21 answers

8 Months and Not Sitting on His Own


My "little man" is 8 months old. I call him a "little man" because he weights 27 pounds and is about 32 inches long. When he was born he weighted 9.13. When he was 4 months old he had to have his circ done again, have both testicles pulled down and tacked along with have double hernia removal.

So, having that said. He is not sitting up on his own. With our help, we sit him up and he plays with toys that we put in front of him with both hands. I put some toys just out of his reach to see what he would do. He tried to grab them and then fell over. He did not try to catch himself. He does really well rolling over and pushes up. When we lay him down in his crib for nap time or bed time. I peek in there to see how he is doing. He rolls over and looks above the bumper pads as if he wants to play peek-a-boo. He thinks that's funny.

I am just concerned that since he has had all of this done, he is delayed at sitting up and crawling. He does not want any part of crawling. We put him on his tummy and try to put his knees under him and he sure does get mad. I put toys out of reach for him so he will try and get them. So, far that has not worked.

We have put him in his walker and he loves it. He gets around really well in it. He has found the drawers under the tv. He knows he is not suppose to play over there and as he is grabbing the drawer handle he is looking right at you.

Anyway, if you have any tips on how to help my "little man" that would be wonderful.

I forgot to mention that my son is 98% in height, weight and his head. He stands very well in his walker. He did have physical therpy after his surgery. He also had to wear a helmet for his head being misshaped from being on his back to much.

My daughter is 12, and I look back and see where she was at this point. She was 18 months when she weighted 27lbs. But she was born at 7.7, and I know I can't compare because all babies are different.

Thanks for all the advice!

Thank you!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Over the weekend, my son decieded to scoot backwards on his belly. Like of like they do in the Service. I was cracking up. He is trying to sit up in his crib.

Thanks for all the advice that everyone has given me! We work with him daily. My mother-in-law watches him and she is an CNA so she works with him sitting up and things like that.

Thanks again!

Featured Answers

Hi, L.

My son was also always at 98% on the chart. He only sat on his own at 10months, started crawling at 11,5 months and walked at 16 months. People were always asking what was wrong with him because he was so big and couldn't do the things they expected him to be able to do. He is now 11 years old, still big for his age but keeps up with his peers perfectly.

He'll sit up a crawl when he's ready. My daughter sat up by six months but didn't crawl til a year and didn't walk until 15 months. She's perfectly fine now at 28 months. They all develop at their own pace. I would think the bigger the baby is , the harder it would be for them to learn to crawl. And you have one big baby! LOL I thought my daughter had been big....

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My now 14 mo old was in the same place at 9 mos and my pediatrician completely freaked me out...I have two other kids and really feel 98% of the time kids just do it in their own time, so when she reccomended her for EI (early intervention) I was shocked. While she had no surguries in her first year of life she was sick entirely from 4 to 12 months (chicken pox, rsv, the croup and then colds in between, leaving only one well week). She is now 14 months and walking...she just needed a little extra time. i would also imagine that being so big makes it a little more challenging to master all the skills...we went ahead and did the eval (it's free and can only be helpful...) so I would maybe discuss it with your ped at his 9 mo if you are still concerned.

sometimes these thing take a little more time.I thought my sson would never crawl. he he still fell over quite a bit at 7 and 8 month and he also loned his walker. now he just over a year and running all over the place pestering the cat. poor kitty. so just be patient if you are not sure check with the doc. It will all be fine.

L. - First I would check with your Dr. but it sure sounds like a normal response to all he's been through. Some babies never crawl and go straight to walking so I wouldn't worry about that at all. I'd just keep giving him opportunities to reach for those toys and eventually he'll figure out how to catch himself. He's obviously curious and devious just like he should be. :) Enjoy this time before he crawls/walks as he'll be into even more soon! LacyLyn

I also have huge babies, both of them off the charts. My now 3-year old walked at 11 months, and my 12 month old isn't walking yet. I'm not worried, but I was a little concerned when my 12 months old wasn't crawling at 10 months. I went to the Dr for his checkup and they asked if he uses an exersaucer. The Dr. said that it can actually delay their sitting up/crawling because they're not using their own muscles to pull themselves up. He said he'd rather see the kids going through the developmental stages on their own, without the help of the walker. They recommended more tummy time (which we were pretty lax on doing with our second), and with 2 20-minute sessions per day, within a week or two he was sitting, and trying to crawl! It was amazing what a little "real" exercise on his tummy did. So maybe that's your son too, who knows? Ask your Dr. and try the regular tummy time, even if he gets mad at first it's good for him. (You could work up to the 20 min. if he hates it- start at 5, then 10 after a couple days, etc.)
Best wishes!

Hi there - don't worry too much - that being said, be sure the pediatrician is aware of what he's doing. It sounds to me like, due to his size, that one thing might be mastering the balance to sit up. The fact that he isn't trying to catch himself when he falls over means he could still be a month or longer away from sitting up on his own. There's a name for the reflex where you put your arm out instictively to catch yourself, and it's definitely a developmental milestone. So you want to watch for that one.

