Is your baby 10 months, 11 months, or 12 months old and not able to get themselves into a sitting position?
According to the Denver II, 25% of babies can get into sitting by 7.5 months, 75% by 9 months, and 90% by 9.5 months. At first, your baby will need your help and support to get into a sitting position, usually when they are between 6 and 7 months old.
There are 3 different positions a child this age will typically get into sitting:
¬∑ Back Lying
¬∑ Stomach lying
The following lists how to help your child get into sitting from each position:
¬∑ Position your baby on their hands and knees and physically assist them at their hips to drop their hips down and to one side into a sitting position. Practice both sides.
¬∑ Position your baby on their back with their head away from you and their feet toward you. Help them pull up by holding their left hand with your right hand and roll to their right side on their right elbow. See how little help you have to give them in pulling up allowing them to push up themselves on their right arm. To do the other side, just do the opposite.
This is the toughest technique to describe, but try this:
¬∑ Sit on the floor with your legs straight and apart. Place your baby across your right thigh, lying on their stomach with their head to the right and their legs toward the middle. Their armpits should be level with the outside of your thigh. With your right hand grab their left hip and with your left hand grab their right hip. From this position, rotate their left hip up and towards you and their right hip down and away from you to get their legs in a sitting position. Then, roll your baby down into sitting facing away from you. A toy placed in front of them in their final sitting position helps to motivate them. As your baby improves and gets better at getting into sitting from this position, try performing this move at your calf and then eventually on the floor. To do the other side, just do the opposite.
Another general suggestion:
¬∑ I love to use toys that have parts that go together such as a stacking ring, stacking cups, the ball and hammer game or blocks and a bucket. Put the small object progressively further to each side of your child as they sit, so your baby has to lean out and get the toy and return to upright sitting to put the toy on or in a container. This is great practice doing the final steps of getting in to sitting position.
¬∑ Your baby does not hold up their head when picked up after 2 months.
¬∑ Your baby still feels stiff or floppy after 2 months.
¬∑ Your baby cannot support their head by 3 or 4 months.
¬∑ Your baby cannot sit with help by 6 months.
¬∑ Your baby has poor head control when pulled into a sitting position at 7 months.
¬∑ Your baby is not reaching for objects at 7 months.
If you notice any of these warning signs in your baby, you should contact your pediatrician. I also generally worry about children who are great when placed in any position, but cannot transition and move in the position, for example, if your baby can not roll or reach and play when stomach lying at 6 months. If your baby is 9 or 10 months and is simply stuck in sitting when you place them there, you might want a consultation with pediatrician or a pediatric physical therapist.
If you want help with these suggestions or notice any of the above mentioned warning signs, a Physical Therapy evaluation can determine if your child is simply showing normal variability in gross motor development or if your child can benefit from intervention. Call me today at (704) 332-4834 ext. 114 to set up an evaluation.
“When Should my Baby Start Sitting Up?.” Just Mommies. N.p.. Web. 28 Feb 2013. <http://www.justmommies.com/articles/baby-sitting-up.shtml>.
“Warning signs of a physical developmental delay.” Baby Center. N.p.. Web. 28 Feb 2013. <http://www.babycenter.com/0_warning-signs-of-a-physical-developmental-delay_6720.bc>.