Day 5 Rolling up to sit
One of the main things a child has to understand to be able to sit up is not how to struggle to do it. It is not even rolling over the elbow - this will be in the right position automatically if the child doesn`t work against the movement.
A hugely important factor in sitting is actually understanding how to shift weight, and use rotation. If you are not sure how this could unfold you will find an example below. If your child is already able to sit up but struggles to do so, this lesson will make the movement easier and smoother.
- Use everything you know about bending and rolling forward / looking down. Touching oneself, playing with the feet, and looking down will help, as well as anything to do with breathing - this makes the thoracic spine flexible.
- Sit in a comfortable position that allows you to push against the floor - either sitting at the side of a bed or pushing your own elbows against the floor (all I do here is bend my arm).
- You can lift either the pelvis or the head. Work on whatever is easier, and then switch from one to the other.
- Let the child rest and relax (lying on the floor) now and then - this helps the muscles of the back to change their tonus and get long.
- Pulling arms and legs together gently toward the ceiling will also help the back muscles to let go.
- Help your child to round its back, so it can roll easily - by bringing the elbows under the knees, or the feet to the face.
- Do this "preparation" for about 10 minutes.
- Only then start rolling the child forward (sitting) and back in smooth movements.
- Do not try to let the child help or do it by itself, this is a passive movement. Sitting up is actually more about training the vestibular system in this movement and allowing the freedom of the joints than it is about training strength.
- Do this for about 5 minutes, in many variations, and to both sides.
- Go slow and allow for breaks. This can make a child quite dizzy.
- If your child is already able to sit for a short time while supported, possibly gently pulling the arm diagonally over the body will be enough - the emphasis, however, is on bending and rotation.
- Always be sure to stabilize and protect the neck and the back of the head.
Below you will see an example of me working with a child in a position where it is really easy to roll up. The important message for the child here is the weight shift. Given the right position, sitting up should be easy.