Thursday, November 4, 2010

Help Your Baby Learn to Sit Alone - 6 Months

The first 5 to 6 months of your baby's life are full of changes as your baby grows from a sleepy, fragile newborn to an active, alert baby. As your baby has spent time on his tummy every day, known as Tummy Time, he has been strengthening his arms, neck, back and stomach muscles. (Read more about Tummy TIme HERE). Your baby most likely rolls from front to back and back to front, which also takes lots of muscle strength and control. The next milestone is sitting alone. In order to be able to sit alone, your baby must first learn to sit with support.

Here are some ways that you can help your baby learn to sit alone:

-If you have a nursing pillow or upright infant seat such as a Bumbo or high chair, place your child in her chair and provide some toys, read a few books or play games like "Peek-a-boo" and "Pat-a-cake" while your little one practices sitting.

-Don't run out and buy one of the above mentioned items if you do not already have one around your house. Instead, use a square or rectangle shaped laundry basket. Place your baby in the center of the basket with a few pillows around the edges for support. Provide some toys for your baby to play with and make sure you are close by to monitor and offer encouragement. 

-You can also use an inflatable swimming tube on your living room floor, in place of a nursing pillow. Just make certain that your baby is always supervised to avoid any possible danger. 

-Here is another fun exercise you can do with your baby: Sit on the floor with your knees bent. Place your baby on your knees and hold him securely around the waist. Tilt your knees to the left and see if your baby can bring himself back to the center. Repeat by moving your knees to the right.

Taken in part from Home Visitor's Guide, Welcome Baby, p.6.12. Utah County Healthy Department, 2004. 

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