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Sitting Up Early

There's no reason to keep your infant on her back all day. As early as six weeks after bringing her home, you can prop her in a seated position, supported by pillows.

Sitting up opens up a whole new world for your baby. "She now has a much wider visual range," explains Tanya Altmann, M.D., a pediatrician and editor of the American Academy of Pediatrics's book on developmental milestones, The Wonder Years. She can see and grab things around her, sit in a high chair, and more easily play face-to-face games with you.

When she's around 6 months, you can remove the pillows supporting her. By then, her neck, back, and upper leg muscles will be stronger. (To help them develop, give her tummy time while she's awake.) If she leans forward, that's okay.

Most babies don't master sitting until 6 to 8 months. If yours is toppling over, keep her legs spread out, so she's like a little tripod, to keep her upright. And provide constant supervision  -- plus a soft landing zone  -- until she's perfectly steady on her bottom.