Babies’ ability to sit up on their own is the best indication that their spine is strong enough to hold their bodies. Sitting enables your baby a new perspective of her environment. It also frees both of her hands, so they are available for exploring and investigating. Most babies can sit up on their own at nine to ten months, although some can do it as early as eight months, while others – not before twelve months of age.
There’s a difference between sitting and sitting up: sitting refers to babies’ ability to sit without support when placed in the sitting position. At around five to six months of age (the range being between four and seven months), if you prop your baby in a sitting position, she will remain sitting. At this stage, she doesn’t yet have the ability to change into another position. Sitting up refers to the baby’s ability to change from a lying position to a sitting position and vice versa.
When babies are propped up in the sitting position before they can stabilize their bodies independently, harmful pressure may be exerted on the spine, which triggers the need to support themselves with their hands. The result? They can’t use their hands for play and investigation. Babies who are propped up in a sitting position too early remain ‘stuck’ in this position without being able to change into another position: they can’t lie down on their backs, switch onto their tummy and they definitely can’t crawl. Babies’ ability to sit up on their own is the best indication that their spine is strong enough to hold their bodies. If you still want to help your baby into the sitting positions, limit this activity for brief periods at a time, make sure your baby doesn’t fall over to the side and that she’s propped against appropriate support for her delicate back.
Any advice and information provided in this website is given as suggestions only and should not be taken as a professional medical diagnosis or opinion. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent.