Pull to sit is a great way to work on head control and core strength with your little one. It’s also an early transition movement! So, how do you do it? When do you start? So many questions!
Check out these videos for some ways to trouble shoot and grade the activity! And then continue reading for more thoughts and ideas. We also have a post all about head control.
There are a few things you want to be aware of before you do this. You want your little one to be ‘helping’. What this looks like is the are turning on their abdominal muscles and they are giving some resistance (like they are pulling) at the arms. If they aren’t doing this you are just pulling on their arms and it isn’t good for their joints.
The typical way to perform this exercise is with a little one lying on their back, you grasp their hands, give a few gentle tugs to have them try to pull on you (the pull to sit is that they are pulling on you), and then you guide them up. You also want them to be working on a chin tuck.
If they aren’t able to do this, somethings you can try are to start on an incline. This can be a pillow, bent knees, a wedge, etc.
Another trick is to start them from a sitting position and slowly lower down. It is easier to get a chin tuck in this position. You can use a pillow on the floor if they aren’t able to maintain the chin tuck the whole way down.
If they aren’t helping at the arms at all you can hold much closer to the shoulders, or even at the shoulders/trunk to give them a little stability so they get their head and abs engaged. As they get more successful you can slowly move your way out to their hands.
If starting from sitting works, you can also work in the successful range. This looks like lower them down until just before they aren’t able to maintain the chin tuck, and then having them come back into sitting.
What other ideas have you tried?