44 answers

6 Month Old Won't Sit up on Her Own

I have a 6month old daughter who just won't sit up on her own. Her nanny and I try to sit her up and we count to see how long she will stay up. It has gone as long as maybe 30 seconds but that is it. We prop her up on high pillows and she squirms around until she falls over. Her grandmother recently bought her a walker, so sitting in that is strengthening her back some but I don't know if she is being lazy or she is just a slow developer. I worry because she will hardly eat more than 4 spoons of food before she wants her bottle and she has been on jar food and cereal since she was 4 months. She was born on the small side only weighing 6lbs. 9 oz. She also had RSV for two months when she was 3 month old so she lost weight then and she doesn't seem to be gaining it back quickly at all. She only weighs about 14lbs. now and she wears a 3-6 month with a little room. Am I overreacting and need to give it more time or should I be exercising her motor skills more. By the way, her mouth works just fine, because she can get louder than everybody else in the room when she is trying to talk.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks so much for the overwhelming amount of responses. Everyone was insightful and knowledgeable and pretty much concluded that I just need to let her take her time and go at her own pace. Almost everyone suggested the Bumbo seat, so I will stopping at Wal-mart on my way home today. Thanks again to all and be blessed!

Featured Answers

Hi E....I really wouldn't worry too much. All babies progress at different rates and even though it is easy to look at everyone else's babies and compare...DON'T! I have a 20 month old that didn't sit up until late...I bought her a Bumbo chair and it helped her a lot. By the way...she is now way ahead of most of the kids in their motor skills...

Good luck!!

You may want to ask her pediatrician whether it's possible that she's taken a developmental hit from her bout with RSV. Perhaps she'll catch up, perhaps she needs physical therapy.

The short answer: Give it more time. = )

My newest is also 6 months old and not yet sitting up unsupported for more than a few seconds. It's all good, she'll get there when she gets there. Remember, all the 'milestones' are just guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules. The clothes sizes are the same - my one friend's little boy was wearing 12month clothes at the age of 4months, and my first DD was always a full size 'ahead' of herself until she hit the toddler years. As for being 'lazy' that is not really a category that applies to infants this young.

Just to give you an idea, my older DD (now 4yrs old and was always perfectly happy & healthy) didn't crawl until she was 13 months and didn't walk until she was 16 months.

One question for you: are you using the Bumbo seat? I have one for my new daughter and I'm wondering if because that supported her so well that she didn't learn to use those muscles as early as she might have (or she could just be a slow developer, like her big sis = ) We've just started putting her in the Megasaucer for a little while some days, and that is certainly a workout for her, in terms of sitting up. = )

Oh, and my 6 month old isn't much into her cereal yet either, a few spoonfuls and then she's done trying. We started her on cereal at 5 months, now I'm adding different veggies to it to change the taste of it (she seemed to like the sweet potatoes, going to try something green this week. = )

Good luck!

More Answers

Don't stress yourself out- babies develop at different levels. As a physical therapist I can suggest ways for your to aid her but remember not to push it- if she gets frustrated stop and try again another day. Make sure she is still getting plenty of floor time to develop these skills herself- put toys around her that she would be interested in so that she is encouraged to sit or move toward them. Walkers, exercisaucers and bouncy seats are good for trunk control- I just caution hazards with walkers! They can be dangerous and do not assist in mobility of your little one. Let her sit between your legs so you can support her back and read or play with a toy at her eye level- this will promote the seated position.
She's just at the brink of sitting as a developmental stage so give her time but if you are truly concerned always talk to your doctor.

Hi,
I just read about your daughter and I was curious to how she was doing now. I am guessing she is about 7 months old now. From what I read she was very small for her age due to being sick and all. That would definately explain why she wasn't sitting up on her own. I'm guessing becuase she hadn't fully gained her strength back but I do understand your concern. I am sure I would be concerned too. I hope she is doing better since you wrote this. God bless and take care.
S.

