When Do Babies Sit Up On Their Own?

When Do Babies Sit Up On Their Own?

It’s a truly exciting moment when your baby gains more control of their body ‒ but when will this exciting development happen for your baby? When do babies sit up on their own?
It’s amazing to consider that something so ordinary that adults do every day – sitting up – is such a landmark in a new life.

The first thing to know: babies are on their own schedules.

It can be helpful to have an idea of typical or average ages to expect some “firsts”, but if your little one takes longer, it’s not a cause for concern!

Also, when we ask “when does a baby sit up?,” what we really mean is “when do babies sit up on their own?

We all love holding a little baby on our lap or watching them take in the world from a bouncy chair, but that’s not quite what we’re talking about here.

By baby’s “sit up”, we mean unsupported sitting.

In this article: 📝

  • When do babies start to sit up?
  • Do babies crawl or sit up first?
  • How can I teach my baby to sit up?
  • More FAQs about when baby can sit up

When do babies start to sit up?

So, when do babies start sitting up?

Baby learning to sit up is a process, not an instant milestone.

You probably won’t suddenly see baby sitting up in their crib with no other signs of sitting up ‒ baby sitting up is a journey.

Generally speaking, baby will start to sit up at about 3 months.

But at what age do babies sit up properly? Typically 6 months old, getting better until about 9 months old, when they’re more comfortable with getting in and out of their sitting position.

So if you’re asking “when do babies sit up unassisted?”, 9 months is around the usual time.

At nine months old, your baby can sit up for an extended period of time, but they will probably still need help to get into or out of that position.

It’s around the one-year mark that your baby will sit up without support, and can move into or out of the position without outside help. Hooray!

But, as we said, it’s totally normal if your little one is faster or slower to pick up this new exciting skill.

Should a 3-month-old be able to sit up?

It’s not likely.

At three months, most babies can rest safely upright on their bottom with support, such as in a high chair with straps, or maybe by making a “tripod” with their hands.

This support is important though, as it will keep them from toppling over.

So it’s not really a ‘baby sit up’ in the truest sense of the word, but some babies can ‘sit’ without assistance from mama or anyone else.

They might be able to hold a wobbly upright position without support for a moment, but their
muscles aren’t strong enough yet to fully support them while sitting.

How long your baby is able to “sit” like this at three months is another story.

Some babies will get fussy because they don’t like the sensation. Others may want to stay there for a long time.

If it seems like your baby doesn’t want to sit up, it’s ok. They’ll get the hang of it sooner or later.

Should a 6-month-old be able to sit up?

At six months, most babies can sit for a short amount of time, but they will probably still need your help getting into that position.

If your baby’s not sitting up at 6 months, that’s ok too! Every little person is different.

So a 6-month-old not sitting up is totally normal, even if they need a little baby sit-up support.

Do babies crawl or sit up first?

What age your baby sits up depends on the strength of their torso.

After all, babies have a big head in relation to their bodies – and holding up that head is a lot of work on new, untrained muscles.

At four months, a typical baby will be learning to hold their head up, and they’ll start pushing up with their arms while lying on their stomach. This is building their strength.

Mamas wondering “when do babies sit up and crawl?” are probably thinking of the two skills together because crawling and sitting involve many of the same muscles, and babies often start working on both skills at about the same time.

Most babies will sit before they learn how to crawl.

In fact, it’s through sitting that many babies become interested in crawling: their new perspective will have them seeing new things, and they’ll want to move to check out the scene.

➡️ Learn more: When Do Babies Crawl?

How can I teach my baby to sit up?

If you want to help baby sit up, a good start is to encourage tummy time.

This is when your baby lies on their tummy instead of their back.

A good idea is to begin with small sessions of under five minutes, reaching 20 to 30 minutes of tummy time at around three or four months old.

Tummy time is great because it helps strengthen the muscles in your baby’s upper body and neck that they need to balance and support themselves.

It’s basically their first workout, and one of the best ways to teach baby to sit up!

How can I help my baby sit up unassisted?

When it comes to teaching babies to sit up, what other exercises are there?

Let’s have a look at things you can do to help baby sit up:

Sitting in your lap

The next step many mamas try is to encourage your baby by propping them up with pillows or having baby sit up in your lap.

This helps them look around and get used to the feeling of sitting.

However long your baby needs to learn to sit up by themselves, the important thing is that they’re safe and supported.

After a while, babies’ natural curiosity motivates them to get into the seated position by themselves.

Rollover method

Baby rolling over is usually a precursor to baby sitting up, suggested by Auckland Children’s Physiotherapy.

You can do this during tummy time, or after a diaper change, when baby’s feeling awake.

First, have baby roll over to their right or left side, then put your right hand under their right shoulder, putting your left hand on their midriff.

Very gently, pull down on their left hip whilst supporting their midriff and making sure their head is secure.

This is all to encourage them to push themselves up from the floor, further engaging their core muscles.

Lying down

Of course, tummy time is fundamental for engaging and building baby’s muscles to help baby sit up, but spending time on their back is also important.

It’s a surprise to some, but lying down can be one of the best ways to help teach baby to sit up!

Sitting in a baby-friendly chair

This baby sitting up exercise is great for when baby can sit up, but can’t sit up for long.

It helps encourage baby to sit up “properly”, engaging their core without having to try too hard.

How about a baby-friendly chair that you can use while baby’s on the go?

Well, our Peanut mamas love the Baby Tula Hemp collection, so baby can see the world while sat upright, securely on your shoulders.

More FAQs about when baby can sit up

Now we know when baby can sit up, what about other baby sitting up questions? Let’s dive in:

Is it bad to sit a baby up at 3 months?

It’s generally better to sit baby up when their body has developed enough muscles to sit up.

Propping baby up at three months could mean that they’re more likely to lose their balance and topple over, so it’s better to wait until baby is starting to roll over and prop themselves up to sit before getting them sitting up with support.

When can a baby sit in a Bumbo?

A Bumbo is a type of baby-friendly seat designed for different stages of baby’s development.

The Bumbo floor seat can be used from ages 3 months to 12 months, great for helping babies get more used to sitting up safely.

When do babies learn to sit up from lying down?

Baby sitting up from lying down takes a bit more muscle development, but they usually learn to sit up from lying down at about 11 months of age.

When do babies pull themselves up to sit?

It really depends on the baby ‒ for some babies, sitting up happens without pulling themselves up.

For others, baby sitting up starts with pulling themselves up to a sitting position.

Either way, your baby’s doing great!

My baby’s not sitting up at 11 months, is that normal?

If baby’s not sitting up by around 9 months, it might be worth getting in touch with your doctor or pediatrician.

Of course, it could be absolutely nothing to worry about, but there’s a chance baby’s not sitting up due to motor skill delay, which could be an indicator of something else.

So that’s all there is to know about when do babies sit up on their own, along with a few helpful ways to teach baby to sit up.

Remember, there’s no one way to grow as a baby ‒ every baby is different.

Keen to chat with other mamas about your baby’s development (even if it’s just to brag)? Join us on Peanut!

👶 More baby milestones:
Your Guide to Baby’s First Haircut
When Do Babies Lose Their Hair? And Why?
When Do Babies Start Smiling?
When Do Babies Start Talking? A Guide for Mamas
When Do Babies Roll Over?
When Do Babies Walk? The Timeline for Toddling
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?
When Do Babies Start Laughing?
Baby Growth Spurts: What are the Milestones?

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