Sitting is an exciting milestone that provides children the opportunity to explore the world in a brand new way! In this post we share some Sitting Tips and Tricks to Help Teaching Child to Sit Independently!
The Seven Stages of Sitting
Each child develops at their own pace, so allow your child time to gain comfort and control in each of these stages.
The precursors to Teaching Child to Sit involve:
- Head/neck control
- Upper body strength
- Postural control
- Trunk strength and stability
- Static balance
- Dynamic balance
- Symmetric weight bearing through lower extremities
1. Horizontal Head/Neck Control: during Tummy Time child is able to push up on hands to gaze horizontally.
2. Vertical Head/Neck Control: when held upright child is able to hold head up against gravity.
3. Static Support Sitting: child is able to maintain Supported Sitting, with caregiver hands on assistance
4. Dynamic Support Sitting: child is able to utilize dynamic support surface (Boppy, couch cushions) to maintain sitting.
5. Independent Tripod Sitting: child is able to support body with upper extremities.
6. Independent Static Sitting: child still requires close supervision for safety, but is able to maintain erect sitting posture for short durations.
7. Functional Independent Sitting: child is now able to manipulate toys, reaching across body and overhead without loss of balance!
Independence in sitting requires many complex skills, coordination, balance, strength, and body/safety awareness. I have broken down our exercise and activity recommendations into the element of sitting addressed by each and assist with Teaching Child to Sit Independently.
Exercise and Activity Recommendations
Trunk Strength Exercises
1. Tummy Time on Therapy Ball
2. Tummy Time on Incline Ramp
4. Supported Sitting on Dyna-Disc
5. Supported Sitting on Therapy Ball
6. Quadruped Over Foam Roller
Transitional Skills to Assist with Teaching Child to Sit
1. Supine to Prone
2. Prone to Sitting
3. Sidelying to Sitting
4. Side Sitting to Kneeling
5. Sit to Quadruped
Balance Reactions to Assist with Teaching Child to Sit
On Therapy Ball
Hand Eye Coordination Activities
2. Visual Tracking/Reaching in Supported Sitting.
4. Visual Tracking/Reaching in Quadruped.
Toys for Teaching Child to Sit
We recommend: O-Ball Rainstick
Encourage reaching, crossing midline
Facilitate weight bearing and weight shifting
Encourage fine motor control and coordination
Future Developmental Positions
Once you have succeeded in Teaching Child to Sit, here are a few suggestions to promote further motor development!
1. Kneeling at Support Surface (seen here Bucket Bridge)
2. Tall Kneeling (with hands free to engage)
3. Sitting at Cube Chair (with feet bearing weight through floor)
4. Half Kneeling at Dynamic Support Surface
We hope you enjoyed this post with helpful tips for Teaching Child to Sit!
Learn more about future Motor Milestones here! And remember to enjoy every moment, each day is a victory and each accomplishment no matter how small should be celebrated!
Learn more about Dinosaur Physical Therapy!