These tips can be used for babies who are learning a new skill, or for older children who maybe need a little extra help with balance.
Sitting up is such an important skill because it changes a child’s access to the world. They are suddenly able to interact with the world and people in a whole new way. For older kids, maybe they need extra support for sitting, but it is still important for them to work on and develop their trunk muscles. Even if they are in a chair, the extra strength and balance will only help them with the tasks they perform throughout the day. For babies, they are developing the strength as they go. So, read on for the tips.
- Make sure that safety is always first. Know how much support that your child needs in order to sit up safely.
- Holding a child up higher on their trunk (closer to their arm pits) provides more support than if you hold them lower on their trunk (closer to their hips).
- At whatever spot you are holding your child, the firmer you are holding them, the easier it is, and the looser you are holding them, the more they have to work. So, if you are holding them up close to their arm pits and they seem to be holding their head pretty stable, start loosening your grip some before you lower your hands lower on their trunk.
- So, to recap support, start high and with a firm hold, and loosen your hold some before you start to move lower. Each time you move your hold lower, start with a firmer hold.
- A stable surface like the floor is easier than a moving surface like a therapy ball or your lap (lap is probably easier than a therapy ball).
- Use a less stable surface like your lap or a therapy ball to move your child forward and back and side to side to increase how their muscles are having to work. Follow the same rules for support as above and always remember tip number 1 – Safety is key!
Check out this video to see a demonstration of what we are talking about!