to sit still without support.
When the baby finds himself leaning forward while sitting, balancing on both hands and knees, guess what he’ll do next? He may learn to crawl forward (or backward) on all fours in six or seven months, and he will be able to crawl skillfully in ten months. Now that your baby is very active and curious, it’s important to ensure the safety of your baby’s surroundings.
How to help your baby learn to sit?
Lifting the baby’s head and chest helps strengthen the muscles of his neck and exercises the head control required for sitting upright. You can let the baby face down and play, and then tease him to raise his head and look up. Tease the baby with colorful sounding toys or mirrors and see if his hearing and vision are normal. When the baby is able to sit well, you can also keep toys and other interesting things out of his reach and keep him focused while he learns to balance with his arms.
Similarly, when your baby learns to sit, you should pay special attention to his side, in case he suddenly falls down, or when he wants to show off his new skills on the spur of the moment, you should always pay attention to his safety!
You need to be reminded that if your baby is looking up unsteadily about six months or so and doesn’t begin to learn to support herself with her arms, you should tell the doctor the next time you take her to the hospital for a physical examination. Baby’s motor skills develop sooner or later, but the control of the head is the basic prerequisite for him to learn other skills, and sitting is the key factor in climbing, standing and walking.
If your baby is premature, remember that premature babies may learn to sit and reach other developmental milestones slower than their peers.