Hello,
you can try a walker....sit her in it and if you need to put in some blankets around her so she does not wobble around and just leave her in there, you will get used to being in the "sit up" position and eventually do it by herself...i think its the easiest because you don't have to constantly watch her. make sure she has some toys to play with on the walker (the on either with wheels or not.....both of mine loved it because they were happy to see everything, just like if someone was holding them...

I would give her a bit more time but if you get concerned call your pediatrician and raise it. My daughter was born a month early weighing 4lb 14oz - she just turned a year and only weighs 17lbs and still fits in 6 month clothes! She was the same way when it came to eating too. I started putting my daughter in her be-be pod when she was 3 months old and used some blankets to prop her up and she was sitting up by the time she was 6 months old. I would also use her boppy pillow and sit her in her crib with some blankets around her to help her sit up as well at the beginning of 5 months. You might want to try these if you havent already. Good luck!

Hi E.,
It's good to run concerns by your pediatrician, but i can tell you that my twins didn't sit up until 9 months. The pediatrician recommended PT which they did for about 6 months. The funny thing is that these same boys who had 'gross motor delays" started riding two wheeled bikes when they were still 3 and were dribbling basketballs at 2. So, I say that so you know that slow starts with motor skills doesn't mean slow development forever. Also, my boys had RSV, they eat like horses and are small--just who they are and now that they will soon be 5 I'm comfortable with that.
Wow--that's a lot of money on clothes---I'd like her wardrobe! Just remember that as well intended as they may be, when everyone around her tries to spoil her rotten, you'll be the one who will bear the brunt of that burden. I have a friend who told me, "I only have one child, so if I wanna spoil him rotten and give him everything I never had, than I will." Now her son is 14 and she's regretted that decision for many years and trying to tell him 'no' to anything is a huge battle that ususally ends with him winning.
J. :-)

Hello E.,
I would suggest calling the local county infants and toddlers program. It is free and they will come out to your house to do an assessment. If she is delayed in her gross motor skills which it sounds like she maybe then they will give her physical therapy free of charge. They are very good at what they do. My son receives services from them and he has benefited greatly. Also about the weight issue. Ask your pediatrician if he/she is worried about your daughters weight if she is not then you shouldn't be either. If she won't eat the stuff you are giving her then give her stuff she absolutely likes. (i.e. peaches, applesauce....).
hope this helps

This is certainly a question for her pediatrician! But my mom-advice is that she probably just needs more time because of the RSV. If she had it for 2 months, well, that's 1/3 of her little life! Nasty business that RSV is...my son had it when he was 6 months old. Best of luck to you!

The short answer: Give it more time. = )

My newest is also 6 months old and not yet sitting up unsupported for more than a few seconds. It's all good, she'll get there when she gets there. Remember, all the 'milestones' are just guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules. The clothes sizes are the same - my one friend's little boy was wearing 12month clothes at the age of 4months, and my first DD was always a full size 'ahead' of herself until she hit the toddler years. As for being 'lazy' that is not really a category that applies to infants this young.

Just to give you an idea, my older DD (now 4yrs old and was always perfectly happy & healthy) didn't crawl until she was 13 months and didn't walk until she was 16 months.

One question for you: are you using the Bumbo seat? I have one for my new daughter and I'm wondering if because that supported her so well that she didn't learn to use those muscles as early as she might have (or she could just be a slow developer, like her big sis = ) We've just started putting her in the Megasaucer for a little while some days, and that is certainly a workout for her, in terms of sitting up. = )

Oh, and my 6 month old isn't much into her cereal yet either, a few spoonfuls and then she's done trying. We started her on cereal at 5 months, now I'm adding different veggies to it to change the taste of it (she seemed to like the sweet potatoes, going to try something green this week. = )

Good luck!

You may want to ask her pediatrician whether it's possible that she's taken a developmental hit from her bout with RSV. Perhaps she'll catch up, perhaps she needs physical therapy.

