Arya found a new game to play with Daddy.
While sitting her up to burp her this week, baby grabbed my arm to balance herself and steady her head. She seemed to enjoy the exercise so we spent a few days practicing.
After lots of effort, baby can now sit up with help at 12-weeks old. As long as she is placed into the sitting position and someone holds her arms for support, Arya can sit up and look around for a few minutes at a time.
Babies are expected to sit up by themselves between five to eight months of age. We have no expectation that Arya will be sitting up without help for several more months.
However, since she has now mastered baby push-ups, we want her to start working on the next few stages of normal baby development.
My wife and I expect some regression even after baby has learned new developmental skills, so we feel it is important for her to keep learning from new activities even as she is still mastering old ones.
Sitting up is associated with additional skills like easier breastfeeding for Mommy and eating solid foods. We also like watching Arya learn new skills as she is visibly proud of herself when she accomplishes new tasks.
Some sources claim that helping baby to sit up impedes natural development. Academic research does not support that conclusion.
Babies need to coordinate multiple muscle groups to sit up properly. In a three-stage analysis of infants sitting up, being able to hold up their heads and upper trunks is a prerequisite to brief durations of independent sitting.
By holding Arya’s arms while she is sitting up, we are specifically forcing her to use her back and stomach muscles while holding her head straight. She struggled for a few days as she learned to balance her head. Now she can even look around and babble even as she needs help to balance her body.