Baby Q&A: Why is he not sit­ting or crawl­ing?

Your Baby & Toddler - - News -

Q: My son is go­ing to be eight months old soon. He is a very so­cia­ble and healthy baby, but he has shown no in­cli­na­tion to sit or try to crawl yet. Is this nor­mal?

A: Sa­man­tha re­sponds: Ev­ery baby is born with pre-pro­grammed de­vel­op­men­tal mile­stones: to roll, sit, crawl, walk and run. Your son will move through th­ese at his own pace. He seems to have de­vel­oped at a fast pace in the so­cial area and is com­ing along in the move­ment area a lit­tle more slowly. This is nor­mal. Ba­bies tend to de­velop in two styles: some choose to ac­tively work on their next mile­stone for weeks and weeks, while oth­ers choose to wait un­til their body is ready and only then en­gage in achiev­ing it. Your son needs to strengthen his back and neck mus­cles to be able to main­tain the up­right po­si­tion re­quired to sit. This ac­tion helps your son de­velop his mus­cle tone. He needs this to be suf­fi­cient to cre­ate ef­fec­tive move­ment. The mus­cles in his neck and back, as he sits up­right, make small move­ments to main­tain his pos­ture. Your son is tak­ing the steps he needs to strengthen his body for the next ex­cit­ing mile­stone achieve­ment. You can help fa­cil­i­tate his de­vel­op­ment by pro­vid­ing reg­u­lar tummy time ac­tiv­i­ties, par­tic­u­larly ones that en­cour­age him to lift his head and shoul­ders off the ground. You can place a mir­ror in front him to look into or pass him his favourite toy so he stretches up and reaches for it. An­other idea is to sit in front of a full-length mir­ror and place your son sit­ting sup­ported be­tween your legs, with his back to your stom­ach. Open his legs in a “V” to en­cour­age a big­ger base of sup­port for balance and to in­di­cate to him how to sit. Hold toys in front of him in the cen­tre of his body that he can eas­ily reach for and throw down. Be­ing in the sit­ting po­si­tion helps to ed­u­cate the brain about what it needs to get the mus­cles to do so he can learn to main­tain it. If he hasn’t started sit­ting by nine months, which re­search shows is the time frame by which most chil­dren will be able to sit in­de­pen­dently, it would be ad­vis­able to have him as­sessed by a ther­a­pist to ob­tain sup­port. YB

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