A baby is a pure delight to behold. As a caregiver, it can be difficult to manage your excitement about the developmental phases your baby is undergoing. Many babies sit up, crawl and roll over at almost the same time. However, some children grow at a faster pace than the others. This is one reason why being informed about these changes and their expected time is important.
When Do Babies Sit Up, Crawl and Roll Over
In this article, you would find answers to your questions, along with expert guides to help you and your baby walk through this phase happily.
Signs Your Baby is Ready to Sit Up?
Your baby’s body continuously undergoes changes from the very moment (s)he joins your family. And, It’s all part of the adaptation process.
After crossing the first five to six weeks, certain inborn traits start to disappear. As time goes on, your baby will try to move their head a little centimeters from the bed while lying down. You would notice this becomes a routine with your baby. It prepares the neck muscles for its future mission.
At about twelve weeks, the neck muscles must have matured enough, ready to resume its lifelong role. Your baby can now turn his or her head in the direction of anything that piques its interest. This is a major growth milestone that paves way for more changes.
There are ways you can aid or fasten head control. Parents of babies who happen to be growing slowly may find these techniques more useful.
Allowing your baby to stretch when they are awake facilitates muscular development. Place your baby in any comfortable position where they face downwards with their tummies. Their restlessness will motivate them to make certain moves therefore pushing their head in the upward direction. With exercising and time, your baby will learn to move his or her head, neck and torso effortlessly. This would likely occur in the fourth month.
The following months are quite adventurous for babies. Now that they can turn around, they try to grasp and get hold of everything within their reach. This would lead to stretching of the arms to pick objects, waving in the air or touching their body parts.
At this point, you may likely find your baby rolling over and extra safety is required to save them from hurting themselves. This is the peak of their body change before they finally sit up.
Some babies skip the tripod position but many do not. This is where the baby sits up but leans the body’s weight on the arms stretched forward. It prepares babies for the actual sitting.
Shortly after, the baby starts to sit comfortably with their back straight. The hands are no longer used for support.
Thus, you can see all of these changes and signs indicates that your baby is ready to sit up, and will eventually do.
How Do Babies Learn To Sit Up?
This is not something babies actually learn, it is something they just do, intuitively. Most babies start to sit up by themselves, others may need support. Also, some babies mature faster than others. If you discover your child is growing slowly, you can improve the pace of growth by trying out certain exercises.
How To Help Your Baby Sit Up
Some babies desire more attention than others, and that’s perfectly fine. This might mean that you have to hold your child’s hand through the current phase to achieve the next milestone. The followings are few exercises to fasten up the growth and sitting up process.
1. Lying on the Belly
Asides knowing how to move the hands and legs gently, babies gain a certain amount of control over their head in their fourth week. This is a great time to start exercises that would prepare the baby to sit up by themselves.
Allowing your baby to lie on their stomach when they are awake does a lot of good. The baby may desire to turn around or move in a different direction, hence, they push themselves to make some uncomfortable moves. This little work out activates the muscles for the task ahead.
2. Lying on the Back
Just like the head and neck muscles need stretching, so do the hand, trunk and leg muscles. You can lie your baby down on their back while they are sleeping and even when they are awake. At intervals of time, your baby will move his or her hands, legs or roll over. This simple activity increases your baby’s muscular strength and endurance.
3. Place Your Baby In The Sitting Position While Carrying Them
Another easy way your baby can learn to sit up is by holding them. The conventional position for carrying a baby involves them resting completely in your arms. Find flat or soft surfaces within the home and make your baby sit up. You can support them by their torso or lower abdomen. This should not last for too long before changing the baby’s position. The goal is to teach the baby to sit up and not strain their fragile muscles.
4. Place Your Baby In The Tripod Position
The tripod position is way more comfortable than the normal sitting position. The arms carry most of the weight. If by eight months, your baby is yet to sit, place them in the tripod position with support. Later on, you can attempt to have the baby sit without support. Try to remove the weight from the arms. Toys, flashy but safe gadgets and dolls will motivate your baby to lift their arms from the floor.
5. Put Your Baby In The Ring Position
Many babies graduate from the tripod to ring position by seven or eight months. At this stage, the baby is able to sit without using their arms as support. Moreover, the legs are folded in a way that weight is distributed evenly. The baby sits with their thighs apart but toes together.
These five exercises should help your baby learn to sit up. Each exercise should not be abused or done excessively. Some children grow at a slow pace and it’s nothing to be worried about. However, if you feel your child is different in a way you cannot understand, reach out to a paediatrician for adequate attention.
