Baby demonstrates Z-sit position

Rochel has been rolling and sitting for quite awhile now.  When placed in the sitting position she sits like a queen with such beautiful posture!  A few weeks ago, we created a post with photos of Rochel showing her outstanding alignment in the sitting position.  What was the next skill for her to learn?  The ability to transition herself from lying to sitting, and the reverse, from sitting to lying, is the next essential motor milestone for Rochel.  The key ingredient in this skill development is the side-sitting position.

We previously examined the four different arrangements of the legs in the sitting position.  When sitting with the legs crossed, the body is stabilized allowing better use of the arms.  In the side-sit position, also known as the “Z”-sit because the legs make the shape of a letter “Z,” she is mobilized.  This is because she is more capable of shifting her weight forward toward the ground.  Baby is able to shift her weight far enough forward so she can bring her arm, elbow, and torso down onto the ground.  From this position she simply rolls onto her back!  She moves from a stable crossed-leg position through the “Z”-sit to come down onto her back.  She can also reverse herself by rolling until she comes onto her side, then she moves one leg backward as she pushes herself up to sit in the “Z.”  Now her arms are free again! It is also an easy position to pass through as she is turning to see what is happening on one side of her.  It is a quick and efficient position to use to get where she wants to go.

Through showing Rochel how to sit in the crossed-leg and butterfly positions, it was easier to introduce the “Z”-sit.  By first working with the positions of the legs that were easier for her, we could then introduce the more challenging position.  In less than a week Rochel was side-sitting often!  By one week after her lesson she figured out how to use the side-sit to roll onto her back. With the mastery of this skill Rochel is more independent and confident that she can go where she wants!


  1. Hope is already wanting to walk. She demands that we walk around while holding her hands and it can be very tiring. I try to remind myself that this is such a short stage and before I know it, she will be walking. My first born never crawled, she started walking around 12 months. My second born crawled for two days and then began pulling himself up on furniture and walking at 10 months. Hope has not crawled yet, though she kind of hops on her bottom until she reaches her target. They are all so different! :~)

    • Hi Alex! You are correct, babies are all so different. One fascinating aspect of all babies is that they have the capacity to learn. And, as parents and teachers we have the capacity to guide them toward what is best for them. Through learning tips for motor skill development at home, parents learn how to coach the motor development of baby. Just as a parent choose not to feed their child junk food because it is bad for them, a parent learns to guide the beneficial motor patterns for baby. Through teaching Hope how to feel her knees and be comfortable on her tummy, she may choose to crawl. Thanks for writing in!

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