Hi E.,
She simply isn't ready yet. I have 2 year old and he was and able walk, run and climb stairs well before his milestone said he should, but he still isn't talking as much as it says he should. All children progress differently. Be patient she will get there. My son was born 1 mos. early and is not a great eater. That too comes in spurts. ;0) According to the doctor that is normal. She will eat when she is hungry. As long as she is taking her milk she should be fine.

Relax! She will be fine. Unless your pediatrician has shown concerns, you should not worry. Not all children sit up at 6 months; did someone tell you she would?

My oldest did not sit up completely on her own until 7 months and all are different. Also, it is not recommended to start cereals or any other foods until 6 months or later. Your daughter's weight is already more than double her birth weight and weight is not the sole factor to judge by - look at her overall health.

I know it may sound hard to do at times, but just try to relax and enjoy her time as a baby. It seems like you might be worried a little too much about how fast she is doing things, but seems (from what you have said) that she is right on target. Don't stress, just relax and have fun as these days will pass all too quickly - trust me!

E.,
I am going to echo what others have said - relax & don't worry! I am the mother of 3 (2 girls & 1 boy). My oldest, a girl weighed about what your daughter does at 6 months, and she did not sit unsupported until she was 8 or 9 months old, she didn't craw until she was 12 months old and took her first steps at 15 months old - she is a completely normal 6 year old now! If I had followed what the books said was normal, I would have gone crazy! By comparison, my other daughter was walking by 11 months.

My son is currently 6 months old and only sitting by himself (unsupported) for a few seconds at a time and only if I balance him properly when I sit him up. He just rolled over last night for the first time and it took a lot of work on his part. I use the Bumpo seat, boppy and I work with him to strengthen his core muscles (he was born Hypotonic). Even though he is "behind" the normal, I am not worried - I know that all kids develop at their own pace and as long as your doctor has not expressed concern, you should not be too concerned either.

On the other hand, if you are really worried, call your pediatrician and ask to speak with them about your concerns. See if they recommend an evaluation with Infants and Toddler (or another Early Intervention Program in your area). If for nothing else than your piece of mind!

Enjoy this time, it goes by so quickly and then you will wonder why you were rushing it!
Good Luck!

~ B.

some kids just develop slower than others. My daughter was very slow to master her gross motor skills, like sitting up, crawling and walking, but she is fine. She compensated by being quick with talking and other skills. I used the bumbo seat with my son and he seemed to sit up quicker and longer than she ever did. But then again, at 20 mo, he still is saying only a few words. Try not to worry too much, 6 mo is still pretty young.

My daughter had weak neck muscles when she was little and I tried walker's, etc. They worked ok, but when I bought a Bumbo seat, it worked wonders. I think b/c it's so supportive in the back, it helped her steady herself and she was sitting on her own within that month. I wouldn't worry, though. She'll be sitting before you know it, so relax :).

She will be fine! My daughter is 12 months and has reflux. She was behind a bit also- but out of nowhere it all changed.
I think you are doing what you should be doing.
About the feeding- babies do not NEED baby food prior to 12 months of life- the earlier you start them on foods to better chance they have of devolping a food allergy. Let her take her time with it!

Have you ever tried to take her to a non-force chiropractor? My daughter has been going since she was 3 months. It's very beneficial, maybe do some research or I could give you the name of mine. Your daughter might have some pinched nerves that are delaying her development. Hope this helps.

Angela

Hi E.,

I don't know what city you live you, but every city has a program to help mother's like yourself to determine if your baby has any developmental delays. Call the local school where you live and ask where they offer this service. In Portsmouth, they have the DAC Center. Good luck in finding the appropriate help.

D.

Have you tried to contact your local Infants and Toddlers Program. They have physical therapist that can come out to your home and assess her and give you some ideas to help with her development.

