In order for your baby to sit independently, a few motor skills need to be in place. One of the best exercises for promoting sitting is the one I described using the ball to move your baby in four directions: away from you, toward you and side to side. This exercise strengthens the trunk and improves balance and equilibrium; all key to maintaining sitting stability.
Once you have been doing this activity for awhile, and you see some improvement, you can give your baby practice by sitting them on the floor. You now have a couple of options. If you want, you can sit behind your child and place your hands on your child’s hips lightly. Whenever they start to lose control and topple, grasp with your finger tips only (less input is better) and help them to stabilize. When you see that they are sitting straight again, take the pressure off your fingers and touch them lightly again.
By keeping your hands in place but not really helping gives the baby a sense of security and confidence. Many low tone infants have what sensory specialists call gravitational insecurity. In almost all cases the insecurity is a result of a natural fear of falling. Babies with low tone instinctively know their capabilities and avoid motor movements that they don’t have the strength to perform.
Another option is to sit your baby in a Boppy. The Boppy is a crescent shaped pillow that you can purchase almost anywhere these days. It is a great tool for a creative parent. All you need to do is sit your child in the center of the crescent. The back and sides of the Boppy should give enough support for you to be able to walk away and leave your baby for a few minutes.
If the baby falls over, and you did the prop on elbows or prop on hands exercises, your baby should be able to push off the Boppy and get themselves back into a sitting position. If not, the softness of the Boppy breaks their fall and the fall is not upsetting. If they can’t stay upright in the Boppy and/or push themselves back up if they fall, they’re not quite ready to try sitting. Go back and do the trunk control exercises on the ball and the prop exercises.