The first year after birth is full of many developments and changes. This is a great time for you as the parent since you observe new changes and milestones almost every month. Sitting is among the most anticipated milestones that your baby will have. You can expect your baby to start sitting down from around four to nine months. However, you may realize that your baby leans forward when they sit down. This can scare you as the parent, especially since you are unsure whether this will change with time. Read on to understand why your baby is leaning forward, whether it is normal, and when to consult a doctor.
Why Is Your Baby Leaning Forward When Sitting?
Like other developmental milestones, sitting down is a process that happens gradually. For this reason, if your baby just started sitting, you can expect them to lean forward. The back-extensor muscles are still not well strengthened and, therefore, the baby is not yet strong enough to sit upright. Give her more time, and she will learn to sit upright gradually. However, if the kid is more than nine months and is still leaning forward, you should consult a doctor to check whether everything is okay.
When Do Babies Sit?
Ideally, babies start sitting down between four and seven months. However, some babies may take up to nine months to start sitting down. By this age, your baby will have moved past the rolling over and holding up head milestones. When your baby is about four months old, and they are beginning to learn how to sit, you are likely to see them leaning forward. At around five or six months, they will sit down on their own and upright.
How Will the Baby Learn How to Sit Down?
As mentioned above, learning how to sit is a gradual process. Your child will go through various processes before they can finally learn how to sit on their own. Some of these stages that they are likely to have as they learn to sit comfortably on their own are:
Three to Four Months
At this age, your little one is probably still on her tummy. However, the head and neck muscles will have strengthened enough. For this reason, your baby will be in a position to hold up their head when lying on the tummy comfortably. When the neck and tummy muscles are well strengthened, the baby will learn how to prop herself and hold her chest off the floor.
Five to Six Months
By this age, most babies have learned to sit down without support. Additionally, when sitting, the back is straight, and her head is held up. However, if your baby is not sitting up straight, do not worry since it is still not late. Even though your baby can sit on their own, they are not in a position to sit for long. Therefore, stay around to help you offer support when needed. You can also have a pillow surrounding them when they sit to prevent injury if they cannot sit down any longer.
Seven to Eight Months
When your baby is above seven months, they have completely mastered the sitting technique. They can sit unsupported and with the back straight. This way, they can play or reach out for toys when seated since their hands are free. By eight months, they do not need support from you or pillows around them. If your baby is still not sitting down well at this age, consult a doctor.
How Can You Help Your Baby to Sit Up?
Although your baby will start sitting down when they are ready, there are some ways through which you can help them get here. For instance, you can lift their chest and head to help strengthen their neck muscles faster. Use noises or enticing toys to prompt them to look up, thus strengthening these muscles. Additionally, encourage the baby to play on the tummy as much as possible. When your baby is still learning how to sit, ensure that you stay around, and avoid possible injury. If injured, they may stop striving to sit to avoid more injury.
Your baby leans forward when sitting down because they have not yet gathered enough strength to help them sit upright. You can use methods such as encouraging tummy time to help your little one sit upright. However, if your baby still leans forward when sitting when they are above nine months, seek medical advice.