Mother and Baby

When can babies sit up? And how can I help mine learn?

Baby sitting up

When your baby learns to sit up on their own, it's a milestone worth remembering. What a difference it makes for your little one, who will have a whole new perspective on the world. 

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The way you communicate and play will change as he'll have his own sense of agency, with the newfound ability to support himself upright. It takes time, and every baby is different, but once his neck and back muscles are strong enough, and he's figured out how not to topple over, he'll be doing it on his own. Next thing you know he'll be crawling, standing and even walking.

What age do babies sit up?

Baby sitting upTypically, babies learn to sit up on their own between the ages of 4 and 7 months.

Your baby will already have mastered rolling over and holding his head up at this stage. So, you can expect him to sit up for a couple of minutes without support, by the time he's 8 months old. After a couple of minutes, any baby is bound to topple over as they will lose interest in being upright. Babies develop at different rates for a multitude of reasons, so don't be tempted to compare yourself too much to friends' little ones - focus on your little angel and his own unique milestones instead.

How do babies learn to sit up?

Propping him against some cushions is perfectly feasible from below 4 months old, but unassisted sitting can't begin until he's mastered head control. Then, at 4 months old, your baby's neck and head muscles will begin strengthening rapidly.

  • First, he'll first learn to raise his head while lying on his stomach.
  • After that, he'll be figuring out how to prop himself up on his arms and hold his chest off the floor, like a sort of baby push-up.
  • Gradually, over the next 3 months, he may be able to sit for a matter of seconds without assistance, but you should surround him with pillows at this point in case he topples.
  • Eventually, he'll be sitting upright on his own, by about 8 months. 

Baby crawling and sitting up infographic

How can I help my baby sit up?

Your first job is to encourage him to start raising his head, while he's face down on his tummy. Play a game where you get down on his level and then prompt him to mirror you and look up to the sky. This will help strengthen his neck muscles and develop head control, which is key for sitting up

Using a bright toy that makes a noise, or a mirror is also a good way to make sure that his hearing and vision are on the right track. Once he becomes a fairly confident sitter, you can place toys and objects just out of reach, to hold his attention as he learns to balance using his arms. 

Tummy time

What do I do if my baby doesn't sit up?

If your baby isn't able to hold his head up steadily by the time he's about 4 months old and hasn't started learning to prop himself up on his arms soon after, or is unable to sit unsupported by 9 months, it's probably wise to check in with his doctor. If there is an issue with head control, it's worth addressing now, as this will form the foundations for crawling, standing and eventually walking. 

Something to keep in mind - premature babies may reach this and other milestones later than full-term babies.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Good evening everyone 💙 I hope you’ve all had a lovely day! I know I’ve been missing from my stories today 🙈 and I’m so sorry! I woke up and really didn’t feel myself. Cold sweats, shivering, aches and pains! I thought fresh air would help so me jamie Ronnie and Henry walked to my local high street, had a hot chocolate , looked in a couple of shops and then came home, but I felt even worse 🤕I think my body is trying to tell me to rest a bit! But truth is I really struggle to switch off from my Instagram. I worry I’m not putting enough on my stories for people to watch in the evenings , I worry I’ll come across rude not replying to as many messages and comments as I can , I worry that I’ll lose what has become a huge insta family on here. However I had no choice today , I felt so weak I kind of surrendered in a way. I put all the energy I did have into getting these two little handsomes out the house for a stroll. I’m so hoping I feel back to my normal self when I wake up tomorrow. Nothing a night on the sofa , with my boys, blankets, activity journal, jamies casserole and I’m a celeb can’t fix 💙🐛 lots of hugs to you all 🤗 catch up tomo guys xxx PS how cute were Ronnie and Henry together this morning? I’ve watched it like 100 times 😭 🌍 XXXX

A post shared by Sophie Hinchliffe (@mrshinchhome) on

So what's next?

Your little one is much more autonomous now that he can sit up, so he'll be experimenting with lunging forward pretty soon. This movement could happen as early as 6 or 7 months and he could be fully crawling by 10 months. To make sure your prepared for this possibility, it's important to consider child-proofing the house as soon as possible. 

Something to bear in mind is that paediatricians recommend waiting until your baby is sitting with minimal support before starting him on solid foods.

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