When Do Babies Start Sitting By Themselves?

Every parent, especially first-time parents, would want to periodically know if their baby’s development milestones are on track. Once a baby starts rolling over and is able to hold the head up, the next upcoming milestone is sitting. So let’s have a look at when do babies start sitting by themselves?

In this article:

  1. Which month should a baby start to sit by herself?
  2. What are the signs your baby is ready to sit on her own?
  3. 8 Ways to help babies start sitting by themselves

Which Month Should a Baby Start Sitting?

Ideally, babies should start sitting, with support, by the 4th or 5th month. But otherwise, they generally learn to sit anytime between the 4th and the 7th month. And by the 8th month, babies start sitting up unsupported for short periods of time.

What Are The Signs Your Baby is Ready to Sit On Her Own?

By around 4 months, your baby should be able to hold her head fairly well, with support, as her neck muscles will be strong enough to do so. Sitting is part of what is called the Phylogenetic Functions, which falls within the 10 important principles of growth and development.

One of the ways to help her improve head and neck control, is by helping her to sit upright a few times when she is in reclining position.

8 Ways to Help Babies Start Sitting by Themselves

1. Tummy Time

One of the best ways to develop her back and neck muscles, the two muscles that are key to help her sit up, is tummy time. The more you facilitate and encourage her to be on her tummy on a periodic basis, the better.

2. Sitting On Your Lap

Move your hand’s grip on the baby’s torso when she sits on your lap. Start from the upper torso and slowly progress towards the hips.

3. Surrounding Your Baby With Pillows

Pillows are effective when it comes to providing a padded surrounding to help your baby practice sitting. A boppy pillow is a good alternative to using head pillows.

4. Sitting Between Your Legs

This is a very simple and easy way to let your baby explore things around sitting. This position also makes her feel reassured since you are right next to her.

5. On-The-Back Play Time

Lying on the back and playing by kicking her legs help tone her flexor muscles. You can also have some fun time with her by holding her feet and doing cycling motions.

6. Tripod Sitting Position

This is a babysitting position when she sits using her arms vertically on either side as support. While she will learn to support herself over time like most babies, you may choose to help her with placing her hand on the floor in the right position and inclination.

7. Rolling

Rolling is an excellent way to develop muscles of the trunk. All you need to do is just place one of her favourite toys a little beyond her reach on her left or right and keep alternating. She will do the rest.

8. Bumbo Chair

Bumbo chair serves very well when it comes to developing her skills to sit straight. All you need to do is to place toys on the tray table and she will get busy grabbing and playing with them – for which she has to sit straight. Playing with toys also helps her to develop fine motor skills.

What Next After Sitting Up?

Once your baby starts sitting confidently, she may lunge her body forward, balance on the hands and knees and rock back-and-forth. These are the first signs of her getting ready for the crawling phase of her development, a milestone that usually happens anytime between the 7th and 10th month but may vary from one child to another.


Having addressed the question about when do babies start sitting by themselves, it is important to note that babies become far more curious about their surroundings once they start sitting by themselves and would love to start exploring around. Child proofing your home therefore becomes very important.

Helping your child achieve her developmental milestones is not just about facilitating the process for her. It is also about participating in the process with her and having fun in the form of games and activities. Enjoy and cherish these months of parenting, as these moments will be gone in a blink.

Related Article | 7 Best Ways to Teach Baby to Crawl on Hands and Knees

Disclaimer: The content in this page and across this website are for informational and educational purposes only. In case of any concerns about your child’s growth and development, please contact your professional child healthcare provider.