Sitting and When to Encourage this Activity

Congratulations on your journey thus far! By now I imagine you have gotten the hang of floor time play, including tummy time, and have mastered playtime on your baby’s back, tummy, and each side. Your kiddo is getting bigger and stronger every day and more skills are emerging. They are so lucky to have you guiding them, so keep up the great work!

First off, I want you to know that you are never alone and it is my personal and professional mission as an infant specialist and pediatric physical therapist that your family receives the support and tools you need to equip your parent toolbox. 

I want you to be empowered and confident in cultivating your child’s motor development. Our team is here to remove some of the guesswork and confusion when it comes to your kiddo’s motor development and sitting is definitely an area that families are seeking more information about.

Let’s talk about sitting: a topic that is frequently asked about by almost every single parent I meet.

Signs That Your Baby is Ready to Practice Sitting

Probably around the 4 month mark your little one will start showing you they are holding their head well. They may be able to press up on their elbows while lying on their belly and hold their head up to look at you and toys.

Also, you may be getting a sense that they are ready for more action and eager to try something new. If this is the case, they are ready to start practicing supported sitting.

This is very exciting! As with any new activity, they will now be able to take in their environment in a different way and you will get to interact with them in a new way too!

How to Practice Sitting and the Optimal Sitting Posture

I like to start this new activity by placing the little one in a sitting position with me behind them while I support them around their trunk.

Place a toy or someone else in front of them to engage them. Initially they may be a little wobbly, with their head bobbing, and their body folded over with their hands down on the floor in fists. This is totally ok in the beginning and as they practice, over time, their sitting posture will improve.

Early on the practice is simple. You just place them in the above position with you supporting them and allow them to spend time here.

Another option is to try sitting them on your lap facing you and holding them under the arms as you sing to them.

It is important that while you are practicing these new sitting activities, to be sure to continue with floor time play and allowing baby to continue pressing up on hands and extended arms while on their belly. This floor time action will make it easier for them to do this while sitting as well.

With continued practice, the sitting positioning I am looking for is:

  • Good head control
  • Baby’s head staying in the middle- not falling forward, backward, or to either side
  • Baby’s trunk to be relatively straight as you support them
  • Baby’s pelvis slightly forward (anterior pelvic tilt)
  • Equal weight distribution through their sit bones

Use of a Floor Seat and Why I Recommend the Upseat

Good posture in sitting, like mentioned above, allows the muscles to work together and efficiently to provide stability for our kiddos and continue their development.

The strength, stability, and balance our kiddos are building in sitting are all going to be used for future skills as well.

Once our kiddos are able to sit propping themselves up with their arms, what are some other tools we can use to practice sitting? We can use a floor seat! However, it is important to keep in mind that not all products are created the same or provide the same efficacy.

While I always recommend limiting use of containers such as swings, seats, and bouncers for instance, I do believe there is a time and place for them and certainly believe some products are much better than others. Options that provide a safe, developmentally appropriate position, good hip, pelvic, and trunk alignment are a great option to use for short periods. The Upseat does just that and that is why it is the floor seat I recommend to use when working on sitting activities. As always, maximizing floor time play is key, but the Upseat can allow us to vary our kiddo’s play time and engage in different activities while in an optimal sitting posture.

The Upseat positions the trunk and pelvis in an ideal position to allow the infant to engage both their abdominal muscles and trunk extensors in a balanced manner to allow for upright posture and the development of these very important muscle groups. It allows for freedom of movement with the arms, head and upper trunk rather than restricting movement. Also, the pommel allows for good hip positioning as the hips continue to develop and mimics the floor positioning that kiddos first start in when beginning sitting.

Another great benefit of using the Upseat is that it allows you and your baby to be hands-free while they are properly sitting. This way, you can encourage reaching for toys, holding toys, and providing your child time to work in an upright position and build their strength working against gravity. 

Enjoy this new activity with your munchkin and watch them build their strength for future activities to come!

The Upseat Team was generous in offering our clients and audience a special discount to try their floor seats. Use discount code DRLINDSEY10 to enjoy a 10% discount on all Upseat products purchased from their official website.

Friendly reminder, limit time in floor seats and other containers and always maximize time in floor time play.

About Upseat

Shortly after Jack was born, founder Steve Pankratz and his wife, Kim, started to look for a baby seat. Proper posture and healthy development were key factors in finding a good seat, but every available floor seat caused Jack to slouch. Steve consulted with physiotherapists. They suggested using a sitting wedge to encourage anterior pelvic tilt; a slight forward rotation of the pelvis, which engages with muscles responsible for proper upright posture.

Realizing the need for a booster seat with a forward tilt, Steve created his own prototypes and before you know it the Upseat was created. The Upseat is a 3-in-1 ergonomic floor and booster seat that encourages upright posture and healthy hip development.

For more information about the Upseat, their team, and their happy customers make sure you visit their website.

About Jump Start Physical Therapy and Training

At Jump Start Physical Therapy and Training our mission is to educate, provide excellent care, and ultimately empower our parents to be our partners in their child’s care. We are building and supporting a community of strong, confident, and empowered parents to provide the tools, time, and space to allow their child to grow, develop, and explore with intention and safety.
 
We are a concierge pediatric physical therapy practice in South Florida that provides in-home or place of choice, evidence-based physical therapy and wellness services to promote motor development in the environment the child is most comfortable. We also offer virtual wellness consultations to answer any questions you may have about your infant’s development, advice on your child’s progress, and to discuss the goals you want your kiddo to achieve.

If you have any questions please reach out to schedule a virtual wellness consultation by writing to [email protected].

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