How to Help Baby Learn to Sit Up

As a new parent you may be wondering when you should expect your baby to sit up on their own. Once your baby is sitting up on their own it opens up a whole new world for them.

When a baby can sit up by themselves, it gives them more freedom to play independently. It also gives you a little more freedom since you can don’t have to help them sit up to play with things.

When do babies start sitting up on their own?

There are many different milestones babies hit throughout their first year. Babies can start sitting up on their own by 6 months. This is also a great time to start Baby Led Weaning. The average age of a baby learning to sit up on their own is between 6-9 months.

Before babies can sit up they must first be able to fully support their head and neck. They develop the upper body strength to start supporting their own head by about 2 months.

By around 4 months your baby should be able to fully support their head and hold it steady. They are also starting to learn how to roll over and try to explore how to move around.

All babies go through their milestones at different times. Between my two kids I had completely different timelines for their milestones. My first baby took a lot longer for certain things than my second.

My daughter first started being able to wobbly sit with help around 5 months. Her first attempt at getting mobile was also around 5 months. She would move by propelling herself on her back with her legs pushing off. She would move around the whole room like that. Then she started to finally army crawl around 7 months. This was also around the time she was able to sit up too.

My son blew through his milestones a lot quicker. He couldn’t wait to be able to keep up with his big sister. By 4 months he was able to roll over both ways. He crawled at 5 months and was able to go from crawling to sitting upright on his own by 6 months.

Can baby fully sit up without support at 6 months old?

Your baby will start trying to sit up on their own around 6 months but may need help getting into a sitting position. They will also still need help getting out of the sitting position.

At 6 months old they may need a little support in the sitting position. A boppy pillow is great for this. The boppy pillow gives them that little bit of stability to stay sitting.

Without support they may be in the ‘tripod sitting position’. This is when they still use their arm/hands for support while trying to sit up.

You can also sit them in a bumbo chair to help teach them how the sitting position feels. It is recommended, however, to not put them in there for long periods of time. Being in a fully supported seat for too long can inhibit them from developing their core muscles.

When do babies sit up by themselves?

By 9 months your baby may be able to sit upright without help. This is when they can safely use booster seats at the table. They will be able to sit unassisted for long periods of time. At this point they may even be able to go into a seated position from crawling or rolling over on their tummy.

It may not be till around 12 months before they can fully get in and out of a sitting position on their own.

helping baby sit up on their own

How can I encourage my baby to sit up on their own?

There are some things you can be doing to encourage your baby to start sitting up.

  1. Tummy Time
    • Tummy time strengthens their upper body and neck muscles that are required for sitting up.
    • Having baby on their tummy can also help them relieve gas.
    • Be sure to do tummy time at least a few minutes a day until they get used to the position.
    • Place toys all around them, including play mirrors, to help distract them and make it fun.
  2. Story time on the floor
    • Read stories or sing to them while on the floor and they sit in between your legs.
  3. Supervised play time on the floor
    • Get down on the floor with your baby as much as possible and help them sit up to play.
    • Let them be wobbly and try to correct themselves before you steady them. Being wobbly is how they build up their muscles.
    • Make sure they have a soft spot to land if they do fall over.

Baby Development Stages of sitting

The age babies sit up by themselves can vary by a few months. It can be anywhere from 4-9 months for the developmental milestone of sitting up. There are stages that babies go through while learning to sit up on their own.

They start with the tripod sitting stance where they lean over and support themselves with their hands. During this stage they can sometimes reach around them and pick up toys they love that are within their reach.

Then they are able to steady themselves more and sit up for short periods of time. During this time they are still wobbly and need help getting into the sitting position. If they do fall over they may do it on purpose if they want to get to something out of their reach.

Once they become a little steadier, babies can then reach all around them for toys. They can usually get out of the sitting position easily but may take longer to get into a sitting position by themselves.

If you haven’t done so already now is the time to make sure you house is baby proofed. Your baby is about to get a lot more mobile! Below are some of my favorite baby proofing items.

If by around 9 months you do not see any improvement in your baby’s sitting stages you should consult your pediatrician regarding a developmental delay. This is only my opinion and should not be considered medical advice. All opinions are my own based on my experiences.

How to Help Baby Learn to Sit UpHow to Help Baby Learn to Sit Up