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Save ‘W’ for the Alphabet: Why Avoid W-Sitting?

Oct 16, 2019


Whimsey, wizardly, and wonderous. “W” is a letter involved with some pretty unique words, but when it comes to W-sitting, it’s best left for the alphabet. Much debate exists about whether W-sitting is okay. Unfortunately, W-sitting always has the potential to hinder a child’s movements and especially during early years, there’s no room for taking developmental risks. We’re here to sit down with you to discuss W-sitting.

Playing Around with W-Sitting? No Way!

We all know the looks of a “W.” When a kiddo “W-sits,” they move their legs into the shape of a ‘W.’ The legs are bent and face backward on both the right and the left side of the body. The trunk is fixed between the legs. Kiddos who play on the floor are most likely to W-sit. Moving in and out of the position during floor play may be noticeable.

Some kids grow rather comfortable with W-sitting and may do so while in front of the TV or in the classroom on the floor. W-sitting may not be uncomfortable for your kiddo at the time, but as a parent, there are reasons why you should consider helping your kiddo break the habit.


W-Sitting and Your Kiddo

In terms of movement, W-sitting has surprising, unwanted consequences. Movement with their body is limited and complications result such as:

Hinders Trunk Control and Rotation

From reaching across the body, shifting, and turning, the ‘W’ position is not ideal for necessary movements and posture. As your kiddo develops, they should default to positions that give them the most practice with all muscles.

Weakens Core Muscles

Strong abdominals are key for standing and supporting our bodies. With W-sitting, the core doesn’t need to work, which means that your child isn’t using these muscles to keep themselves up. We can’t stress the importance of allowing your kiddo to practice moving with their core muscles so they can develop that strength.

Hip Dislocation

W-sitting predisposes your child to hip dislocation because it strains the hip and the surrounding joints.

Increased Muscle Tension

The “W” position is likely to strain the hamstrings and hips. Coordination, balance, and gross motor skill development suffer from this as well.


Safer Alternatives

As a concerned mommy or daddy, rest easy knowing that you can help guide your kiddo into other positions with persistence and consistency. Once you spot your kiddo in this position, kindly let them know to “save ‘W’ for the alphabet.” You can model positions for them that encourage healthy movements:

  1. Cross-Legged (“Criss-Cross applesauce,” anyone?)
  2. Legs in Front
  3. Legs at the Side of the Body
  4. Sitting on a Chair or Stool

If your child has adapted to W-sitting and the habit seems hard to break, keep trying. Allow them to sit against the wall or on a stool for an easier transition. Praise will go a long way too. Encouraging your kiddo’s actions will help them feel motivated to play it on repeat.


If your child is still having problems with W-sitting, reach out to our office.

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