I wouldn't worry to much about it - she will do it when the time is right (although I know its not possible to not worry). My son only sat up around 6 months as well and I was worried about it too ...... I just dont think he liked sitting! But by 7 months he was crawling and now, at 8, he is everywhere! Similar to your daughter, my son is also on the small side (15 lb at 8 months), but it sounds like they are both happy, healthy little babies. Good luck!

Hi E.-
it's important to remember that the milestones vary for every child. I have two beautiful girls and although both sat up early (4 months) and stood up early (9 months, pulling up on the table), neither walked until after their 1st birthday. My girlfriends daughter didn't even sit up until she was 9 months and she was walking a week before her birthday. If your concerned you should definitely talk to your pediatrician. But don't loose sleep over it, your little wonder will do it all in her own time. Good luck and warm wishes for you and yours ;)
-S.

Hi E.. To use your words, I think that you might be overreacing. My son will be six months this Saturday and only sits up with support. He is strong in all other ways, as I'm sure your daughter is. Just relax and let her decide when it is time. I just started with solid foods. He loves the rice cereal, but we tried carrots last night and he hated them. I will just keep introducing them until he gets used to the taste and texture. Your daughter will also accept solids when ready. Don't worry. You sound like a wonderful mother and should not dwell on what others believe your daughter should be doing by this age--only she can decide.

Hi E....I really wouldn't worry too much. All babies progress at different rates and even though it is easy to look at everyone else's babies and compare...DON'T! I have a 20 month old that didn't sit up until late...I bought her a Bumbo chair and it helped her a lot. By the way...she is now way ahead of most of the kids in their motor skills...

Good luck!!

Hi E.,
I am sure you got all the advice you needed! But as I read your email, I thought I had to respond. My little guy is 6 months too, and needs support still to sit up. It is getting longer in periods now that he sits up by himself (maybe a minute or two), but still teeters over if left alone. When I was at the Doctors last Monday, he said that around 7-8 months he should be sitting up independently.
We own a BeBe Pod, but I saw that you might get a Bumbo. Good pick. the Bebe pod is not that great.
God bless you!

I would not worry. All babies develop at different speeds. To help her along, try the Bumbo seat (I think that helped my son a tremedous amount) Also, girls develop physically a little slower than boys and remember that the milestones are based on an average. I would not worry. Just keep an eye out!

Hi E.,
As long as your baby is being active is other ways, I wouldn't worry too much. Does she spend playtime on her belly? Does she roll from front to back? These are all important steps and usually happen before she'll sit on her own. Have you tried a Bumbo seat? Those help strengthen backs too. Overall, I would just give her a bit more time, and before you know it one day she's going from her belly to her butt in no time flat.
M.

I would not be so pressured to get her to sit on her own. every stage in a baby's development is only an age range, there really is no normal or exact date when these things will happen. I would just be patient. I would also try to avoid the walker, if it has wheels it could be very dangerous for your daughter. Also if you are worried about her muscle development I would speak with your pediatrician.

Hi, E.. Don't worry! Neither of my daughters couldn't sit up on their own until they were 6 1/2 months. Every baby goes at their own pace. A lot depends on their weight also. What you read about when children should reach their milestones is a guide, not a rule. Give her another month or two. She'll get there!

my two boys didnt sit up till they were 7 months...then they just took off and started crawling right away....i wouldnt be worried about it yet...

E., The bumbo seats work wonders. Try giving her toys to play with that she has to sit up inorder to play with them. My son didn't sit on his own until 9 months, but he could crawl and roll everywhere by the time he was 6 months. It varies by each child, as long as she is still doing other things she is supposed to, don't worry too much. If it would make you feel better, bring her into the doc and have her get checked out. That is what they are there for anyway!

