Baby Tripod at Four-months Old

Baby Tripod at Four-months OldArya has discovered a new trick.

Over the past week she has learned how to sit in the baby tripod position. After we help her into the sitting position, she leans forward and places her hands between her legs.

This position–called the baby tripod–is nearly universal as a developmental milestone for babies on their way to unassisted sitting. Baby tripod at four-months old was a fun trick for her this week.

Arya learned the baby tripod position by accident. She likes to lounge on her Boppy pillow in a half-sitting position when on the fold-out couch we use as her gigantic playmat.

I usually give her one toy to play with and leave lots of her other toys scattered near the pillow to give her extra stimulation during play time. This week she decided she was bored with her Winnie the Pooh blanket in her hands and reached forward for her Infantino Activity Ball.

Although I was sitting next to her, I was eating my lunch and I didn’t notice she was actually able to lift herself out of the half-sitting position until it was too late.

Arya did a crunch, lifted herself into a full sitting position, and then fell straight forward onto the ball. She was upset and cried for a minute, but since the activity ball is a soft plastic she forgot about it after I carried her for a bit.

But strangely enough, my baby learned a lesson from smacking her face on her toy. As soon as I put her in the same initial position in the pillow, she did another crunch and propelled herself forward again. After I caught her I repositioned her hands in front of her body and put her back on the pillow. She (deciding it was a fun game) rocked forward again and landed on her hands.

Ever since that first time she automatically moves her hands in front of her and between her legs whenever she tries to sit down. Although she thought the baby tripod sitting position was really fun for a few days, now she uses it to balance without even thinking.

Arya is still unstable in the tripod sit and she occasionally flips over to one side. Most of the time she just stays in the sitting tripod until she gets tired. As her core muscles get more tired she starts moving her legs farther apart and creeping lower and lower. Eventually she gets annoyed at the amount of pressure on her hands and she complains for us to pick her up.

The baby tripod is critical for developing core strength and improving balance. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that the baby tripod position normally develops between four-to-six months-old with unassisted sitting following a few months later.

While we’re still not comfortable enough to let Arya sit in the tripod without us close by, we do trust her enough to practice her baby tripod on a hard, flat surface. Arya has learned to complain once she gets too tired so she hasn’t fallen over in the past two days. She’ll get better at the baby tripod over the next few weeks as we integrate it into our normal baby exercise routine.