When Should Baby Sit Up?

When should Baby sit up?... that's one of the questions I'm regularly asked about baby development.

The first stages of sitting can be seen when baby still supports herself by pressing on the floor.

The first stages of sitting is when baby still stabilizes herself by pressing on the floor

But before we look at the answer, let’s start off by describing what I mean by “sitting”. Here’s what you must be looking at:

  • Your baby must be able to assume the sitting position without support

  • And she must sit upright

  • It’s quite OK if she still supports herself in front by pressing with her hands on the floor 

  • But… your child must be able to free her hands, and…

  • She must be able to sit for at least 1 minutee

What you'll see is that many babies ‘sit”, but still need both hands to support themselves and cannot use their hands to play.

According to these criteria, these babies haven’t fully mastered sitting yet. But in time they’ll probably do so since they’ve already shown that they can get into an upright sitting position.

In the table below, I’ve set out 2 answers for when baby should sit up? By the way, this table was developed by researchers who studied thousands of babies, recording their development at different ages and eventually coming up with the statistical results in the table. But we’ll look at that detail shortly.

 

Age (months) when babies typically master these sitting skills

 Percentage of all babies   

50%

70%

90%

She sits when supported with cushions or in the corner of a room or any other side and back support – this is a great time to use selected toys to assist development

3

31/2

41/2

She can sit alone for short periods… 1/2  minute

6

7

9

For an easy-to-use graphical illustration of when baby should sit up, please see our baby development chart

When should baby sit up... the facts!

Baby still needs both hands to support himself when sitting up

The first stages of sitting is when baby still stabilizes herself by pressing on the floor

What this information says is that at age 7 months, roughly 70% of all babies can sit alone for short periods of up to about half a minute. And 90% of all babies can do so by about 9 months old..

Similarly, by about 3 months about 50% of all babies can sit when supported with cushions.

Example: When Should Baby Sit Up ?

Let’s say have a baby of about 7 months old who does not sit alone for short periods. Is that good or not? How does s/he compare to other babies of the same age?

I believe now is the right time to encourage your baby to sit unaided.


Rule of Thumb for When Should Baby Sit Up

Although rules of thumb are never exact, they do provide a quick and easy way to getting a fairly accurate answer.

My recommendation for is: when your baby is about 7 months old and still can’t sit alone for about 30 seconds, then start encouraging your baby to sit up by using things like toys and techniques.

And if your baby reaches 9 months and can still not sit alone for about 30 seconds, I suggest that you continue with these stimulation activities. But, over and above these activities, I suggest you also contact a Therapist.

The Golden Rule for When should Baby Sit Up ?

The golden rule to follow when it comes to encouraging your baby to sit is…

Be guided by your child’s interest to get into sitting position and, of course… ability to sit

Look at how your baby lifts himself, controls himself, presses forward and even controls his head. All of these activities are very good signs whether your baby is ready to sit or not.

Go from When should Baby Sit Up to Baby Milestones