To sit or not to sit, that is the question.
Babies spines are C-curved when they are born. As they start to develop muscle control, strength and organization in their bodies (and spend lots of time on the floor), they develop a cervical curve and eventually when they creep and crawl a lumbar curve.
How can we support this? Floor time Floor time Floor time!
By giving babies lots of time on the floor to explore their bodies particularly on their bellies, they start to gain muscle control, learn how to right themselves, learn balance and coordination. and this is what facilitates normal motor development in the first year of life.
Why not sit your babies?
When we sit babies before they are ready, we put unnecessary strain on the spine, we cause stiffness in babies joints, and put babies in a position they can't get out of unless they fall over. It renders them helpless, and unable to actively engage in their environment, and does not support them to have physical confidence or a sense of security. We put them at risk also of delaying or skipping major developmental milestones such as crawling.
What can I do instead?
- Give baby lots of floor time
- Wear your baby
- Practice supported sitting with your baby in your lap leaning up against your belly, so they don't have to hold themselves upright.
- Do nothing! trust their innate desire to move.
Here is a video showing a baby's wonderful movement discoveries if left to figure it out on their own!