The other obstacle is that most likely his little legs are really strong from his walker, but his core isn't. The walker facilitates strength on the bottom half of babies' bodies, and almost none on top. He needs to start spending a significant amount of time down on the floor on his tummy in order to build up the strength to hold himself up when sitting.

And there is no way he will crawl before he sits - again, his core doesn't have the strength.

I would involve my pediatrician in help with this issue to help your little man along.

Best of luck.

Not to be a naysayer, but most general pediatricians don't necessarily catch all the signs for Early Intervention qualification. My son has very mild delays which I feel would have frustrated him in preschool if we hadn't been involved with Early Intervention. My gut feel was right and EI was a Godsend. You can request information from your pediatrican to contact EI services. The evaluation is free and usually done in your home. Then they scale a monthly payment based on your family income and usually have a therapist come to your house 1x/week until your child reaches age 3. If your son qualifies, he may not even need services beyond 3 because at that point his muscles/motor development could be on target. It did wonders for my son's physical and emotional development and his self-esteem. He is far and away better off than he would have been if left to "just being a boy" who do things on their own schedule. Also, keep in mind that just because you may consider EI, doesn't mean there is anything "wrong" with your son. He could just need a bump in his motor development. Good Luck! Judy


I think your little man sounds adorable. It's easy to fret over these things especially with all todays concentration on milestones but I truly think your little guy is going at his own pace.

He's tall so it's going to take a little longer for him to hold all that body up. And crawling...there are two people in my gymboree class who's babies didn't start any kind of crawl (creeping, etc) until 9 months.

Keep working with him and one day it will just happen. I also recommend the Parents Yoga DVD which helps babies work on their core which is what holds them up when sitting/standing.

Best of luck to you and your little man!

My daughter, Willow, is also a very large little girl. Shes in the 96th percentile, at 24lbs, and shes not even 8 months old yet. And like your son- she doesnt sit well on her own, nor does she care about crawling. Dont worry though- all babies are different! My dad says that I was WALKING at 8 months!!! Also- I'm an older mother- at 36 years old. And all my other children progressed at different rates, too. Theres probably nothing going on with your son, and you just wait- before long you'll be chasing him all over the place!

What does your doctor say? I know they seem to not say much for a long time. It could be something other than his size and surgeries, and that is poor muscle tone in his legs. Did he make his little legs stiff and sort of stand on them when he was one month or so? Most babies do this sometime in the first months. If he did not and his legs have always just sort of hung there with him using them very little, i.e. little kicking on his back, not wrapping them around you when you hold him on your hip, not helping you pick him up from the change table, then I would consider this as a possibility. I'm afraid I don't know what its technical name is but it's referred to as "ragdoll" something. Don't want you to get upset, it's somewhat common and very treatable.

As far as tips to get him to do it.......don't rush him. He'll do it on his own time. As long as your dr. doesn't see any concerns with his physical development, please don't be. And...don't compare him to the other babies you meet or feel he is deficient - his milestones will come in his own speed. It sounds like he is a happy guy who gets a lot of attention! Life is good. Good luck.

Placing him in a Bumbo would be a good idea. It is at Target and it is something you sit him in and it helps him get stronger. Early intervention program may not hurt. Just call and get evaluated. Three of my girls all had speech and i had to do it. My ped didn't say anything and also my son was severly bough legged when he was one and i took that into my own hands and was corrected with in weeks. sometimes you just have to take it in your own hands. My last daughter was 9'11OZ AND 22 inches and was sitting up at 6 months and is now 10 and almost walking so i don't think weight has anything to do with it. But every kid is different. My nephews don't crawl until they are 10 months and walk at14 to 15 months and they turn out great.

He'll sit up a crawl when he's ready. My daughter sat up by six months but didn't crawl til a year and didn't walk until 15 months. She's perfectly fine now at 28 months. They all develop at their own pace. I would think the bigger the baby is , the harder it would be for them to learn to crawl. And you have one big baby! LOL I thought my daughter had been big....

Hi, L.

My son was also always at 98% on the chart. He only sat on his own at 10months, started crawling at 11,5 months and walked at 16 months. People were always asking what was wrong with him because he was so big and couldn't do the things they expected him to be able to do. He is now 11 years old, still big for his age but keeps up with his peers perfectly.

Dear L.,

I would ask your pediatrician for a referral for an Early Intervention evaluation. If your pediatrician says that your baby is too young (I'd be surprised, but you never know) just point out that by the time you call and get the appointment etc, more time will have passed, and if they say he needs the intervention you will have to find a provider, all of which takes time. I'm not saying this to scare you, but it sounds like your little man has been through a lot this year, and he might just need a little help to catch up. I'm a huge fan of EI. I have 3 kids, and our whole family is in the nerdy/uncoordiated/unathletic end of the gene pool. I've posted about EI type stuff before, if you want to look for my older posts. We got physical therapy through EI for my first, and not only did it help make her stronger and more coordinated, the experience made her feel so positive about exercise and athletic activity. As a kid, I grew up feeling like I wasn't good at sports, I was always the worst/slowest kid, so I never wanted to seek out stuff like that to do on my own. My experiences were all negative, so I didn't want more of them. Her experiences have all been so positive. She thinks she can do anything, and if she can't, she keeps trying until she can. Its because the EI people helped her so much and exposed her to so many different physical activities. I just can't say enough good things about EI. Please consider an evaluation, and if they say everything is fine, that's even better. Good luck!

