THE GEOMETRY OF THE HIP JOINTS
The posture of sitting requires baby to use the lower body as a base of support. The lower body includes the heavy bones of the pelvis and the legs, as well as the mobile joints of the knees, hips, and ankles. The places where each leg meets the pelvis is called a “hip joint.” The hip is one of the joints in the body that is capable of the greatest range of motion. It is classified as a “ball and socket” joint because the thigh bone ends in a rounded shape resembling a “ball” and sits in a shallow bowl on the pelvis called a “socket.” This design allows a great deal of movement. Just think about the ballerina on stage moving her leg very high in the air in front of her, to the side, and behind her. This is possible due to the design of the hip joint. While sitting, baby begins to move her legs in various positions underneath her which requires using the hip joints in a variety of positions. We will present the basic sitting positions and provide photographs when our stellar caterpillars learn them.
5 SITTING POSITIONS FOR BABY
- Legs straight ahead, knees straight
- Butterfly, with knees pointing out to the sides and the soles of the feet together in the center
- Tailor-sit, like the butterfly but with the lower legs, ankles, and feet crossed
- “W”-sit, with knees rotating a bit inward, thighs close together, and feet pointing out to the sides
- Side sit, with both knees pointing to one side while both feet point to the other side
It is important for baby to spend time in each of the these positions for optimal development of the hip joint and for emotional growth. Baby is more independent and confident when she has more movement choices available to her. She will have several ways to lean to the side and get a toy, a few ways to sit and play with a book, and a couple of choices for moving from lying on her back to sitting. And with many choices available, the sky is the limit for what baby can do!