We asked Kirsty Williams, a physiotherapist for her top 5 Babies R Us tips to encourage sitting:
- Regular tummy time is really important to do from early on so that the muscles needed for sitting can develop.
- Around 4 months of age, sit on the floor behind your baby and place their hands on a little box or empty ice-cream tub. This will help to help develop propped sitting. Placing a toy on this box or showing it to your baby at eye level will encourage them to look up and exercise the muscles further.
- From 5 months, put your little one in the corner of a box or inside a laundry tub with supportive pillows in front and behind your baby. You can pull this box around gently – encouraging balance.
- Approaching 6 months, hold your baby sitting upright, astride your leg. Start off holding your little one stably around the chest or waist but over time, lower your hold to just supporting the pelvis. Gently roll your leg a little from side to side or give a little bounce to help baby's body muscles strengthen even further.
- Once your baby is becoming more stable, you can add in an element of fun and challenge balance more by playing little balance rhymes like – “This is the way the famer rides…” and jiggle your baby from side to side on your knees in a sitting position.
Sitting is a wonderful stage of development as your little one sees the world from a different angle and most babies are quite content to play on the floor for longer periods once sitting.
Read Baby Sense (Faure & Richardson) for more information on preparing for your baby's development and ideas for sitting. Baby Sense is available at your nearest Babies r Us store – conveniently situated in over 50 locations!
Megan Faure (OTR) www.megfaure.com
Meg is an Occupational Therapist with a special interest in babies and toddlers - specifically irritable infants; sleep problems, emotional engagement difficulties and fussy feeding. Meg is the co-author of Baby Sense and the Sense-series books. Her clinical practise is in Cape Town and she consults and speaks internationally too.