As a baby gains more control over their torso and the entire body, they sit up to do all their activities. Have you noticed how the straight legs splayed in front slowly start folding as they grow older? Have you noticed how comfortable all children, including babies and toddlers, are in a W-sitting position, which is not possible for many adults? Is this ok? Is this safe for your child to continue? Read on.
The W-position is a sitting position many toddlers adapt to as they get more control over their bodies and limbs. When you face your seated child, you can see their lower body forming the letter “W”.
This happens when they kneel to reach something and then just sit back between their feet – causing their bottoms and legs to form a W position. So, their knees are in front and their feet are on either side of their bottom.
Children tend to start sitting in a W-position as they start independent play. When they find something interesting, they just sit wherever they can and reach for things around them on their own, without any help.
This is usually around the 2 -3 years mark and it slowly starts to fade away (in many cases).
Sitting in the W-position increases their center of gravity and prevents them from falling to any side. They don’t have to use their core strength to sit up straight as the base is more and the bent legs prevent them from falling backward or sideways.
Though not all doctors are against this position, the W-position becomes a concern if your child seems to sit comfortably only in that position. If a child continues to sit in this position, it can cause several developmental issues.
Possible issues if a child is not discouraged from sitting in a W-position are:
The W-position is the most comfortable position for children, especially when they are playing on the floor or even on the bed. This gives them a good range and support for their playtime. As a parent, you will have to repeatedly tell your child to change their sitting position, every time you find them sitting in a W-position.
Alternatively, you can give them a stool or a cushion to sit on, which will automatically cause their legs to criss-cross in the front or spread the legs out straight in front.
Many children move out of this position as they grow up and get more upper body balance. However, it’s a red flag if you start noticing the following:
Some of the alternative sitting positions you can teach your child are:
The W-sitting position is quite common in children in their developmental years. Politely coax your child to move out of that position and adapt to other sitting positions rather than shouting at or reprimanding them. This position comes naturally to them and so it will require you to repeatedly discourage them from sitting that way. Just stay patient and consistent in your effort and your child will learn very soon.
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