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When Can Babies Hold Their Head Up?

When Can Babies Hold Their Head Up?

Babies do grow up quickly, don’t they? One minute, they’re those tiny little bundles of cloth and scrunched faces, and the next, it feels like they’re already walking on their own two feet!

The development of your little one is something that every parent gets to enjoy, but it is also one that we can’t help but worry over, it seems.

When a baby should be teething when they should be moved to and from a bottle when they should start learning how to walk.

All of these things and more are things that you’ll likely be looking out for and fussing over.

One of the first major steps of development for your infant will be when they can hold up their head by themselves, with no help from mom, dad, a seat, or anything!

So, when exactly is that step? And is there anything you can do to help facilitate this moment in your baby’s development?

As it turns out, there’s plenty that you can do, especially as they hit the 4-5 month mark!

In this guide, we will outline at what age your baby should be able to hold up their head, and how they get to that stage.

Not only that, but we’ll share with you some of the best things that you can do to make sure that your child is getting the right help that they need.

At What Age Do Babies Start To Hold Up Their Heads?

So, when exactly should babies start to be able to hold up their heads?

Well, the answer to that is pretty simple. According to pediatricians, young babies should be able to start holding their heads up under their strength by around 4 months old.

This is also around the same time that your baby will also start to hold their upper body up from their elbows, at least if they are laying on their tummy!

This is a major milestone for babies, as you would imagine.

Being able to hold at least a part of themselves up under their weight, as well as benign able to move it by themselves, gives children the first chance to start absorbing the world around them of their own volition and strength.

They get to look at faces that they may or may not recognize, or their favorite toy, or anything else, for that matter!

Speed Of Development

It is worth noting that 4 months is by no means the cut-off point when it comes to when they should be lifting their own head up.

Like with so many other aspects of infant development, many babies will get to this stage at their own pace, with some learning how to do this earlier, while others may get here a little later. 

In other words, it is not something to worry about if you get to 4 months and 1 day old, and your baby isn’t quite ready to hold themselves up just yet!

When Can Babies Hold Their Head Up?

Stage Of Development

While we can’t exactly say when you’ll know that your baby can hold their head up (outside the obvious way, of course), there are some key stages that you can start looking out for when it comes to your baby’s development up to this point.

The key detail will be seeing your child try and develop the strength to do this.

This takes over a couple of months before the expected time, between 1 and 3 months for the most part.

Your baby will start to push or hold themselves up by their arms or elbows, for example, or they’ll be able to hold their head up for a few seconds before it gets a little too tiring for them.

All are adorable, and vital to their development, as these moments help strengthen muscles around your baby’s upper torso, from their neck and upper back to their chest and arms.

All of these (except for maybe the arms) are vital to gaining that control over their head and neck that they’ll be using for the rest of their life.

Other Developmental Changes Around This Time

So, aside from the head and arms, what other stages of development should you be noticing in your child around this time?

After all, these first 6 months are major steps for your little one, so it’s not just their neck and head that are starting to be developed.

Well, a few other things are happening around this time too.

  • As the back and chest muscles of your baby start to develop more, they’re going to be able to hold themselves up better and can start to sit upright without support.
  • Developing the arms to help hold their body up also means that babies have the upper body strength to lift their arms above their heads. This means that they’re going to start reaching up for things they can reach soon, so be prepared!
  • Along with all these other changes, you’ll also likely notice that your baby’s kicks are also getting stronger, as their leg muscles continue to develop.

Many of these steps start occurring around the same time or after your baby can start to hold their head up

How You Can Help Your Babies Develop The Strength To Hold Up Their Heads

So, with this being such an important step, what exactly can you do to help your baby develop their strength?

Tummy Time

Tummy time is exactly what it sounds like. It is a short period in the day when you place your child on their belly and keep a close eye on them.

This gives your baby the chance to start developing their muscles, as they try and move their arms and legs and head to better see around them.

Tummy time is supposed to be a short activity that your baby does a few times a day, so make sure that they are only doing this for 3 to 5 minutes at a time, 2 to 3 times a day.

And keep a close eye on them!

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, our guide has made this early step of your baby’s childhood a little clearer!

Jessica Daniels

Hey there! I’m Jessica Daniels, the owner of Posh Tots and a proud mom of two.

Me and my team of experts (who also happen to be moms) test and review parenting products, and share our tips and tricks to help you make informed choices for your little ones.

Let’s navigate this crazy parenting journey together!

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