Holding your head up spells the beginning of all sorts of adventures. Exciting times ahead. So when can babies hold their heads up? Let’s dive in.
The first two years of your baby’s life is full of milestones.
From sitting to crawling to munching to moving, there’s a whole lot of fun about to be had.
One of the first steps on the journey is learning to keep that big brainy ball balancing on their neck—all in preparation for a lifetime of holding their heads up high.
So when can babies hold their head up on their own?
Well, all babies are different—as is the timing of their major milestones. But there are some guides to follow that can give you an idea.
Let’s take a look.
In this article: 📝
- What age do babies hold their head up?
- Is it normal for my 2 week old to hold his head up?
- Should a 2-month-old be able to hold his head up?
- When can you stop supporting a baby’s head?
- When should you start tummy time?
What age do babies hold their head up?
Being able to hold your head up is the seed out of which so many other milestones grow.
Controlling your neck and your head is the first step to a bunch of other amazing tricks, like sitting, walking, and even weaning.
By the age of about four months, your baby will probably be able to hold their head up without help.
But as is the case with any great achievement, it takes some practice and preparation to get to this fab feat.
Here’s a very rough timeline:
Is it normal for my 2 week old to hold his head up?
So a newborn holding head up? Is this possible?
When your baby is born, they are still getting used to the new body they’ve found themselves in.
The strength of their muscles and the ability to control them is still something they need to work up to.
That’s why supporting their head and neck at this time is very important. (Use one hand under their head and neck and the other under their bum.)
But it doesn’t take long before they get the hang of having a head. Before you know it, they’ll be nodding and shaking like it’s nobody’s business.
By about the end of the first month of your baby’s life, you might notice that they’re able to hold their head up for longer stints—but it’s still important to keep that support up at this stage, particularly for bathing and feeding.
Should a 2-month-old be able to hold his head up?
By month two, you might find that they’re starting to get more of a hang of this neck control business.
They may be able to hold their head at a forty-five-degree angle for bits of time as they work up to full mastery.
At three months old, you might notice that they’ve made great strides.
When they are in your arms, they might be able to lift their heads to a 90-degree angle and turn their heads from side to side.
And then month four arrives.
Is that your baby pushing themselves up and holding up their own chest and head?!
They might even be able to hold their heads steady if you support them in a seated position. Wow. Impressive!
And soon they will crawl. And sit. And walk.
Phew. Can time just slow down, please?
When can you stop supporting a baby’s head?
By the time your baby has gained enough control and strength to hold their head up on their own, you can hand over the baton to them.
You might want to explore popping them in an upright position so that they can really practice this new trick of theirs.
When should you start tummy time?
The best way to help your baby get control of that head and neck is tummy time—and you can get going with this very young.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that you can start with tummy time from the first day you bring your bundle home—two to three times a day for periods of about three to five minutes.
When they’re on their tummies, it’s baby head vs. gravity.
As a result, they get to practice holding their head up on their own while strengthening their back and neck muscles at the same time.
Added bonus? Between feeds and changes and naps, this can be a great time to get in some extra bonding time.
Some tips that can help to get their strength up?
- Cross their arms and prop their chin on top. This can help gently get the feel of an upright head.
- Talk to them when they’re tummy down. Get them to follow the sound of your voice with their heads. Using a toy or object that they’re interested in can also get that little head turning.
- Lie on your back with them on top of you. Okay, okay, you’re not a doormat. But for these purposes, you might be a baby mat! Not only do they get to interact with you and feel your warmth and breath, they also get some tummy time in the process.
And a final important note—tummy time is awake time.
Side and tummy sleeping is not as safe at this young age.
For nap times and night times, babies should sleep on their backs.
👶 More baby milestones:
When Do Babies Start Talking?
When Do Babies See Color?
When Do Babies Start Smiling?
When Do Babies Start Teething?
When Do Babies Stop Spitting Up?
When Do Babies Start Cooing?
When Do Babies Get Kneecaps?
When Do Babies Grow Hair?
When Do Babies Clap?
When Do Babies Start Dreaming?
When Do Babies Make Eye Contact?
What Are the Different Stages of Crawling?
When Can Babies Eat Baby Food?