Baby development

When do babies sit up?

First comes rolling then comes...sitting up! Here's when to expect your baby to start sitting on her own.

By Tralee Pearce

Photo: iStock Photo: iStock

Muscle development starts with the head and neck, and moves down the torso, through the legs to the feet. As your baby’s neck muscles become strong enough to hold up her head, she’ll try to roll over and then sit up. From there, she’s ready to start cruising along furniture and, eventually, walk. What can take mere minutes in the animal kingdom—a foal often stands within an hour of being born—can require between 10 and 14 months (or longer) to develop in humans.

And while we gush about walking, the skill of rolling over is a crucial one to tune in to. Just as I was loving the momentary freedom of being able to put my son down in the middle of a bed or couch to fetch something (like those socks!), he was working on rolling over. No parent wants that first roll to include a plop to the floor, so keep an eye out. While most babies can roll from front to back and vice versa by eight months, this skill can develop sooner. By the age of six or seven months, he’ll also likely be sitting up by himself and even supporting his weight on his legs with a little help from you.

The first year is full of firsts! Check out our guide to all those fun milestones—plus a print out you can put on your fridge.

A version of this article appeared in our March 2016 issue with the headline, "A really big year," p. 55.

This article was originally published on May 04, 2016