Hello E.,
I understand your concern. My son is 6 months old and about the size of your daughter. He is also about where your daughter is with sitting. He does eat a ton but has never taken a bottle. She is doing a great job. She will pick up eating at her pace, my son also didn't want to eat at first. I just offer food two to three time a day and then he gets to nurse. I personally never force him to eat, I feel it may cause eating problems later. (that is all just my personal opinion). My comparison was my first son who crawled at 6 months and Walked at 8 months. My 6 month old is still smaller than my oldest son was at 2 months!!!!! The best advice I can give is to enjoy every moment and don't push her before she is ready. Life is full of challenges help her face each challenge with a smile and a hug for each little step. At this age a smile and a hug for sitting 30 seconds is all she needs to try for 30 more next time. Who am I kidding a smile and a hug goes a long way with my 2 year old and he is a handful!!
Enjoy this stage It will be over soon.
Shelby

E.,
The Bumbo baby seat is the best seat I have ever seen for babies and building their strength in their back and tummies. I know that they sell them at Toys R US for around $40.00, but you may be able to find them cheaper else where. The seats are comfortable yet firm enough to brace them and train their muscles. You can even buy a tray to place on the seat. The seat braces the child all around the body! They are fantastic! Hope this helps, Jenn G

call rappohanock area peds and infant program and ask them to come out an do a assesment. My daughter was behind and now is caught up. They bill insurance and are also a county program. I love them. I dont need the county to help with bills. They come out reguardless of income.

E.,

RELAX!!! My son is 8 1/2 months old and still doesn't sit up. Each baby is different and they all develop at a different rhythm. There's nothing wrong with your daughter. And don't be worried that she won't eat cereal. Just give her the bottle. As long as she eats and she's happy- that's all that matters.

Dear E., I am not sure if this is your first but it seems so by your story. Despite what doctors say or the "standard" or statistic....every baby is different. If she is eating, Great! If she is rolling, and scooching, GREAT! etc...
I am the mother of 3 and have a grand daughter. My grandaughter is pulling up already and moving around furniture. She is only 7 months old. There is no mold! I would not be too concerned. Girls are more dainty than boys too. Just keep a watchful eye as you seem to be doing and enjoy your new gift! I am sure she is wonderful! Have a great time with her and don't worry so much about going by the "book"...go by your baby....feed her when she is hungry....put her to sleep when she is tired, and keep trying to sit her up...one day she'll get it. My friends little girl is 7 months almost 8 months and she seems to be skipping the whole crawling process. All babies are different. Have a wonderful time raising her and be Blessed!
hugs
A.

My daughter is almost 6 mos old and is just now starting to sit unsupported and she rolled from belly to back only a couple of weeks ago. I think it just depends on the kid. I've learned not to compare her to other kids because then I just stress myself out. As long as she is thriving, I wouldn't worry about it.

Some babies don't sit up until 8 months. It doesn't mean that they're lazy or slow. All babies develop differently. Encourage, but don't force anything. She's a baby and will want the bottle for many more months. You shouldn't start weaning her off until 12 months. Don't judge or compare your baby to what "normal" is supposed to be. You'll just get yourself wound up.

Every child develops at their own pace and since your precious daughter had some problems early on she may need some extra tinme to catch up. Developmental milestones are meant to be only a guideline. But, the best person to assess your daughter's developmental progress is your pediatrician. If you haven't already, I would encourage you to make an appointment with your daughter's pediatrician to have her evaluated and discuss your concerns.

Sincerely,

Carol H.
Mother of one precious daughter, now age 22

My son, who is now six years old, was sitting unsupported by the time he was 4 months old but, now I also have a six month old little girl who won't sit up on her own. She has been using a walker and a stationary standing thing (not sure what to call it) since she was 4 months old. Just last week she started sitting for a few minutes at a time but, then she tries to reach out for something and topples over. She loves to be held and if I place my hands on her thighs to steady her she sits with no problem so, I know her back and stomach muscles are strong enough. I think it is a combination of preoccupation and a round bottom. I usually make sure to sit on the floor with her several times a day and work on getting her to sit unsupported other than that she will develop on her own terms. If your child doesn't seem to be developmentally behind in several other areas then you should have nothing to worry about. She'll get to it! :)

E.,

I didn't read the other posts so I apologize if I'm repeating anything.

