5 Ways To Break The Habit Of W-Sitting

by Aculbertson


We all pick up bad habits. Our kids are no different. Some things, like nail-biting and chewing with an open mouth, are harmless. But others impact your child for years.

W-sitting is one of those habits. And it’s one you don’t want to ignore.


Why Do Some Kids Prefer The W-Sitting Position?

W-sitting has its benefits. The wider base gives kids extra stability, which allows them to feel more secure. It also leaves hands free to play.

But this clues you in that they haven’t developed good trunk and hip control. Otherwise, that extra stability wouldn’t be needed. Your child will also likely have trouble with other, more conventional sitting positions.


Is It Really That Bad?

The w-sitting position twists your child’s hips in and knees out. This puts unneeded strain on his or her developing body. It can also create a variety of short-term and long-term problems by:

  • Impacting lower leg alignment
  • Taxing hip and knee joints
  • Slowing down the strengthening of core muscles
  • Increasing the difficulty of developing good weight shifting and balance reactions
  • Moving feet out, causing excessive strain and future knee problems
  • Affecting walking and running because a good push at the ankle may fail to develop
  • Twisting femurs inward resulting in intoeing (also known as walking pigeon-toed)


How To Break The W-Sitting Position

It won’t be easy or an overnight process. But with patience and persistence, you can save your child trouble down the road.


Use Verbal Cues

Something as simple as “feet in front” may be all the reminder your child needs. Remember to be consistent.


Provide A Chair, Stool, or Riding Toy

Keep other seating options available at all times. This reduces your child’s need and dependence on the w-sitting position.


Move His Or Her Legs

This option won’t be popular with either of you, but it can help. If verbal reminders aren’t enough, step in and do the repositioning yourself.


Commit To Strengthening Exercises

Exercises that engage core muscles can break the need to w-sit. And it doesn’t have to be complicated. While he or she is sitting, encourage your child to reach forward and backward to grab toys. These simple movements stretch back and hip muscles. It also improves flexibility and postural control.


Consider Criss Crossers From Surestep

Surestep designed a device aimed at breaking the habit of w-sitting. They’re called Criss Crossers. These special pants can be worn under baggy pants or shorts. They emit a high-pitched tone which serves as a reminder whenever your child slips into that familiar position. This allows you to be proactive without having to watch your child every second of the day.

Criss Crossers are available in four sizes. You can buy them directly from Surestep.

Learn more about Criss Crossers