My 8 month old daughter is exactly where your son is with sitting, and she's not had any of the physical concerns your son has, so I don't think it's to do with that. She is in the 75th percentile in weight, height and head size. All babies are different and they'll get it in due time. I would caution that some experts warn against walkers because they can hamper the development of normal walking.

He is big and that is why he's taking his time. Continue to put him on his belly and putting him in his walker thing so he can strengthen his back and abdomine while in it. Sitting with him on the floor while you hold him up is also exercise for him. At his 9 month check up discuss it with your pediatrician to reassure you he is okay and perhaps he/she will have some tips to help him along.

Hi L.,

I read in the American Academy of Pediatrics child care book ages birth to five that some walkers actually don't strenghten the right muscles for walking, although from a physical standpoint, the book also says walkers don't their harm their development either. I'm not suggesting you take it away but I also wondered if he's getting around in it so well that he lacks the incentive. It's just a thought. My daughter has always been in the 90th to 95th percentile for weight so I can relate to having a large child. I definitely wanted to see her walking on her own 'cause she was so heavy but unless your pediatrician is worried, I wouldn't be concerned (easy to say, hard in practice). It does sound like you are doing all you can to get him upright on his own. Best wishes.

A child at my son's sitter was almost a 10 lb baby too and he simply refused to crawl. Then when he finally crawled, he wouldn't walk. It was a very long process for him and just because he was a big baby, it was hard for him to get around. All of the other little babies would be running around and there he'd sit in his Exersaucer, just hanging out. You refere to your son as your little man, well this baby was a butterball. I can say with almost complete certainty, I have never seen such a big baby! Not just chunky but BIG. To this day, he's many inches taller than any other child his age (almost 2). He's just a big kid and I would imagine it was laboring for him to move around with his weight. Plus your son's surgery maybe delayed him a little. Just give him some time. I would say that as long as your doctor is ok with it, then I'm sure he's just fine. Some kids just take a little longer.

I also have a larger son who is having trouble holding himself up. Tummy time is the key in building lots of strength. I force him on his tummy till he gets very upset, then I let him roll over. You have time, my daughter did not sit on her own until she was 9 months. We had her in Physical Therapy for other reasons, but the therapists showed us how to get her to sit on her own. Pediatricians are very relaxed and they probably won't reccomend PT. I went to a Physical Therapist on my own, we also have a PPO so we did not need a refferal. I may have my son get a little PT to help him along. Is he grabbing his feet while on his back, that curling motion is like a crunch and helps build the ab muscles. I also use a therapy ball on both of my kids. The PT gave me lots of excersises to do with my daughter on the ball and now I use those same techniques with my son. Good Luck!, I go to City Kids on NW Highway for my kids therapy, they are the best.


My son also had to have a reshaping helmet (just graduated 3 weeks ago after 5 months) and has been in PT for a year now through First Steps (early intervention in IN). I really think you need to have your doctor recommend PT again. If your ped. doesn't want to then you need to call whoever your state early intervention program is and have him evaluated, there is no cost to do this.

It sounds like he might have low muscle tone which is what my son has. He did an army scoot with one arm starting at 7 month old but didn't really crawl until his first birthday. He is now 14 1/2 months and isn't walking. He pulls up on everything but just won't take those first steps himself. We tried alot of wheelbarrel positioning with him, you hold the back part of them up and he hold himself up with his shoulders. My son hated this. I also hold him on my chest, face to face, and lay on the floor on my back and roll him side to side. This helps him learn to support himself when he falls (he learns to lean the other way). We also would sit him up and make him lean to the side and support himself with his arm. We also tried putting a towel/blanket under his chest/stomach and holding him up while trying to get him to stay on his arms and legs.

I never realized how these first "steps" at the key to soo many developmental things. Bacause my son hasn't been on his hands crawling his now will begin occupational therapy to work on his fine pincing grasp. The longer he goes without crawling/sitting and then walking the more he will get behind because instead of doing what he is supposed to do at 12 months he will be learning it at, say 16 months, so he has missed out on 6 months of walking and learning those developmental things during that period of growth.

Good luck to you and your son! Feel free to contact me with any questions as we have been there and are going through the same thing right now.


First thing is check with your pediatrician, they are usually best source. If you really want to go forward see a physical therapist or occupational therapist. They can help you with exercises that you can even do at home. One thing I do know, they always say it's best for children to crawl first before walking. At this point I would think your son should definitely be able to sit up on his own. I too had a larger son and that shouldn't detain them from this. I would really look into therapy and get going quick to resolve any issues with core muscles. I have a daughter who had to go through therapy so I learned alot about this. Good luck!!!!

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