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Sitting might seem like an easy thing to do, but for a developing baby, it’s hard work!

Sitting upright and independently takes time and exercise. So how can you help baby sit without your help? Learn when you can expect baby to sit up!

When do babies start sitting up?

For the first few months of baby’s life, they’ll only be able to lay on their tummy or back. By around 4-6 months, baby can start sitting with support. This means that when sitting, they’ll need assistance from you, a pillow, or anything else that can help them sit up. This is because they’re developing core strength, as well as head and neck strength. By this age, their head will only slightly fall back. When baby can sit with support, this is a sign that they may be ready to start solids (of course, don’t start without clearing this with a healthcare provider first!).

6 month old baby sitting up without supportAround 6 months, baby will start to be able to sit up without support. This depends on the development of back, upper body and neck muscles. Baby may use their hands to help them sit up, but this is still considered unassisted because they are supporting themselves. In fact, using hands to support self while sitting is a 4-6 month milestone!

By 7-9 months, baby should be able to regularly sit without support. This is a key milestone for this age! Another milestone is being able to reach for a toy while sitting without falling. They may start to push themselves up, and move from tummy or back into a sitting position. There’s so much they can do in sitting!

By one year, baby will be strong and able to get themselves into a sitting position on their own. This is also around the time when baby takes their first steps—so as you can see, learning to sit up assisted can be a long process!

What are some ways to strengthen sitting skills?

There are so many ways to support baby’s sitting, by strengthening their core, back, head and neck muscles. Here are some ways to help baby with sitting.Baby doing Tummy Time on a pillow

  • Do Tummy Time! This essential infant exercise may be laying, but it helps strengthen the muscles that baby needs for sitting.
  • Play while on tummy. Once again, baby moving on their tummy will help with sitting! Try to get baby to look up, so they use their head, shoulder, neck and back muscles
  • Practice supported sitting. Give baby less and less support so they work their muscles. They may fall over at first, but with time they’ll get the hang of it!
  • Sit baby up with sturdy toys in front of them so they can lean on the toys. Make sure these toys are soft and supporting, and don’t have features like wheels so they stay in place.

When should you ask for help?

If baby is not sitting up without support by 9 months, talk to your healthcare provider.