How to encourage safe postural playing in toddlers

Toddlers will inevitably adopt a W sitting. It’s when their knees are bent and instead of their heels being under their bum they are turned out and resting to the sides of their hips. This W sitting may cause hip, knee, and ankle problems and pain as growing up. Also, there is a higher risk of muscle imbalance leading to joint problems later in life. There are ways to help your child learn to use the correct posture while playing. When introduced early in their lives, when they are learning to sit and play simultaneously, this process is easily accepted and seamlessly progressed by the child. However, if trying to change a toddler’s posture after they have used the incorrect one for already a couple of years then careful considerations must be taken into account.

You know your child better then anyone to know how to best introduce changes. It needs to be gentle and repetitive, encouraging and consistent by the parent.

My suggestions of how to encourage changes have not been tried and tested. It’s purely common sense and a true understanding of your own child.


1. For toddlers that like to copy others: try sitting in an ideal position as a way of encouraging them to copy you. Ask them to copy you or copy them and then ask them to copy you.

2. For those that aren’t bothered with direct hands-on input: during play, you can gently and slowly change their position. You may use any encouragement or simply say nothing at all. They will eventually adapt to that posture while playing.

3. For those that need verbal input: ask them to change posture. However, you will need to choose a verbal command and introduce while playing so that you can use it when needed.

All those tips can be used interchangeably but I would suggest to stick to one only and be consistent so not to confuse the child.

Teaching them good posture from an early age can help them fall into the risk of back pain in later years!

Enjoy and if you need any tips, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Roberta Cardoso

Bs physiotherapy

For more free tips email me on

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