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My 7 month old is able to sit, and does for brief periods of time. But it seems like he has no incentive to sit. He soon falls on his stomach to crawl, or if there are things nearby, pulls himself up to stand. He loves to stand, and crawling gets him places. Sitting apparently does nothing for him.

Is sitting a mandatory part of development? Will not learning to sit properly affect his muscles or balance (or anything else) in any way? If so, how do we incentivise him to sit without almost immediately falling on his stomach or back? We don't have any toys which can only be played with while sitting. Lying down on tummy works just as well. So I'm looking for suggestions for such toys too.

P.S : We bought him a high chair when he turned 6 months old to feed him, and he sits up straight in it. But he probably has support on all sides and isn't actually sitting using his own muscles and balance.

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Is sitting a mandatory part of development?

Yes, it is. And your child has passed it. You put it quite well:

Sitting apparently does nothing for him.

It's not that he can't do it, it's that he prefers either to be more active or what is further away. That he can pull himself up and stand means his balance and core strength are just fine (see under Vertebral Column) and soon your baby will begin to "cruise" (get somewhere by holding on to furniture). You can't reach a further stage without the skills of earlier stages being conquered, noticed or unnoticed.

If you still want him to sit to play, you can try to place a variety of interesting objects (they don't need to be toys; they just need to be interesting to him) right in front of him. Try this with a handful of Cheerios or something else he loves to pick at. This should reassure you that his activities are normal, and based on preference.

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    "It's not that he can't do it, it's that he prefers either to be more active or what is further away." Why do I have the feeling anongoodnurse has spent time dealing with gifted kids? – corsiKa Aug 13 at 2:35
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    @corsiKa - Or, maybe, contrary kids! ;) – anongoodnurse Aug 13 at 16:16
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I was told by our maternal and child health nurse that when a baby has learned to creep (crawl on hands and knees with tummy off the ground, as opposed to crawling with bent arms and tummy on the ground), they will naturally rock back into a sitting position.

She said that there is no value to sitting a baby before they can sit themselves, because putting them in a sitting position when they can't move in and out of that position themselves restricts their movement and stops them from developing the body strength they need.

All three of my children learned to sit within a day of learning to 'creep' on hands and knees. We just did tummy-time until then.

Waiting until they can sit themselves also means they are less likely to fall backwards and hit their head, because they have the back/torso/hip strength to stay upright.

This page talks about tummy-time, crawling, and creeping strengthening the muscles required for sitting: http://www.developmental-delay.com/page.cfm/162

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Our middle daughter had great difficulty sitting because she was very round as a baby. Sit her up, she'd roll on her little round bottom and end up flat on the floor. And boy - did she ever get mad! Had to put pillows around her to keep her from whacking her head. She solved her problem herself, though - started walking at 10 months.

And - she turned out all right, and I suspect your child will as well.

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He will sit whenever it's time. It's perfectly natural to not sit yet at 7 months of age. The back muscles will gain strength eventually. Until the child can sit by himself, it's even not recommended to put him into sitting position, because that means his muscles are not strong enough yet.

Here's a link to the opinion of the well-known Ukrainian pediatrician Dr. Evgeniy Komarovskiy: https://rg.ru/2007/12/20/soveti.html

While I agree that the OP states that his child is able to sit but doesn't want to, it may be because it's still too difficult for him. But this is normal for up to one year of age.

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    The OP's child can both sit and stand as posted in the question. Your answer does not address the actual question. Nonetheless, welcome to Parenting. You have now surpassed my rep on this site :-) – Zano Aug 13 at 13:48
  • @anongoodnurse added a link to the interview with the pediatrician – Alexandr Zarubkin Aug 14 at 14:20
  • Thank you! I actually read the article. It is somewhat vague, but it does state early stress on the spine causes problems and to let babies do tings alone. Although I don't agree with this particular pediatrician, I will remove my comment. Again, Thanks. – anongoodnurse Aug 14 at 19:38

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