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

By Paula McLaren •  Updated: 06/18/21 •  7 min read  •  Baby » Baby Development

We all love it when our babies learn and master a new developmental skill. But what happens when these new skills start to interfere with daily life? A big one that keeps coming up is how to teach a baby to lay down from sitting!

Now as weird as it sounds, stuck sitting babies are DEFINITELY a thing! And if you’re here then chances are your little one is getting stuck upright!

Training your little one to move in a controlled way from sitting to lying down is a gradual process, but it’s an important skill that needs to be practised just like any other! 

So what are the ways to teach baby to lay down from sitting and how do we handle a baby who gets stuck upright at night? Keep reading to learn more!

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

It is not uncommon for some babies to struggle to move from the sitting position to a crawling position or lying down. 

It is a developmental milestone that they need to achieve and can cause problems especially if your baby gets stuck in the sitting position at night and is unable to lie down again to fall asleep.

How To Teach A Baby To Lay Down From Sitting?

As with other skills, you will need to help your little one practise moving from sitting 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.

4 Genius Ways To Help Teach A Baby To Lay Down From Sitting

Here are 4 ways to help teach a baby to lay down from sitting! And TRUST ME… they will work wonders.

1. Make Sure They Have 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 unaided it is important that they still spend time on their tummy.

TOP TIP: Don’t always put them down to sit when they play. Put them on their tummy, as after all, this is the position they will learn to crawl from!

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 toy just out of reach of your baby so that they have to lean forward to get it from the sitting 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 pad as they may often unbalance and topple. It is important that they don’t hurt themselves as this will make them wary of trying to move from sitting to lying down. 

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

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

While pods, swings and bouncy 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 and 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!

What To 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.

However, some naps will inevitably be taken in the sitting or inclined position in car seats and strollers and they’re fine if you are in attendance!

If however, 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.

Personally, I would move them into a lying position with as little fuss as possible and they should settle to sleep on their backs especially if they are good sleepers in the first place.

What To Do If Baby Is Sitting Up Crying At Night?

If your baby is sitting up crying at night unable to lie down again this can be a tricky one to solve. If you repeatedly lie them down again you run the risk of creating a sleep association that results in your baby thinking you will always turn up when they sit up.

However, 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.

If your baby is sitting up and crying at night unable to lie down again, then you also need to ensure that they have lots of practice during the day moving from sitting to lying as already explained above.

How To Teach A Baby To Lay Down From Sitting RECAP

So if you’re having issues with your baby struggling to move from sitting to lying down or crawling then ensure that:

REMEMBER: This is a phase that will definitely pass once your little one has learnt the necessary skills!

What To Do Next

A great next step is to learn about 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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Thank you for your continued support! Until next time, with love and support, Happy Parenting!

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Paula McLaren

Paula McLaren - Norland Nurse NNEB RSH is the founder of Teething to Tantrums and has been in the childcare industry as a Norland Nanny since 1982. Since then, her mission has been to help parents become the best they can possibly be. And each year, she continues to help more families understand their child's development, the trials and joys of parenting and of course, how to care for their little ones.

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