Wednesday, December 18, 2013

W - Sitting

I had absolutely no idea that Jydan's sitting may be causing some pressure on his hips, bones and joints and may turn his feet out and may cause him to walk flat footed. In fact we have to go back to the OT in a few months to check how he is walking!

I honestly thought that he just found that more comfortable (which he obviously does) and it was cute. I don't know why it didn't click!

So I wanted to write a post to raise awareness of correct and incorrect sitting in babies/toddlers. How to fix W sitting and what damage W sitting can actually cause.

What is W-sitting?

W sitting is where the bum is pretty much on the floor and the legs are bent beside making a 'W' shape. Jydan has pretty much done this since he started crawling. I guess it became a habit as he would sit up from the crawling position and that's how he landed.
Most children W sit at some stage, especially to get from a crawling to sitting, or sitting to standing position. But it's when it's a prolonged W sit, or it's mostly how the child sits.
Children with low muscle tone, hypermobile joints or poor balance tend to sit in the W position. It's because sitting with their legs out front requires alot more core strength and balance. I will notice when we move Jydan's legs it throws him off balance........until he moves he tucks his legs back in.

W sitting can lead to sway back posture, feet turned inwards, flat feet, weak core and back muscles, tight hamstring and lower back muscles, delay development of fine motor skills, hip knee and foot distortion.

How to help your child to stop sitting in the W position:

-Moving legs.
-Alternatives to sitting on the floor.
-Reducing room for legs to swing.
-Improving balance.

We are currently moving his legs, very gently, out in front of him and saying 'legs out'. When his legs are out we clap and say 'yeeeyyy'.. but it only lasts a few seconds at the most and he tucks at least one leg back in, most of the time it's both.
I'm also going to buy a table and chairs that he can sit at and do his craft and other activities rather then sitting on the floor, where he so easily sits in a W, we also have a table and chairs set up outside for him. We are encouraging him to sit on the couch, where he can't swing his legs in, rather then on the floor, and when he's sitting on the floor using his old sitting supporter cushion that stops him swinging his legs around.
We are also going to get a fit ball and make some games of sitting on a fit ball to try and improve balance.

It is really encouraged that you don't let your child sit in a W position, and if they do, I hope I have gave you some ideas to correct the sitting position.

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