I wouldn't worry about any of it! Every child is different, my son didn't sit up at 6 months either. She's not lazy or slow, just herself. The food situation isn't anything to be concerned about, I don't think. She'll catch onto solids when she's ready.

Hi E.! I just want to echo what everyone else said here. She is fine, and she will learn to do things on her own time. Especially since she is such a peanut, something like sitting up may take her a bit longer b/c she doesn't have as much "junk in the trunk" to help support her when she sits. It will come in time, as she gains her core strength. I recommend both the Bumbo and using the boppy pillow. Mostly the boppy, I'd say, as that will help her to learn how to balance, while the Bumbo will mainly help her to develop core strength.

I also want to debunk something I keep reading in replies. There is ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE that eating solids earlier than 6 mos will lead to food allergies. That is an old theory, which was recently disproven through several, cross-cultural studies. So don't be afraid to keep trying solid foods. It may take her time to "get it" but you are better off working with her on it. It has been my experience in raising two children and caring for many, many others as a nanny, that waiting too long to introduce solids leads to very picky eating habits. Just make sure she is getting enough nutrition through her formula (or breastmilk) and use solids as a "supplement" before 12 mos. But keep practicing, and eventually she'll "get it."

She sounds like an absolute blessing! Keep enjoying every second of her!

I would continue to work with her, maybe she just needs time. Also speak w/ her pediatrician. I am sure they would have spoken up by now if there was something to be concerned about. Maybe they could check her over real good for motor skills and muscle tone at her next check up.

hi E.- i read your post and i wanted to make a few comments that i thought might be helpful :) (I'm a mom to a 7month old baby girl). I've read quite a few articles and my pediatrician always assures me that babies develop at vastly different rates, so a 6 month old who isn't sitting up really isn't that big of a deal- esp since your baby was on the small side it might just take her a few weeks more to get the strength she needs to be able to do so. Can she prop herself up on her arms when laying on her tummy? does she squirm around and "pivot" on the floor when on her tummy? If she can do these things (or is working on them) then she's building strength and body awareness, and she should be just fine. if she can't, I'd recommend making sure she gets time on the floor to roll around and play by herself, or let her try to "climb" on you. babies can't really be "lazy" - they just have different temperments and motivations. sit on the floor with her without the pillows and play with her toys, motivate her to come get them, or hold them.
As for the walker- numerous studies have recently shown walkers to not only be dangerous (falling), but can actually impede the growth and normal development of an infant's legs, hips and back. Limit the amount of time you use things like that, and just let her develop naturally by moving around on the floor. babies reach milestones in their own time.
And about the food issue- keep giving her the bottle if she isn't interested in solids so much. pushing solids before a baby is ready (anytime in the 6-9 month mark) can backfire and cause the baby to develop food pickiness, and even obesity later in life. it's counterintuitive, but baby really does know best. if she seems to be thriving (gaining weight, cheerful disposition, sleeping well) and her doctor doesn't seem concerned, just keep an eye on her and make sure she's taking in about 24 oz of formula/breast milk a day, with solids as a supplement. From your description of her, she sounds like she is doing just fine, and is obviously not lacking in the love department!!

Good luck and try not to worry! btw- any strategies for getting a baby to sleep thru the night?! haha
jenny

I would recommend a bumbo or a boppy pillow, those worked for my boys! As far as her eating, babies sometimes go through that, where they hardly want to eat, or where they eat alot, she's probably just going to be petite, or if it continues to worry you, you can always ask her Doctor!
Hope this helps, and good luck with your little girl!

A. C.

Our daughters are very close in age. My little girl is just a couple weeks older (she'll be 7months next week) and she just recently started sitting up on her own. Like yours, she started by holding herself up for a few seconds before falling over. Eventually she got the hang of it and is now sitting up for several minutes at a time. My advice is to relax and enjoy every stage without worrying about meeting milestones on other babies' schedules. We could all go nuts if we tried to follow everything we read in the baby books!

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