Physical milestones are some of the most fun ways to interact with your baby. As they work toward childhood, they will begin to strengthen themselves and move more and more like a child. One of the big early milestones is the ability to sit up. This is not a small or easy feat, because it requires balance, head, neck, torso and back strength. Though every baby will do this on their own time, there are some ways in which you can help your baby get there more quickly. Play and quality time can involve these activities, which makes it both fun and productive for you both. Here is a look at some of the ways to help baby to get there:
Tummy time is one of the most important ways to help your baby develop strength, bar none. It forces them to lift their head in order to see what is on the table, and makes them develop their arm and torso strength as they do baby pushups to grab for favorite toys, or for you. If you want to make tummy time fun for a reluctant baby, then actively play with him or her this way. Place a toy just outside their fingers, and brush their fingers with it. Pull it slightly away and encourage them to grab it. Try several times until your child becomes interested. Some babies will respond more if the toy makes noise or has lights, while others prefer certain textures or edibility. You don't need a toy if you would prefer to use your finger or a food treat. You know your baby best, so use what will excite him or her.
As your child develops his or her neck strength, you can begin to add baby situps to your play games. Don't try these until your child can hold their head up independently, as it can be a big strain on an unsupported neck. The game is simply to lay them on their back, and then pull baby to a sitting position and to you. A light kiss on the nose or excited "good job!" will make it more fun for baby. For you, it works their muscles and teaches them the movements they will need to eventually sit up on their own.
Propped Sitting and Reaching
This third game is a combination of the first two. Use a supported space to prop baby in a sitting position, like a boppy pillow. Then bring out the tummy time toy, and play the same game as before, encouraging baby to lean forward to reach the toy, and then return to sitting position. This will help to strengthen his or her sitting balance from that position. Once this game is successful, it won't be long before they are sitting all on their own.