Don’t just sit around wor­ry­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE -

M Y seven- month- old baby hasn’t started sit­ting up yet and I am wor­ried she’s slow for her age. The other ba­bies at play­group all seem to be sit­ting up just fine. Should I be wor­ried? Pat, Kir­wan SIT­TING

is an im­por­tant mile­stone in baby’s de­vel­op­ment be­cause it gives them a new per­spec­tive on the world. Ba­bies can be propped in sit­ting po­si­tion al­most from day one but true in­de­pen­dent sit­ting doesn’t be­gin un­til they have good head con­trol.

Around four months of age, baby’s neck and head mus­cles strengthen rapidly and they will learn to raise and hold the head up while ly­ing on their stom­ach. Next they will learn to prop them­selves up on their arms and hold the chest off the ground.

By five months they may be able to sit mo­men­tar­ily with­out as­sis­tance. Most of them still slump or top­ple side­ways. They even­tu­ally be­gin us­ing their arms as props to keep them up. Then at about six months, they learn to let go, first with one hand, then the other and be­gin to hold their back straight. As back­mus­cle strength and bal­ance im­prove, they sit com­pletely erect by seven months. Ba­bies de­velop at their own pace, but most ba­bies are able to sit un­sup­ported by eight months. Your baby could be within the nor­mal range but it is ad­vis­able to seek med­i­cal ad­vice to con­firm that all her de­vel­op­ment as­pects ( such as hear­ing, vi­sion, hand func­tion and speech) are with in nor­mal range. The fol­low­ing web page has use­ful in­for­ma­tion on in­fant de­vel­op­ment. http:// rais­ingchil­dren. net. au/ de­vel­op­ment_ tracker/ baby_ de­vel­op­ment_ tracker . html

The Townsville Hos­pi­tal Pae­di­atric Team is: Doc­tors Siva Si­vayo­ganathan, Margot Bosan­quet, An­drew White, Vana Sabesan and Anne Miller. Email ques­tions to aboutababy@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au or text 0416 905 534.

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