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To prop or not to prop to sit - this is the question?

I can’t wait until my baby is sitting up, how can I encourage this ?

The joy of I did it myself accomplishments like sitting is one of the reasons I recommend giving your Teeny Tiny  the opportunity to learn to sit on their own and not propping or positioning them.  

Ask yourself can my Teeny Tiny get themselves into or out of this position on their own ?  If the answer is no then that is often not the best position for them to be in.

It may be tempting to help, support and aid these milestones but giving your Teeny Tiny the opportunity to grow and develop the strength, and reflexes they need to do this myself will be hugely beneficial.

Your Teeny Tiny will learn to sit once they have gained the core muscle strength from rocking, rolling and being on all fours to be able to seat themselves.

THE PROCESS

I begin life on my back, I can independently pivot, twist, rotate and eventually roll over.  I might have found my feet and have started some teddy bear rolls, (holding onto both feet and rolling sideways).

Once I am on my tummy, I start to pull my knees up and into a rocking position on all fours, (this could last for some time 3-6 weeks so be patient) I call this the jiggy jiggy position.  From here I do one of 3 movements I might push really hard with my chest and arms and start moving backwards – really frustrating for me, or I might dig my toes in and lurch forwards starting to crawl, or I might tuck one of my legs under and push myself upright into a sitting position.

All by myself!

If we interfere with the process by using pillows, cushions or containers to prop our Teeny Tiny to sit we may delay or interrupt the natural postural reflexes from doing their job.  

PARACHUTE REFLEX & BALANCE SYSTEM

My head still being the heaviest part of my body I need to learn how to balance this in an upright position, the strength to do this comes from rolling, rocking and being on all fours.  Give me the opportunity to develop my parachute reflex by using my arms to balance me when I am in a seated position, rather than allowing containers or cushions to do this for me.

BUM SHUFFLING

A movement where babies sit and use their legs to propel themselves forwards.

This may occur when baby has been propped to sit or spent time in containers – bum shuffling becomes the default style of movement and baby will often go from bum shuffling straight to pulling up to stand and onto walking – maybe missing the crawling milestone all together – not ideal but not life threatening either.

BUGGY

Once baby moves out of the bassinette setting – when their head is rubbing on the top and their feet are banging on the bottom it’s time to move to the seat.  It may be tempting to place your Teeny Tiny in a seated position - a slight incline may be better until I can seat myself.

HIGHCHAIRS

Mother nature has this organised – your Teeny Tiny will start solids by 6 months and often between 6-9 months they will be independently be sitting also. When shopping for a highchair look for one that has a 90 degree angle at the seat, the knee and the ankle and allows for adjusting as they grow.

“I believe in giving your baby a safe space in which to play and letting her move freely and develop on her own without assisting her. Refrain from propping her up to sit or helping her roll over. She has an innate desire to move through these developmental sequences and has inborn knowledge of how to do it in a way that is “right” for her. She does this at her own pace and she gets pleasure from doing it.” –Magda Gerber


Want to know more about the 3-6 month age range come along to an On The Move Workshop both face to face and online options available.


References 

activebabiessmartkids.com.au

A Moving Child is a Learning Child Connell & McCarthy

janetlansbury.com



 

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