Once your baby has mastered stationary positions such as lying on their belly, sitting, and standing, it is important to promote movement in and out of these positions. Initially, children have to be placed in these positions in order to practice and become independent, which is part of typical development. However, the excitement starts when children learn how to move from one skill to the other, which overall increases their mobility. These transitional movements help increase play and help your little one explore their environment.
4-6 Month Milestones: Rolling Over
Children should be rolling from their belly to back by four to five months old and from back to belly by five to six months old. Tummy time is super important, and encouraging your baby to rock side to side or reaching for toys while they are playing on the floor can help promote rolling.
6-7 Months Old: Side-lying to Sitting
At age 6-7 months, babies can typically sit up. This is when they become very active! Encouraging your child to play in a side-lying position and teaching them to transition to sitting from this position is a good way to build their core strength and mobility.
To encourage your baby to practice side-sitting, place a toy to the side of your baby, and encourage them to reach just out of their base of support. Watch how they move their legs to side sitting. Practicing this transition will prepare them to get into a crawling position.
8-9 Month Milestones: Sitting to Quadruped (Hands and Knees)
By eight to nine months, babies are pushing into quadruped position and are getting ready to crawl! Help your child get onto their hands and knees from sitting so they have more opportunities to begin crawling.
To help your baby transition from the quadruped position to kneeling, place a toy on a support surface such as a table, chair, couch, etc. and encourage your child to transition from hands and knees to a tall kneeling position at the support surface.
When Do Babies Start Crawling?
Babies typically begin crawling around 9 months old. Once your baby is comfortable in quadruped position, you can start encouraging this stance to help promote crawling.
9-10 Month Milestones: Kneeling to Standing
By nine to ten months, children begin to pull themselves up to stand at a support surface and practice standing and cruising along furniture.
Remember, these transitions are all part of typical development and most of the time happen naturally. If you feel your child is having trouble with any of these movements or positions, our physical therapists can help promote mobility and strength in order to achieve important gross motor milestones!
Marisa Asta is a Physical Therapist at the Manalapan and Edison Sunshine Centers. She graduated with her doctorate from Ithaca College in 2019 and has been working in pediatrics ever since. Marisa found her passion for working with children with Autism, and other developmental conditions, while working at a specialized pre-school for children with disabilities. She also has experience in treating various orthopedic and neurological conditions in children of all ages, as well as adults, in various settings.