Tracking sitting development: birth to 10 months

Development can be viewed as a journey over a series of stepping stones

Moving across the stepping stones brings the infant to the major milestones of sitting, crawling, and walking. Each stepping stone represents a new level of skill with greater strength, coordination and balance demands. 

Learning to sit independently without support is an important  milestone for an infant.  Infants who have learned to sit get an altogether different view of the world they inhabit, start to use their hands for more complicated reach and grasp activities and communication and also start to vocalize more which is the start of learning their first words. 

The learning to sit journey starts in the first weeks after birth when the infant starts to hold up the head briefly when supported in the erect position, and continues as the infant sits on carer's laps and in infant seats. Most infants will learn to sit at around 8-10 months.  Premature infants and those with joint hypermobility and low muscle tone may only sit 1-2 months later. 

Stepping stones on the learning to sit journey

Take a look at the stages in learning to sit and identify how far has your infant has traveled along the learning to sit path.  

M 2w supported sitting.jpg1-2 months: Holds head up briefly when supported in sitting.

3-4 months: Supports head upright and looks around when held upright 
L 6m prop sitting.jpg3-4 months: Infant sits very briefly propping on both arms. 
Flops forwards or falls over if left unsupported. 
3-4 months: Infant holds the head up when supported around the trunk in sitting. 
Sitting on my lap 7.jpg4-6 months: Holds head and trunk erects when firmly supported around the hips  
Sitting on my lap 3.jpg4-6 months: Leans and reaches when supported on an adults lap

W 3m PTS 1.jpg3-6 months: Infant lifts head up when pulled from lying to sitting position.
Helps action by pulling with the arms 

L 8m sitting.jpg5-7 months: Infant can control head and trunk movements when sitting with support around the hips.
R 8m sitting 11.jpg5-8 months: Infant can sit briefly without support  

Balance is poor - falls over to the side or backwards.

W 8m sitting 1.jpg5-10 months: Baby can sit without support

Able to move arms, look around and reach for toys.

Starts to twist trunk to look behind

W 8m sit 2_1.jpg8-10 months: can lean sideways and come up straight again. 

W 8m sit to kneel.jpg8-10 month: leans forwards and takes weight on hands.

Moves from sitting to crawling position.