How To Teach A Baby To Lay Down From Sitting? 4 Genius Tips!

Now as weird as it sounds, babies do get stuck sitting up. So, knowing how to teach a baby to lay down from sitting in a controlled way will ensure they move seamlessly through this developmental milestone. So what are the ways to teach baby to lay down from sitting and if they need help, how do we handle a baby who gets stuck upright at night?

How To Teach A Baby To Lay Down From Sitting

As with other developmental skills, knowing how to teach a baby to lay down from sitting requires helping your little one practise moving from a seated position to crawling or lying down. This quite simply means that you need to offer them plenty of opportunities to move in this way and allow them to work out what their bodies can do.

How to teach a baby to lay down from sitting step by step guide

1. Make Sure Baby Has Plenty Of Playtime On Their Tummy

Now… This may sound counterintuitive but a baby that has had lots of tummy time will be more inclined to move from sitting to their tummy in order to get into a crawling position or to lie down.

As many young babies don’t like tummy time it is sometimes easier to prop your baby up in a sitting position, but this can cause problems later on when they have to transition from one position to another.

Teaching your baby to be comfortable on their tummy is important not only for moving from sitting to lying down but for learning to roll over and crawl too.

Therefore, even if your baby can now sit in an upright position unaided it is important that they still spend time on their tummy.

2. Encourage Baby To Move From Sitting To Lying Down On A Soft Surface While Reaching For A Toy

Another way to teach a baby to lay down from sitting is to practice putting a fun toy just out of reach so your baby has to lean forward to get it from the sitting or tripod position.

This teaches them to balance while sitting and leaning forward.

Make sure you do this on a soft surface such as a blanket or play mat as your baby may often unbalance and topple. It is important that they don’t hurt themselves as any falls that hurt will make them wary of trying to move from sitting to lying down in the future.

Learning to reach forward in a sitting position is the beginning of moving from that position into lying down or crawling.

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3. Avoid Putting Baby In Bouncy Seats, Pods And Swings For Daytime Sitting

Knowing how to teach a baby to lay down from sitting means knowing that some positions will inhibit baby’s progress.

While pods, swings and bouncy infant seats are fine for short periods of time… Once your baby is developmentally able to, they should spend the majority of their sitting time on the floor.

Here they can learn to use their bodies, develop upper body, motor skills, head control and core strength to naturally explore moving from one position to another, in their own time.

4. Practice Moving From Sitting To Lying Down Several Times A Day

You can also train or teach your baby to learn how to move from sitting to lying down as shown in this brilliant video by My Torticollis Baby below:

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Teach A Baby To Lay Down From Sitting

Looking for more information about how to teach a baby to lay down from sitting? Here are the answers to the most common questions to learn more.

When Will Baby Lay Down From Sitting?

Most babies will progress through this milestone between 5 and 9 months of age. But developmental milestones vary from baby to baby and as long as your little one is processing nicely, they may well have simply missed this milestone!

What Do I Do If Baby Falls Asleep Sitting Up?

As I’m sure you’re aware, a flat firm surface is always the best place for your baby to fall asleep, lying on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS. Although, some naps will inevitably be taken in the sitting or inclined position in car seats and strollers… 

However… if your baby falls asleep sitting up in their crib because they cannot lie down, then you have TWO choices.

1. You move them to a safe sleeping position on their backs.


2. You can leave them and they will eventually topple into a lying position.

From understanding how to teach a baby to lay down from sitting, in this situation I would move them into a lying position with as little fuss as possible and leave them to settle to sleep on their backs.

Looking to get your little one to sleep quickly and effortlessly? Check out my Bedtime and Nap Cheat Sheet and master the art of making daytime naps and bedtimes as seamless as possible.

What Can I Do If Baby Is Sitting Up Crying At Night?

If your baby has been a good sleeper up until now, then the chances are they’ll settle back into being a good sleeper once they have mastered this latest milestone.

Therefore, I would suggest that you go and lie your baby down as many times as it takes for them to settle.

Try and lie baby down without having to stay and comfort them too much to avoid creating an unhealthy sleep association.

What Does It Mean If A Baby Is Stuck In A Sitting Position?

If baby is stuck sitting up it usually means they lack the confidence to move into a different position or they have not had enough exposure or time to practise the skills required to move safely into the lying down position. 

If this happens, ensure you provide baby with plenty of opportunities to practise and develop adequate muscles, upper body strength and core muscles to move safely.

Tummy time, toy reaching balancing activities are all ideal ways to start.

What Is Baby’s Next Sitting Milestone?

Once you know how to teach a baby to lay down from sitting, a great next step is teaching your little one to sit up from a lying down position (the opposite of what we’ve discussed today) so be sure to check out this post: When Do Babies Sit Up From Lying Down? to learn more.

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Author Image Bio
Paula McLaren is the founder of Teething to Tantrums and a highly qualified childcare expert with over 40 years of experience as a Norland Nanny. She holds a BA (Hons) in Early Years Development & Learning (0-6 Years) and the prestigious Norland Diploma. Paula has worked as a night nanny, run a successful daycare center in London, and helped raise countless children using her tried and tested developmental and guidance methods.

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