When your kiddo can sit upright independently. The next step is moving back and forth between laying on their tummy (prone) and sitting. Below are some tips we utilize during pediatric physical therapy sessions. These tips can help kiddos build the strength and skills they need to move between positions on their own.
Sitting to all-fours positioning over your leg (or boppy pillow or towel roll):
- With your kiddo sitting in front of you right next to your leg and facing away from you.
- Hold them at their hips and gently help to push them into your hands and knees positioning them over your leg.
- Then, help them move back to sitting by tucking their bottom leg under and gently guiding through their hip back into sitting.
Not only does this help improve your kiddo’s transitional skills. But your leg also offers them some support. At the same time, they practice maintaining weight-bearing through their arms and legs, which helps build muscles they’ll need to transition from sitting to prone successfully. And hands and knees position. Which will also help prepare them for creeping (crawling on hands and knees).
Prone to sitting:
- Have your kiddo laying on their belly facing away from you.
- Attract their attention to a toy so that they have to look up and move into a side-lying position.
- Once laying on their side, pull the toy back, so your kiddo is encouraged to sit upright, and help them by gently pulling through their hip towards you to assist into upright sitting.
- For beginners, you can have your kiddo side-lying on a boppy pillow, towel roll, or leg, so they don’t have to pull up quite so far on their own, which still helps them build their core strength.
We like to say you have to have “stability before mobility,” so you’ll know your kiddo is ready to start practicing these transitions when they can maintain independent sitting. Then, they can begin to reach for toys and track toys without losing their balance. If you’re concerned that your child is not yet able to transition in and out of positions on their own, don’t hesitate to seek out a PT referral for your kiddo to be evaluated at a pediatric therapy clinic.