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Head control: 5-6 months

father helping his baby girl sit by herself

Key points:

  1. Head control is the foundation for many of your baby’s next milestones and can be fostered through fun activities.
  2. Activities can include pulling them to a sitting or standing position, giving them room to explore on a safe surface, and exercising with them.
  3. Celebrating and applauding your baby’s accomplishments can encourage them to repeat new skills.
  4. Head control is an important motor milestone for babies that typically develops by 6 months.

Accomplishing head control is the foundation for many of your baby’s next milestones, like sitting up, rolling over, crawling, and eating solids. By 6 months, your baby may have gained a little control over their muscles. They will accomplish most of these milestones probably by instinct, but we can give them a little boost while having fun together.

Foster head control

Here are some tips to foster their muscular development while enjoying your time together:

Pull them to a sitting position

When they are ready, try to find activities that will help them hold this position. You can place colorful and interesting toys in front of them and prevent them from laying down. If they need to, you can hold your baby’s back or use pillows for support.


Pull them to a standing position

Hold your baby’s hands while they are lying down and say, “Are you ready to stand up? Here we go!”. Gently pull them to a standing position and hold their hands to help them keep their balance. If they are ready for it, you can also place safe furniture close to them so they can hold themselves up while in a standing position.

Let them loose!

Don’t keep them in a crib or on the bed. Give them room to explore on a safe surface of your choice. Maybe on a play mat in their room or whatever suits you best.


A great part of muscle development consists of movement. You can play bouncing games on your lap, practice clapping, or do some sit-ups pulling them gently by the arms.

Every time you see your baby accomplish something new or repeat a recent skill, give them a round of applause. You will see how this is encouraging for them! They might start laughing, enjoy this new experience even more, and feel motivated to repeat each one of these new findings. Take advantage of these tips and have fun at home while strengthening their head control day after day.

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