Milestones are always exciting to keep track of for your newborn baby. Some really important milestones that most parents pay attention to are rolling, crawling and walking. But another big one is SITTING independently. This typically occurs at and around 6 months, but every baby is different so it can be sooner or later than 6 months.


My youngest daughter just recently turned 7 months old, and it has been really fun watching her get stronger as we tried doing more fun activities together. When she was just a newborn, her favorite thing to do was play on her play mat and do tummy time with some noisy toys nearby.


She still enjoys playing on the play mat but now that she rolls so much to the right and to the left, she rarely ever stays on the thing. I just throw toys all over the floor now and she eventually makes her way across the room to get them!


This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.


FUN FACT: From birth to age 6 months, a baby might grow 1/2 to 1 inch a month and gain 5 to 7 ounces a week.


Babies grow so quickly and develop strength at a much faster rate the more parents play with them and challenge them. Changing your baby’s position and playing in a variety of ways  is overall better for your baby’s development.


When it comes to sitting, babies need to develop good core strength in order to hold their trunk upright and not topple over.


If you are not quite sure how to teach your baby to sit, I have three fun and simple play activities that will surely help build your baby’s strength and encourage them to learn to sit better.


Maybe you have been working on sitting positions with your baby for a little while now but you just want to try something new and different with your baby. These are my absolute favorite ways to incorporate sitting into my baby’s routine.





1. Diaper Change Sitting

When you are changing your baby’s diaper, which might feel like all the time, you actually have a great opportunity to teach your baby to sit! Yep, take advantage of this diaper changing time to add some sitting practice.   I love to do an activity called “Pull-To-Sit”. This is when you hold your baby’s hands, gently and slowly pull your baby up into a sitting position. Hold your baby in sitting for a moment and then gradually lower your baby back down to the starting position on her back.   You can do this as many times as your baby wants. If your baby is happy, keep going. If your baby is ready for a nap and is tired, then don’t do it.   Use your mom instinct!   I love doing these activities on a changing table when I can get right in front of my baby, smile and talk to her and encourage her in a playful way. Make this fun for you and her. Maybe even try singing a song while doing the up and down motions.   Most importantly, interact with your baby, look her in the eye and smile with encouragement. Your baby will really enjoy this time together with her mommy.

2. Favorite Big Toy Sitting

Time to move to the floor! Go ahead a find your baby’s favorite toy. Hopefully it is somewhat big, soft and makes noise. I like toys that make noise because your baby keeps her attention on it longer.   Once you have a toy or two, position yourself sitting behind your baby with your legs surrounding your baby. Hold your baby in a sitting position with your hands placed low to her waist. If your baby can tolerate sitting with the “low waist hold”, that’s great. If your baby doesn’t have enough strength yet to safely sit upright, then move your hands further up her trunk.   Position the toy directly in front of your baby so she can play with it. The goal with this is to improve sitting endurance. Have your baby play with the toy in this position for as long as she likes.   If she is doing well with the toy in front of her, then try moving the toy further away from her. This helps encourage your baby to position her hands further away from her body. With her hands positioned further away, she then can reach the floor and support her trunk better.   You can also move the toy from side to side to get your baby to reach for it in different angles. These different movements help strengthen your baby’s core muscles all while playing with fun toys.   Take your baby out of the sitting position once she starts to fuss. Your baby’s muscles are not fully developed, and can only tolerate so much in this sitting position. Let your baby rest once you think she is done sitting. Hold her or let her rest in the baby swing or do whatever you think is best for your baby when she is tired.

3. Play Mat Sitting

I love using baby toys for multiple purposes. Don’t just think since your baby is getting older now that you can’t use the play mat anymore. You definitely can!   I love to use the play mat for teaching my baby to sit. I sit behind my baby like I described earlier and have my baby positioned sitting right in front of the toys that are dangling down from the play mat.   This gives your baby a different view of her favorite toys. Let your baby play with the toys in front of and beside her while you hold her waist low. Eventually as she gets stronger you can start to let go of your baby’s waist and let your baby try to sit on her own. Stay very close to her and be sure to hold her securely before she starts to fall. It’s good to challenge your baby but obviously in a safe
If you are looking for a really good play mat I have two recommendations. My first choice would be the Baby Einstein 5-in-1 since it is affordable, very versatile and can be adjusted to be flat or change into a mini play pin. Click HERE to see it.   My second choice is the Baby Einstein Discovery Sea Multi Mode Activity Gym. I wish I had this one for my baby but I still have the original Baby Einstein play mat from when my 6 year old was born. Yes, my play mat is still intact and working like it did when I got it 6 years ago. That goes to show that Baby Einstein products last! (Even after having 4 babies!) I like this product because the mat is LARGE and the music options are great to keep your baby busy and entertained for a long time. Check it out for your self by clicking HERE.
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      The more you play and practice these activities, the stronger your baby will become. But do not try to rush the development of your baby with regards to sitting. Eventually she will learn, so there is no need to worry if you see other 6 month olds sitting and yours is not. Every baby develops at different rates.   When doing these three activities, make sure not to exhaust your baby. I would never perform all three activities at once in long durations. Space the activities out throughout the day and during a time when your baby is alert and energetic. I always avoid doing these right before bed time or when my baby is hungry.   Like I said earlier, use your “mommy instinct.” You know what to do best for your baby. If your baby doesn’t seem interested in sitting, then take a break for a week and try again later.   I have a video for you to watch so you can see what these activities looked like with my baby when she was 6 months old. Take a look and let me know if you have any questions. I always love comments, so feel free to leave a message below in the comment section.   Keep Smiling, Dr. Jena Bradley, DPT   This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

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    1. Angel

      I love these ideas. When my daughter was younger I would have a boppy pillow for her to sit up on.

      • Jena Bradley

        Angel, I love to use the boppy pillow for support, also!

    2. Emily

      These are awesome ideas! I never really thought about using the play mat that way. <3 it!

      • Jena Bradley

        Emily, I like to use the play mat because I just quite can’t say good bye to it too soon during baby development!!! It’s such a versatile toy.

    3. Rachel

      These are good. I always did the diaper changing one.

      • Jena Bradley

        Rachel, it’s so simple yet so effective!

    4. Shannah

      All my kids are now teenagers and above, but sitting up was a big first milestone. We would sit pillows all around and a favorite toy in their lap to encourage them to stay sitting. These are great ideas to work with them each day.

      • Jena Bradley

        Shannah, pillows are awesome to use and the baby loves to fall into them!

    5. Yudy

      Hi Jena, I wish I had read this sooner. I have a now 9 month old ( 7 m 3 w adjusted) who won’t sit on his own from tummy position, when I place him in sitting position he lasts over an hour In the playmat but when tired he cries to be in different position or will launch forward and place himself on Tummy. He isn’t crawling either but when pulled by hands he’s able to pull hiMself up. We’re taking him to physical therapy for eval, what can we expect, what type of exercises?
      I appreciate any help to get started. Thank you

      • Jena Bradley

        Yudy, I’m so glad that you are going the Physical Therapy route. You’ll see a lot of improvements quickly. Pediatric physical therapists incorporate play into the therapy (using toys and other common household objects). They will expect you as his mom to do exercises with your baby on days when he’s not getting therapy. It’s a very gentle process, typically you’ll see small gains after few weeks and after a few months you’ll see significant improvements if you are diligent with your home exercises they recommend for you. Let us know how it goes. Praying he gets stronger every day.


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