W-sitting is when a child sits on the floor, bottom is between the legs, and knees are bent with legs rotated away from the body – if you stand above them and look down it looks like their legs are forming a “W”. 

It seems a convenient position for play because they don’t have to work on keeping their balance. In this position, a child’s base of support is wide and their center of gravity is lower, allowing for increased stability through the hips and trunk.

But…W-sitting can cause the hip and leg muscles to become shortened and tight which may lead to “pigeon toed” walking and could increase the chance of back, pelvis or joint pain as they grow. 

Children who regularly sit in a W position also typically have less developed core strength and less ability to cross the midline of their body, a key skill that will affect other important areas of their development.

For more on W-sitting and ways you can gently redirect your child if you see them develop this (very normal) childhood habit click on this article/video from Pathways.org

Looking for more information on your child’s development? Check out our Child Development page