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I though it was just a phase, but it's been two or three weeks already and doesn't stop. My 9 month old has an imperative to sit. She absolutely has to sit. When put to bed, even if extremely sleepy, she will try to roll to her belly and push herself up to sit. When laid down again, she will sit again. The process will repeat until she is tired and sleepy enough to fall asleep when on her belly, still half trying to sit, but failing to.

Sometimes at night she wakes. And then she sits. After a few seconds she either starts complaining or falls asleep again. If she falls asleep - she is in some really weirdly bent positions (she once fell asleep with her head between her legs - she was sitting then she just laid her torso and head). I am fairly certain I once found her sleeping while sitting.

She also hardly lays when awake. She only does it when we give her something to eat, and we do it only to make her lay for a while.

Advice I could use is:

  • did your children behave the same way?
  • can we somehow encourage more laying on her back or belly time?
  • how to effectively lay her down to bed?
  • is so much sitting (95% of awake time, 10-11h per day) safe for her spine?
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It never changes. My daughter wore bloody blisters on both hands after learning to "pump" herself higher on the swings. The new skill is always the best. Of course you should talk to your doctor with any health concerns, but infants are pretty flexible. –  Marc Aug 12 at 3:17

4 Answers 4

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Sometimes, when a baby learns something new (sitting, crawling, standing, walking) they want to do it ALL the time. They can even wake themselves up to do it at night, it is that exciting.

did your children behave the same way?

when sleeping, my babies would never just lay down when tired. They would cry, and when they could sit/stand do that. We had to hold them until about 18 months for our first (still holding/rocking no 2). At that time he was old enough to understand when I told him to lay down in bed.

As soon as my kids learned something, like sitting or pulling up and standing, that was what they wanted to do. During the day, if they could sit they would.

can we somehow encourage more laying on her back or belly time?

I don't think I know of anything for a 9 month old. Most of engaging toys are equally or more engaging when sitting.

how to effectively lay her down to bed?

Don't have a good answer here, as I said, we rocked our babies to bed.

is so much sitting (95% of awake time, 10-11h per day) safe for her spine?

I don't have any references handy, but I do not think so. At 9 months she should be soon trying to crawl and pull up soon (Does she do that?). Most of her interaction will be looking at the world and toys. Both my kids were sitting about 5-6 month (with support in the beginning) and they absolutely preferred that. They don't have any spine issues! I don't think laying down is that 'natural' for a curious baby. I never felt it was necessary to encourage my babies to lay down - I encouraged them to sit and crawl and stand.

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I think sitting up at this age is good for her - even if she's going to some extremes. One of the things that babies work on with sitting is their balance, and that's a precursor to walking (and crawling to some extent). It both helps them have a sense of balance, and helps strengthen their abdominal muscles, not dissimilar from an adult doing sit-ups. Those abdominal muscles are what will enable walking and many of the other physical activities babies do around a year or so old.

I don't think it's likely to be dangerous for the spine at that age; remember that kids have very malleable bones for the first several years of their lives, and so a lot of the bone-related problems we have later in life just aren't problems for them. I'm in my mid-30s and I'm learning now that a lot of habits I had as a kid aren't a good idea now (like sitting for long periods of time!), but as a kid that's not a problem.

As far as my kids go, they didn't go to this extreme, but my older one really liked pulling himself up on tables, and did that probably 80% of the day for a month or two (around the same age, right before crawling/walking). Some of this is probably related to the other babies/adults around her; my older started crawling when a new baby came into the daycare that was a crawler, almost right away, because he was physically developed for it but prior to that had only older (walking) toddlers to play out with - hence the preference for pulling himself up. If the other adults around her are sitting on the floor to play with her, for example, she may just be copying.

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did your children behave the same way?

One of ours did. Heck, her preferred sleeping position ranged from sleeping on her KNEES - with legs folded, head down, and butt up - to completely unnatural and painful looking something which resembled letter Z for lack of a better description, since well before 1YO

can we somehow encourage more laying on her back or belly time?

As far as sleep - the only thing that I'm aware of that works is heavy blankets (or better yet sleeping bag). Not quite reliable (and not safe for under 2 YO for sleeping bag due to suffocation concerns), but nothing else works.

As far as belly time - first I would investigate scientific research on whether belly time is even necessary vs sitting (my understanting was that it was only necessary for neck/torso muscle development for kids who spend too much time laying on their back specifically).

how to effectively lay her down to bed?

  1. Show by example

  2. Gently push her towards lying position. But frankly I would suggest not fighting that battle - you are unlikely to win unless you monitor her every night all night.

is so much sitting (95% of awake time, 10-11h per day) safe for her spine?

I'm not aware of any studies, but intuitively, if she isn't getting tired from it, she's ready for it.

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Well a good tip is to almost force you child not to. I do not mean to harm your child but for example lie down with the child and put you arm lightly over her stomach so she can't sit-up. Do it very lightly. Eventually if you continue to do that she will adapt.

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As this stands it's not a very good answer, because you don't explain it at all. Read the other answers here - we all explain why we think what we do. A more thorough answer would be a good one. –  Joe Aug 13 at 22:06

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