Should I Be Concerned If My 6 Months Old Doesn’t Sit Up?
There are a few things to consider before drawing any conclusion. The theory about the environment influencing a child’s growth is very valid. There are studies that show that babies from some countries in Africa sit up at about 5 months, quite early when compared to their counterparts in other continents.
Then, the case of premature births. Usually, babies born prematurely are going to hit their own milestones at later months. This is perfectly normal. Caregivers on the other hand should employ the listed exercises to speed up the process.
So, indeed, you should be concerned if by six months your baby cannot sit up. But, it’s not enough cause to worry. A little exercise daily should do the trick.
When To Worry If Baby Is Not Sitting Up?
Most babies start to sit up between six months and twelve months. Anything beyond that should be taken more seriously especially if the baby is still having trouble with head control. By twelve months, babies should be able to turn their heads, respond to caregivers and environmental stimuli. An inability to do this, is a sign that something is not right.
Visit a paediatrician close to you and lay your complaints. After your child is examined, you will be given directions on how to manage the situation.
Reasons Why Baby Can’t Sit Up
There are many reasons why a baby may find it hard to sit up. Only a paediatrician can tell you what is wrong with your baby. Moreover, let’s look at some things that could be delaying this phase of growth.
Autistic children have special timelines. They do not grow like the other children, hence the baby may be hitting this milestone really late.
2. Preterm Births
The nine months gestation period ensures the baby gets all it needs, and matures properly before arriving to our world. However, if your baby is a special born, this could result in a delay in gaining head control, rolling over, sitting up and crawling.
3. A Physical Condition
During a consultation with the paediatrician, the baby’s body is examined. This is to help pinpoint what could be the problem.
4. A Mental/Cognitive Condition
When there is no visible issue with a baby, paediatricians specialized in mental and cognitive care are consulted. After a thorough examination, the problem would likely be identified.
What To Do When A Baby Does Not Sit Up?
Before we look at what you should do, let’s talk about what you should not do.
Panicking does not solve the problem, so try not to. This can be hard, no doubt, but your baby needs you. You have to stay calm with a clear mind to give your baby the support he or she needs.
Before twelve months, help your child to get into positions that facilitate sitting. You can set a timer for this activity and do it daily. Luring your child to move by displaying objects they love also works.
Pay attention to your child’s needs and cues. Try to understand them. This is essential. Note down every detail. It makes it easier to tender a comprehensive complaint.
Now, let’s discuss what you need to do when your baby Won’t Sit Up.
The only way out is to see a licensed and experienced paediatrician. Some people recommend consulting a wide range of paediatricians before settling for the one you deem fit. Others feel proper scrutiny is all that’s required. While you may want to do whatever rocks your boat, try to visit any pediatrician who might have handled the baby’s case before, if there is one.
Explain the situation to the paediatrician in detail. Go for any test recommended. When the diagnosis is ready, do well to follow all the guidelines you will be given. No matter what the diagnosis is, there’s definitely a way to manage it.
When Do Babies Sit Up?
On average, babies start to sit up at about six months. They are able to move their gaze in any direction and reach out for things but with support. At about eight to nine months, babies can change their sitting position with little to no support. By twelve months, the baby’s energy skyrockets. They can move, change sitting positions and roll over without support.
Preterm babies are sometimes two to four months slower than their peers. The length of gestation contributes to when such a baby starts sitting up.
Babies with special needs do not meet the general expectation. They are just unique and have their own ways of doing things. Special-needs babies may still be unable to sit without support by twelve months and over. They usually require more time, love and attention.
When Do Babies Crawl?
As babies grow older, their awareness of the environment grows too. They want to explore everything. This behavior is fueled by a burning desire to understand the world and gather as much information as possible. And by extension they start to crawl without even realizing it.
Most babies start to crawl at nine months, shortly after they sit up. Before a baby starts crawling, they test their strengths, moving their body forward and backward gently while sitting up. When you place them on their tummy, they move their hands and legs slowly, dragging their body over the surfaces. Next, they raise their thighs up and start crawling. Many babies are excited at this point. They learn they can move around without the support of their caregiver.
When Do Babies Roll Over?
Babies start to roll over from as early as four to five months. At this stage of their growth, placing them on a raised surface alone can be dangerous. Once they get a chance, they will roll their body over the entire surface in both directions. The caregiver should only lie the baby in an area where their rolling actions do not hurt them. It should also be encouraged as it leads to other growth milestones like sitting up and crawling.