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How to Teach a Baby to Sit Up from a Lying Position

By Shannon Philpott ; Updated April 18, 2017

Although babies develop at varying rates, your little one will likely begin to move around and sit up with support at approximately 4 months of age, according to the American Pregnancy Association. By 6 months, your baby begins to lift her chest and part of her stomach while lying, and at 7 months of age, should be working toward moving from the lying position to sitting up on her own. With some support, you can help your infant meet this developmental milestone as she builds her strength to sit up on her own.

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Reach and Grab

Tummy time is crucial for a baby to learn how to roll, move and sit up. Help him to move from a lying position to sitting up by giving him incentive to reach and grab. Put toys and small objects just out of reach so your baby can use his arms and legs to scoot toward the shiny objects. Babies will use their hands more to reach and grab, ultimately improving their muscle development and strength, according to KidsHealth.

Pad and Prod

When your baby begins raising her chest and rocking back and forth when on her tummy, help her practice sitting up by padding an area with pillows and supporting her in a sitting position, recommends HealthyChildren.org. In a sitting position, your baby can learn how to balance by placing her arms in a tripod position as she leans forward to gain more balance. Stay close by to give baby support as needed. By 6 to 8 months of age, she should be able to remain sitting without leaning forward.

Pull and Practice

Build your baby’s strength to sit up by lying him on his back and slowly pulling him by the hands to a sitting position, recommends pediatrician Dr. Kurt Heyrman in the Parents article “The Stages of Sitting.” The repetition not only builds strength but also shows your baby the motions of moving from a lying position to sitting upright. Parents can also build core strength by holding babies under the arms with feet firmly on the floor.

Sights and Sitting

When practicing moving to a sitting position, entice your little one with her own reflection. Heyrman recommends placing your child in front of a mirror as you pull her into a sitting position. Further encourage your baby to sit up on her own by placing a hand-held mirror at a higher angle so she will reach to touch her reflection and possibly move into the sitting position on her own.

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About the Author

Shannon Philpott has been a writer since 1999. She has experience as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer and online copywriter. Philpott has published articles in St. Louis metro newspapers, "Woman's World" magazine, "CollegeBound Teen" magazine and on e-commerce websites, and also teaches college journalism and English. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Southern Illinois University.

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