Leslie Cordero, DPT, a physical therapist at the Pineville office of Child and Family Development, recently returned to work from maternity leave after having a baby in July. Becoming a mom gives her a new found perspective that she shares here. This time, she’s writing about what to expect at 6 months.
“As a new mom myself, I am always looking ahead to see which skills my little one should be mastering or what is coming next. By the end of the sixth month, a child should be consistently rolling from stomach to back and back to stomach (to both sides equally), prop sitting, side sitting and sitting independently while holding a toy in each hand.
Rolling in both directions is important for core strength and core development. In order to sit independently, a child‚Äôs core must be strong and rolling is the first ‚Äúexercise‚Äù they work on to improve this area. Rolling can be encouraged by taking a toy and moving it to one side while a child is lying on their back. The child should track the object and the body will follow the heads lead.
Prop sitting is when a child sits with his/her hands placed on the floor or on their legs for support. They may not feel completely comfortable with their core strength to lift their arms off of a surface and maintain balance. Here is a picture of how you can help your child with prop sitting by giving a little support to their pelvis:
Sidesitting is when a child sits with their legs swept to one side of their body and the opposite hand down on the floor. Here is a picture of a baby side sitting:
Sitting independently holding toys in both hands should occur at the end of the sixth month. It may happen a little before or after that time, but if your child is not mastering this skill by 7-8 months, it might be a good time to see a physical therapist for some core strengthening activities. Here is a picture of a child sitting and manipulating toys in both hands with great core control:
I am always excited to watch my son grow and meet gross motor developmental milestones. Let me know if I can help your family!”