Working on Sitting Skills with Baby

By: Michelle Yuen, Physical Therapist

Hey Mom! Want some tips and tricks to get your little one sitting? Let’s have a ball! 🏀

You don’t need a fancy new toy to motivate your little one. Something as simple as a ball can be used to encourage your little one to sit! The Dollar Store is a great place to find a ball to use if you don’t already have one at home.

HOW DOES THIS WORK? 

Use a ball in front of your child to help them to prop-sit. This will encourage them to push through their arms and also allow their back to straighten (trunk extension). You are encouraging proper sitting and having so much fun!

SITTING IS A PROGRESSION OF SKILLS

  1. Placed in a sitting position
  2. Prop sitting (with arms in front of them)
  3. Reaching in sitting (with one arm support)
  4. Two hand play with sitting
  5. Getting into/ out of sitting

WHAT IS NEEDED PHYSICALLY TO SIT?

  • Head/neck control
  • Upper body strength
  • Postural strength/ control
  • Trunk stability
  • Symmetrical weight bearing 

OTHER IDEAS TO PRACTICE SITTING

Start working on sitting on a firm crib mattress on the floor.  Why? The baby can reach and play and if they do fall they are safe. Keep your hand on the babies lap to help give them ground their center of gravity while they play. Also try a toy that is up right. Small toys or rattle may encourage them to lay down on the floor to play. 

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An 8-week program for children age 4-5 with sensory processing differences

Children with sensory processing differences have difficulty with regulation, which sometimes makes it difficult for them to interact with the world around them. Our Sensory Explorers group targets regulation in order to build engagement! This group is led by pediatric occupational therapist Mackenzie Baldock and developmental therapist/PLAY Project Consultant Brenna Thompson, both of whom specialize in using developmentally appropriate strategies to support children so they can learn new skills. Group meets once/week for 60 minutes.

Wondering if this class is appropriate for your child? Some characteristics of kids who benefit: easily frustrated with play, repetitive play, difficulty sitting/keeping still to engage in play, refuses to allow others to engage in play, unable to be messy, overly busy, quickly overwhelmed in a busy environment, picky eater, difficulty tolerating grooming/dressing/diapering routines, struggles with transitions/following a group plan/routine. 

Goals of the group include:

  • Child participating in a variety of sensory play activities
  • Engaging socially with others in the group
  • Providing a non threatening environment where children can experience new sensations with the support of a pediatric Occupational Therapist and PLAY Project consultant
  • Providing personalized resources to caregivers, so they better understand the sensory system and learn strategies to assist their child with regulation outside of group
  • Opportunity to meet with other local families
 
 

GROUP MEETS for 8 weeks March 14- May 9: Tuesdays 3:30-4:30. Caregivers must stay on the premises to support their child and learn helpful strategies. Children will separate from caregivers for the session; caregivers can socialize at our coffee bar in the lobby (we will also provide a few toys for siblings to play). Caregiver education is a key component of this program. 

 

OPTIONAL Summary Report available at close of session. This 2 page report will summarize your child’s participation in the class and provide helpful sensory strategies to increase their participation in activities. This report could be given to teachers in classrooms & daycares or utilized to help educate other caregivers about ways to help your child participate. This option includes a 30 minute Zoom meeting with Brenna and MacKenzie to review the report and discuss your child’s progress in Sensory Explorers. COST: $100 due at sign up