One of the most common questions I get asked as a therapist and educator is “when can I start practicing sitting with my baby?” Sitting is such a fun milestone for parents and oftentimes when they feel like their baby starts to become a little more independent. But it is important to consider a few factors when thinking about sitting skills. Positioning starts with the pelvis and we need to make sure that our baby’s pelvis is in good alignment to promote good posture and balance for sitting.
Checklist for Proper Pelvic PostureWhen looking at good posture in the sitting position, we ideally would like to see:
- Pelvis tilted slightly forward, called anterior pelvic tilt
- Equal weight bearing through both sit bones
- Head aligned in the middle of the body and aligned with the hips (not tilting to the side or protruding forward)
When all these boxes are checked, we know that your baby is in the most stable sitting position and the core and back muscles are aligned and activated. This slight anterior tilt of the pelvis is also a very alerting position. It triggers your Reticular Activating System in your brainstem, which controls your focus and attention – pretty cool, right! Obviously, we want our babies to be alert while working on important sitting skills to maintain good posture and engage with their surroundings!
Does the Upseat Promote Upright Posture?Unlike other traditional floor seats, the Upseat has taken all of these postural must-haves into account already! While many other seats have rounded or bucket-type seats, the Upseat offers an ergonomic seat that automatically positions your baby’s pelvis into that slightly forward position. This means your baby doesn’t have to work against the shape of the seat to get good muscle activation and posture, but can instead focus on good head control, using the arms and engaging with his environment.
Try this out yourself: sit on the floor with your back rounded all the way down. Your shoulders and head will likely slump forward, and it will feel hard to look around or lift your arms up easily. Now, activate your core and push your pelvis forward toward your thighs. Did you feel your body wake up a little? Now you can hold your head up straighter, look around, and freely use your arms because your core is activated and engaged!
With so many different devices on the market claiming to be the “best of the best,” it is so important to look at the components of them through a developmental perspective. I love that the Upseat consulted trained, skilled pediatric professionals to come up with the best design for their seat. The pelvis is such an important factor in stability and overall function, so it is important to find baby gear that takes special care to address its positioning.
Brittany is a pediatric physical therapist and owner of Mommy & Me PT! She has been a therapist for almost a decade, treating kids of all ages and abilities. She found her true passion for educating parents on developmental topics when her daughter was born and realized so many parents have the same questions. Follow her on Instagram (@mommyandme.pt) for tons of tips and tricks to foster your baby’s motor development through play!