Sitting, like so many milestones, is a skill that develops in stages. It also requires plenty of practice on baby’s part and lots of assistance from Mum and Dad.
A good clue that your baby is ready to try sitting is that she can push up on her chest while lying on her tummy. This usually happens around four to five months, and shows that your baby’s upper body muscles are strong enough to begin supporting her in an upright position. Remember, though, she’s got a few months to go before she’ll be sitting up by herself. In the meantime, she’ll need your help while she gives it a try.
Use your hands to support her, prop her up on cushions (a breastfeeding pillow is ideal) or sit her between your crossed legs. At first, even with assistance, she’ll lean both arms forward in an attempt to steady herself, so give her a few interesting toys to look at while she gets used to seeing the world from this new point of view.
As she gets stronger over the next month or two, she’ll be able to keep her back straighter for longer periods. And while she’ll no longer lean forward, she’ll still need to position her arms at either side to help her balance and there’ll be plenty of topples. Somewhere between six to eight months, you’ll find her able to sit without any help at all. In the meantime, scatter plenty of cushions about the place just in case!