Most websites on google will tell you that ‘sitting’ is a developmental milestone that comes before crawling and babies generally start sitting independently once they turn 7 months old. I knew, I would never prop my baby to sit but at the end of 5 months, Anika could sit independently (without propping) and she loved it, so I helped her to sit up from supine position whenever she requested (extending hands and arching back).
I knew something wasn’t right. But I told myself it’s just a phase, she does not like floor time and it will get better soon. Like this few weeks past by, no signs of wanting to go back to floor time. Sure her sitting posture improved and she wanted to sit for even longer each day. But having to put her up in a posture that she couldn’t get into or out of, just didn’t feel right. What was I doing wrong? Many books and most sites on google say, sitting comes first before crawling….but my heart was aching and I knew I was doing something wrong. It was a light bulb moment for me, when i joined all the dots and realized…Anika started disliking tummy time only once she could sit. There was a direct link! Sitting wasn’t helping her get more mobile or independent, which meant it was a bad move. I started researching this and found this article by RIE expert Janet Lansbury, please read it.
- Sitting is much easier than back time and also better view, so why will a baby want to go back on their tummy or back? I wouldn’t either.
- Anika needed to depend on me to sit her up, which does not encourage independent play.
- I always have a pillow behind, “just in case” she falls back, which takes away her and my confidence in her sitting ability.
- She has been tummy crawling backwards since last month but things have not moved forward from there because she is not getting substantial tummy/ back time (prerequisite to crawling) to progress.
- She moves 360 degrees while sitting and she can get into crawling position from sitting but if done organically it should happen the other way around. That is, she should crawl before being able to put herself into the seated position.
Decision was made it took me 4 days to undo her sitting habit. This is how I went about it…Firstly, hubby and I were convinced as could be that we had to stop seating her. There was no 2 ways about that…
Day 1– was the hardest day. On an average she would spend 30% play time (not counting meal times as sitting is a given) on floor and 70% seated. We pretty much did a 50% seated and 50% floor time on Day 1. She complained and every time she did, I would just lie down and put her on my tummy and start interacting with her. This was the only way we were getting through this…Anika never complains because she honestly believes that mama makes the best mattress 😀
Day 2– 60% floor time and 40% seated time. I continued putting her on my tummy when she complained. I also started going down to her level (on my tummy) and interacting with her. I got some new work material out to keep her interested and busy.
Day 3- 80% floor time and 20% seated time. Babies are creatures of habit! It’s amazing how quickly they adjust! Very few complaints and I continued to engage on her eye level when she did fuss.
Day 4- today was 100% floor time while playing. Not too many complaints. So happy it’s progressed well.
It might not be a 4 day transition for every baby. They all are so different but here is a blog I wrote few weeks back on “20 ways to Encourage Tummy Time“, which will also be helpful. Here is another great read to go about the transitioning back to sitting by Janet Lansbury.
My aim of wanting to transition her back to floor time is not so she can crawl faster but I would love for my daughter to have graceful, organic movements which come when a baby is allowed to develop at their own pace.
What next? A very clear focus on NEVER putting her in any position, she cant get into by herself. This means not standing her or walking her either. Hubby and I have been pulling her to stand (naughty, naughty!) while we dance with her. Last 4 days, I go on my tummy/ back and dance with her she does not seem to mind. I think I might look like a drowning octopus though haha. I also plan to share these articles on why I wont walk, sit or stand my child with my in-laws because they spend time with her every week. Its important everyone is on the same page. Hope this blog helps someone <3